Thursday, January 11, 2018

In regard . . .

to yesterday’s post, I would like to say a few words.  

I do not share much of my personal life on this blog.  I also do not talk about politics, economics, or current events because that is not what I choose to share in this setting.  Although it was clearly not stated in a manner that everyone heard or understood, I did not want my post on the 2018 Golden Globe red carpet to devolve into a conversation about the political ramifications of the choice so many women made to wear black to the event. 

That, however, does not mean that I am unaware of gender inequality or discrimination or sexual harassment, or that I intended to trivialize these matters.  I did not “miss the point” of women coming together in solidarity to promote a cause through the color of their clothing.  Just because I choose not to discuss such a thing on a sewing blog does not make me tone deaf to the conversation.

Quite frankly, I feel that it is inappropriate to discuss these topics on a blog which focuses on sewing.  I don’t enjoy getting into highly charged political discussions over a medium like the internet where tone and real understanding of complicated issues is particularly difficult.  In fact, I specifically stated my intent to avoid such arguments in my opening remarks. 

I certainly understand that people are very sensitive in the current climate, and perhaps it is too soon to divorce the clothes from the message on a broad scale, but I felt sure that it was possible in the context of this blog, especially considering that I have been writing these types of fashion critiques for years.

And just to clarify, I am aware that it is not 1950.  I am incredibly thankful that I live in a time and place where I can speak my mind.  I also appreciate that others may do the same, but to be so completely misunderstood by readers of my blog makes me very sad.


I enjoy beautiful clothing; I love looking at it, trying to understand how it was constructed, examining what I like about it, and what I don’t.  I find pleasure in figuring out what might be out of place or distracting to me, and how I might change it.  I discuss underlining, and horsehair braid, petticoats, and beautiful fabric here.  I choose to share my love of spending hours with a needle in hand and creating things that add enjoyment to my life.  It may be unimportant in the grand scheme of things, but I live for the creative part of my life.  And I assure you that my mind is filled with things other than pretty dresses, although I may not choose to mention those other things in this venue.  To assume that I am incapable of understanding merely because I do not expound on a particular subject on a blog that focuses on sewing is baffling to me.

I am not asking you to agree with my every thought and word (the world is a lot more interesting because we don't!).  You are welcome to stop visiting if you like, but I would also ask you to accept my right to express or not express my thoughts on the subjects I choose, however limiting you may find them to be.

57 comments:

  1. I find it sad that you were so attacked yesterday,and that some of your readers are not capable of separating the colour of the dress from the reason why it was worn.
    I really enjoy your blogs on red carpet dresses as they are witty, and informed. Please do not stop doing them.
    AS you say, political and moral comment belongs more properly elsewhere

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  2. I thoroughly enjoyed your post yesterday and took it as intended. Ignore the critics, it's your blog and if they don't like what you have written they don't have to read it xo

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  3. Laura Mae, I'm sure most of your readers understood you were purely reviewing the gowns, this is a sewing blog after all and it is what we expected. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post.

    But of course it's unfortunate that someone who has a complaint will be very vocal about it, whereas people who liked your post, such as me, are generally less likely to leave a comment.

    So from now on, I am going to make a concerted effort to leave positive comments on more of the sewing blog posts I enjoy reading, and I encourage others to do the same. The online sewing community is generally wonderfully supportive, so let's keep it that way!

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  4. Thank you, Laura. I understood you and anyone who reads you regularly should have. And I appreciate being able to read a great sewing blog that is actually about sewing. In fact, I have stopped reading and following several blogs I used to enjoy because of the political comment. That's not why I follow a sewing blog. You are a marvelous seamstress. Keep inspiring us!

