Sewist?? I don’t think so!! – NSM 9-24-15

Cross Stitching AreaWhile trying to figure out what I wanted to post on my blog each day for National Sewing Month I would occasionally run across people calling themselves ‘sewists’. What?! I determined that this wasn’t just some individual who hadn’t paid attention in English class as there were numerous people using this term.

Sewist? Really? When I see somebody using that term I automatically assume that they talk with a Valley accent, type as if they are texting all the time (OMG!) and they always had to try to find ways to fit in with the cool kids. “Maybe if I use a term that sounds cooler than ‘seamstress’ or ‘sewer’ then people won’t think that I’m a nerd for enjoying time spent with a needle and thread!”

Have you run across this term? How do you feel about it?

Again, my first impression was that it was another one of those stupid politically correct terms that are coming into fashion so that everything is gender neutral and you can’t offend anybody. Well, it failed big time because I’m offended! Sewist?! Seriously? If we have to make everything gender neutral then we have to stop calling the people who write books or articles, “authors” due to the fact that the end of the word sounds like ‘her’. Instead we should start calling them ‘writists’ or perhaps ‘wordists’.

I went looking to see how this word came about and I quickly found that I’m not the only one who has an issue with this term. Back in 2010 Ardeana Hamlin wrote a piece called, “Don’t call me a ‘sewist’.” In it she says the same things, essentially, that I just did in regards to my feelings on this ridiculous word. I realize that the English language is constantly changing and evolving, but there are many words added to Webster’s dictionary each year that I don’t agree with or even think belong in that book. Ms. Hamlin went to the Word Spy website to find the origins of the word, which basically shows that it’s a recent phenomenon, with one exception. The entry reads as follows:

“…or a sempstress as a ‘sewist’, or a conchologist as a ‘shellist’. All these words may come into use among ‘progressivists’, but are equally abominable with ‘scientists’.
—“Annals of science, Volume 18,” British Society for the History of Science, January 1, 1964″

Then I came across another article on Threads magazine website that asks for readers comments regarding which term they prefer, sewer or sewist. The meat of this is actually in the comments section. Instantly I realized that the majority of the women who like the term ‘sewist’ would also probably identify themselves as feminists. They are the word warriors who have fought and bled over changing words like stewardess to flight attendant or waitress to server.

Kerry 9-5-10Perhaps I shouldn’t be allowed to comment on this topic. I know for sure that the Feminists would tell me to keep my mouth shut because I’m tossing aside all of the hard work that women have done to earn their rights over the last 100 years. I suppose that if it makes them feel better to refer to themselves as ‘sewists’ than ‘sewers’ or ‘seamstresses’, then whatever. As a conservative woman I don’t feel the need to change words to fit an agenda or make headway in a movement. I also don’t feel that a word diminishes the work that I do as a stitcher or a sewer. If you want to refer to yourself as a ‘sewist’, then more power to you. However, I will continue to refer to you as a ‘sewer’. I refuse to fall into the trap of bowing to your progressive agenda.

I apologize for the ‘political’ side of this post. I promise that I will not do another politically charged post for National Sewing Month. I just had to get this one off my chest!

This entry was posted in National Sewing Month, Sewing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Sewist?? I don’t think so!! – NSM 9-24-15

  1. Pedro Lugo says:

    I agree. Enough with making up words! I’m a man and I also sew. If you want to call me a tailor, that’s fine because I do tailoring. There are also women tailors and you don’t hear THEM complaining. My tailoring teacher, also a man, was a dressmaker. Wasn’t offended at all when called a dressmaker because the man also made stunning evening dresses. I’ll take “sewer” but DEFINITELY NOT “sewist”. I’m a retired ENGLISH teacher and I hated when my students would make up words and quote them as doctrine. Oh, goodness! Did I say TEACHER? I meant instructor. “Teacher” sounds so girly.

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