Where shit tea, tray bake and exposure collide!
Lyndsey aka Countess Ablaze joins me this week for a chat about issues facing us crafters and business owners. A recent recipient of an offer of ‘exposure’ as payment, along with some fairly misogynistic stereotyping of her customer base, The Countess decided to take a stand against this (and raise some actual money for charity in her own, imitable way) by creating some new colour ways.
Exposure is the new currency!
In this episode we discuss the thorny issue of ‘exposure’ as a payment for our craft, time and expertise.
Is it ever acceptable?
Where does the balance lie when offering this as an exchange of value? Why does it seem to be so rife amongst the creative industries and is it a peculiarly female thing? There are definitely differing elements to this idea of exposure as an exchange of value. In some circumstances, where it is a mutually agreed thing, everyone stands to gain and everyone puts in the required work, it can be a win-win for everyone. The problem comes when it is used as a bargaining chip when you want someone to do something for free. You don’t value their contribution and therefore the idea of paying them doesn’t even cross your mind.
Next up is misogyny as an everyday blight. Lyndsey shares some examples of when she has encountered this working in her business. This includes the entirely false notion that her husband bankrolls her little craft hobby business. Spoiler: he doesn’t.
Everyday sexism and the Thermidor effect
We discuss the idea of everyday sexism and the pervasive nature of little things that alone, seem inconsequential, but together, have this cumulative effect that makes you question what you actually think and know. I liken this to the Thermidor effect. Like a lobster that starts in cold water, those little, incremental temperature changes mean that the lobster never knows it is getting cooked alive, as it’s always just a little bit hotter than a moment ago. Little snide comments, off the cuff remarks become bigger and more offensive because it is only a bit more sexist than the last one, as we’ve all become so conditioned to hearing it.
We briefly cover the deeply offensive idea that anyone in the North would drink sh*t tea. This is the thing that offended me most about the whole saga, I don’t mind saying.
Charity as an afterthought
Finally, we discuss the use of charity causes to excuse bad behaviour, and as a tag on excuse for self-serving events or initiatives, rather than having them as a focus.
We wrap up with her reply and salute to this – two new colour ways called Sh*t Tea and Tray Bake and If I Want Exposure I’ll Get My T*ts Out – with £3 from the sale of each skein being donated to Womens Aid.
If you would like to preorder either of these, you can do so at Countess Ablaze. If you are on a yarn diet, or these colours aren’t your thing, then please consider making a donation to either Womens Aid or a charity of your choice that supports women’s issues.