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  5. Yeah, its funny how you are not allowed to talk about something that was clearly meant to be talked about. They did not all come in the same paper bag, did they. No, they chose this dress or that, to express themselves or to compete and stand out, whichever it is. To me the whole thing was an empty gesture. These problems were known about for years, I mean, twenty-five years ago my Dad told me about the casting-couch, after I told him about wanting to become an actress. And he was an electrician in the middle of nowhere.
    But suddenly they come to stand for women's rights... but fine, people occasionally need a catalyst. If you want to gesture something with your clothes why not wear red, I mean you are furious, not mourning. Or do a no-show. Or wear a paper bag...
    But no, they chose to wear a certain black gown, they and their stylist chose that gown. Don't tell me I am not allowed to critique the technique and detailing of that on a sewing blog, in the eyes of a sewist its just fabric and thread, not the (empty) symbol the actresses wore because its chic to be feminist right now.
    Signed: Dalia (Feminist since 1990, Gender Studies Major, frequently only woman in the room.),

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  6. Hi Laura, I just wanted to say I appreciate your blog just the way you run it. I've learned a lot about sewing just by reading about your progress in your sewing projects!
    I know blogs are public, but for me I still feel like I'm in someone's private space and I'm being a guest. It's sad how people commented on your last post. This is what I actually find really rude and inappropriate.
    Don't worry too much about it tho. Keep up the amazing job your're doing every day and stay true to your style!

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  7. Wow, lots of strong feelings.....I guess no surprise, but it seems a bit out of place. I'm sorry you became a personal target. I enjoy all your posts; I believe this is my first comment.

    ceci

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  8. I read and enjoyed your post on the Golden Globes. It's such a shame people couldn't understand you were simply reviewing dresses. I love your blog and look forward to your posts showing up in my email. Keep up the good work and try to ignore the ignorant.

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  9. Laura Mae, I cannot understand how anyone really thought you missed the point. I understood your post completely and enjoyed it as I do all your posts. The backlash you experienced was probably from trolls and trolls and ugly and unpleasant and jealous of anyone who is successful. Your criticisms are always thoughtful and not snarky or mean. I don't know why anyone would object to thoughtful criticism. Remember Laura that there are far more of your admirers reading your blog than trolls.

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  10. Really enjoy your blog. Stay strong, stay positive :)

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  11. Dear Laura Mae,
    I love your blog BECAUSE there is nothing political about it, bcause you keep it focused on sewing and sewing techniques. You do things the right way, stating that you don't want to downgrade the importance of political fights but that your blog is not the place for it. Keep acting just the same, please! You're doing a great job.

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  12. I'm so sorry you got that reaction. I would have thought it was clear you were just talking about the dresses, but I guess not. People who want to be offended will always find something to be offended about - personally it didn't even occur to me that the post should be offensive. I know how hard it is to deal with comments online, but I hope you can ignore them - I love reading your blog, and if I wanted to read the news I'd be somewhere else!

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  13. I too very much appreciate the sewing content in your blog. A blog is not always a good arena in which to argue serious issues- unintended inferences are drawn which were never intended . You are not obliged defend your lack of engaging in any debate in your blog. Enjoy your beautiful sewing.

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  14. I have always loved your award show posts, and will continue to do so! It should be clear to anyone who follows your blog, that you care deeply about how clothes are constructed and that this knowledge has become somewhat of a lost art. You see little details that I would never notice. So your posts are both fun to read and educational at the same time. Stay the course, Laura Mae!

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    1. Yes, I also love the fact that you see more details in the dresses than I do - I too feel educated after reading your award ceremony and new pattern release posts! They are a highlight in my email inbox! Please keep them coming :-)

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  15. Oh dear! I never thought you didn't understand the meaning of the black dresses, and enjoyed your critique of the dresses and styling. I also REALLY enjoy your blog for all you share. Thank you!

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  16. I too, knew where you were coming from and thoroughly enjoyed reading your post on the award show dresses. In fact, I enjoy reading your blog anytime. Unfortunately, there are people who have to "turn" everything into something political these days. Your sewing is beautiful and your thoughts about beautiful garments 'right on'. Stay the course, Laura!

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  17. I also didn't find it offensive that you continued your regular critique, and assumed the political content of their gesture was not what you were critiquing, but the individual style gestures involved. i hope you don't feel too injured by the negative comments and unkind assumptions. Your blog is a pleasant place and your work is such high quality. I've learned a lot from the in-depth way you share your passion. Thank you for that.

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  18. I mostly read via bloglovin and rarely comment or see the comments so I was sorry to see that you have had to respond to comments left. Your post was in line with previous posts on this annual event and was without political comment so I was surprised to see you have had to respond x

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  19. Hello Laura Mae, I am a long time lurker so just popping up to send my regards. Was very interested in reading your point of view yesterday! It's been interesting watching how the #metoo issue is developing in the media and evolving my own thinking... twists and turns a plenty... Thanks for all the posts you do, interesting and so joyous to see you looking so elegant in your gowns (pure pleasure), plus everyone enjoys a bit of a snark from time to time :) Hope all is well with you. Emma.

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  20. I was ready to write yesterday, but "knowing" Laura Mae, I knew she could handle things (and how!).

    The pursuit of the creative element is in every post of this blog.

    Keep creating and blogging Laura Mae, and we'll keep reading (and from time to time, judiciously commenting).

    A staunch and stoic fan

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  21. It's your blog, you can do whatever you want. :-) I admit I kind of cringed when I saw yesterday's post, but only because I had a feeling you were about to become a target. I'm sorry you were, but you don't need my sympathy ... you're doing fine standing up for yourself.

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    1. I had these same feelings yesterday reading. What annoys me is that many designers had to make new dresses at the last minute, at their own expense, and the celebrities get all the accolades while it is assumed that we shouldn't even talk about the dresses (designers). Love reading your blog, Laura Mae!

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  22. Hi Laura Mae
    I love your blog and was looking forward to that post to get to see the dresses as I was curious what they would look like given that they were all black. Nothing wrong with critiques but, with all respect, in your opening statement you may have unintentionally made it political when you never intended to. And I was worried a maelstrom may have ensued. You are wise in your statement today saying that these sorts of things are better discussed in person where the other person's tone, facial expression and intent can be seen and that you can ask for clarification immediately and a healthy discussion can be had. It is precisely why in my practice as a vet I do not like to correspond with an owner over email about a case and prefer to speak on the phone or in person. Your sewing is lovely and from reading your blog I can see that you are an intelligent, wonderful, talented and thoughtful human being and I am sure you never intended to offend anyone. I'm sorry that this has happened to you but please continue to do your posts and be you. There is only one you. Your posts bring joy to my part of the world and I hope you continue to post.

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  23. Well said. I thoroughly enjoy your blog. It´s well written and great to look at and so inspiring. Don´t stop

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  24. What every said already! That is my heart for you, my dear. Keep on with the sphere of influence you were given. Thank you for that! <3 Always a fan of yours!

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  25. Good for you! Haven't ever commented before but this is too important not to share my support! This is your blog and your thoughts. There will always be issues in the world but restricting someone's right for their thoughts in the name of those issues is intolerable.

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  26. Wonderful response to this situation. I was surprised to see the comments on the post, especially here, where things are usually so civil. Thinking about it now, I realize that the worst ones were left by anonymous commenters. I completely agree that a sewing blog is not the best venue to effectively discuss highly charged, complicated issues.

    I have been reading your blog for a long time. I rarely comment, but I always appreciate the beauty and thoughtful details that go into your sewing.

    Dee

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  27. I love reading your blog and loved your post on the fashions! I think your choices of what to present in the blog make total sense. I am so sorry that you were attacked and please know that I, along with many others, love this blog for exactly what it is and don't want it to be something else!

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  28. I enjoy your blog and looked forward to your Golden Globes comments. Sorry that people were unpleasant!

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  29. I'm sorry you had to endure haranguing from people who took your critiques about the clothes as critique of the issue. Since I'm only an occasional reader, I too, missed the humorous undertone that you intended. While I agreed with many of your opinions about the dresses I thought it came across more negatively than you intended. But I certainly didn't think you were dissing the equality movement.

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  30. First comment ever, but just wanted to say I understood your intentions. The fault was in others' projections, not your communication.

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  31. Very well written and kudos to you. I missed your post yesterday and read it now and don't understand the backlash you received. Your intentions were clear and the approach to your blog has always been well understood. And PS I have been a feminist since the 1970s, have stood up against sexual harrassment in very difficult and personally risky ways, and am often the only woman in the room in a very strongly male-defined sector. I hope you will be able to let go of the negative remarks and go on with your terrific blog. I greatly admire your skills.

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    1. Eek...that is.. harassment! I am glad to see you are getting lots of support.

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  32. I enjoy reading your blog, and glanced at yesterday's post, too. I know a lot of people aren't into black dresses on the red carpet, but I found the Golden Globes thing pretty interesting because gowns in the same color were fun to see. All politics and social issues aside, too - I just thought it was easier to pick out the really great designs. Did you even like any of them, though? If so, I must've missed that.

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  33. Just read your Golden Globes post (and comments) and came here to give you some love.

    Your blog is your voice & thoughts and I respect that we are visiting YOUR space.

    I can't tell you how proud I was to see your strongly written response yesterday to the (mostly) Anonymous posts. Your grace and strength in your convictions - to not be shamed or silenced is exactly what I am proud to support!

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  34. Well said. It seems we live in a society you cannot say anything without someone being offended. Anyone who follows your blog knows you do not get sidetracked from the sewing venue you are so generously sharing with us. You are teaching us to become better at the art and craft of sewing. This is a blog for mature men and women and not a place for snowflakes to come and distract us with all their misery. I would not appreciate this blog adding cultural issues to sewing instruction. I follow many blogs that deal with politics and religion and I need a break from all the corruption that I am too aware of. We need balance and you bring that to my life. Thank you.

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  35. Well said. It seems we live in a society you cannot say anything without someone being offended. Anyone who follows your blog knows you do not get sidetracked from the sewing venue you are so generously sharing with us. You are teaching us to become better at the art and craft of sewing. This is a blog for mature men and women and not a place for snowflakes to come and distract us with all their misery. I would not appreciate this blog adding cultural issues to sewing instruction. I follow many blogs that deal with politics and religion and I need a break from all the corruption that I am too aware of. We need balance and you bring that to my life. Thank you.

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  36. I second every one of the supporting comments here. I have never commented on your blog before, but have been a reader for some time. I felt compelled to write today, as many others did, to share the love. Keep on keepin' on . . . .

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  37. Laura,
    So sorry you had to put up with all the negativity yesterday, but I think you handled each comment with grace & style. I could only imagine your heartbreak while reading those messages. Please know, you have many beside you who understood your motives. I love your blog, I admire your sewing skill set and expertise, and I always enjoy the critiques. Let’s leave the political agenda elsewhere people and let’s get sewing. It IS empowering!

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  38. Laura:
    I wholeheartedly agree with your comments today! It isn't "Lilacs & Politics" !! I love to read your comments on the Awards season gowns - I see the fashions in a whole new way!!

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  39. Honestly, you had an opportunity to lift other women up--which was the point of the blackout--and all you did was knock them down. You could've at least talked about which ones you liked, been positive, and you didn't. It's disappointing--sometimes you can't separate the politics of something, so if you didn't want to be political then you shouldn't have commented on them at all. Tradition or no. I'm not saying you can't or shouldn't express opinions, I'm just saying when you do, sometimes there's consequences--and people's ire towards your post is that consequence. Next time, maybe lift your fellow woman up.

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    1. If you read my post thoroughly, you would have noticed that I like something about every outfit I mentioned but one.

      And I would like to clarify that I am not talking about the women - I am talking about the gown, shoes, and hairstyles that someone else gave or put on most of these actors. I highly doubt more than 5% of the women that walk the red carpet are responsible for their ensembles; it's stylists and beauty squads and designers that dress these women. And perhaps this is why red carpet fashion so often looks out of place or "off" on a woman - too many different ideas from a bunch of random people that don't necessarily know the personality of the individual and are paid to slap clothes on their back. It's about getting designer duds on famous people. And that is one of the reasons it is fun to critique these looks and easy to separate the women from the dress. Actors rarely do more than choose from a few options that someone else has placed on a rack a few days or weeks before the awards.

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  40. I enjoyed yesterday's red carpet post and believe I understood the spirit with which it was intended.
    Your blog is a pleasure to follow - thanks for all that you share.

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  41. Hi Laura Mae,
    I enjoy reading your blog and I enjoyed the fashion blog. I did not view your comments as political. I was looking forward to see what creativity the designers applied to the black-only requirement. I appreciate that you posted the photos. Usually I have to surf the internet to find them because they are spread out in different places. You have a right to your opinion, as do we all. Nobody has a right to attack. Every year, the Golden Globes, Oscars and Emmies always seem to have some issue presented at the podium. A little humor to lighten up a tense situation goes a long way. That probably why a comedian moderates the program! The rest of the viewers are taking this way too seriously and should stop reading too much into commentaries, political or not. There are times in history when we are a nation in crisis. We should refrain from attacking each other.

    Keep up your good work on the blog and don't let the curmudgeons get you down!
    Mary_in_AZ

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  42. Hi, Laura Mae,

    You know, I don't always agree with your assessments of the red carpets, however, no one forces me to read it. You, like all bloggers, are entitled to your opinions. But I savor every word you write.

    I think there is a huge measure of irony that there were so many comments regarding your assessment of the Golden Globes, when the women whom you were discussing were also voicing their opinions, if only by their solidarity with black.

    I hope this won't keep you from writing. I, for one, always look forward to your posts.

    Chris

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  43. I look forward to all your posts. I like to read about structure you put in your clothes. Sometimes it's whats underneath the clothes that give them that fabulous look. I like your gown critiques. Keep on.

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  44. I don't always agree with you, but if we all thought the same, this world would be so dull and awful, I could not bear it.

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  45. I just wanted to add my support too Laura. I love your blog, your skill and passion for your craft, and eagerly devour each and every post, yesterday's being no exception.

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  46. Just like nearly all these posters I support you and hope you will continue blogging. Stay true to yourself.

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  47. I don't understand how a person reading the intro to your last post could think that you didn't understand why they all wore black. I thought that you are very clear that you were just not going to be discussing politics on this blog. It didn't even occur to me that it would be controversial. But it's your blog, for goodness' sake! You can discuss or not discuss whatever you want as far as I'm concerned. Personally I find it refreshing that you want to stick closely to your chosen subject matter.

    This response post is well written, but I'm sorry that clarifying these obvious truths became necessary!

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  48. Everything Tess just said!! It was clear to me what your intention was in your last post (to stay out of the political end of things and just focus on the fashion). I didn't agree with all of your assessment but I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for posting and more power to you!!

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  49. Please, please, please continue the politics-free blogging. It is so nice to have a place to go free from the constant political hysteria.

    Sue

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  50. I cannot believe the depth of intolerance. And that's where our collective problem lies. I'm also intrigued by the fact that many of your "critics" posted anonymously. Quit reading a blog if you don't like the material. (Sorry for the unintended pun.)

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  51. It's saddening that you have been so attacked in an arena in which you have opened up to us about one element of your life you're passionate about.
    Politics and depressing media stories are so integral a part of our lives now that it is a delight to find a place where those opinions were left behind and instead we were able to focus on our shared passions.

    I really enjoy reading your blog and marvelling at the time and energy you put into your creations. I hope this experience won't stop you from sharing your talent with us.

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  52. I often disagree with your taste, and I do think you are a harsh critic, but at no time did I think you were doing anything other than judging the clothes. This post was very much in line with your usual red carpet commentary, and you should continue to do your thing.

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