* Editor’s note: Stop covering politics, some of our dear readers cry every time we post something relephant. Look: politics are life. Equal rights, empathy, fair economy, healthcare. We can’t ignore what’s happening, and you shouldn’t either.
Franklin, Tennessee, is a wonderful place to live.
We have great schools, lots of parks, bike lanes, great shopping and nice places to eat. I’ve enjoyed living in this quiet city for six years.
Franklin has many local, independently owned and operated businesses. I go out of my way whenever possible to choose local over big chain stores. There is, however, one local business I cannot support.
On Tuesday, Elizabeth Poe, owner of The Joy of Knitting in Franklin made this statement on social media.
“With the recent women’s march on Washington, I ask that you if you want yarn for any project for the women’s movement that you please shop for yarn elsewhere. The vulgarity, vile and evilness of this movement is absolutely despicable. That kind of behavior is unacceptable and is not welcome at The Joy of Knitting. I will never need that kind of business to remain open. Two wrongs will never ever make it right. As the owner of this business and a Christian, I have a duty to my customers and my community to promote values of mutual respect, love, compassion, understanding and integrity. The women’s movement is counterproductive to unity of family, friends, community and nation. I do pray for these women. May God work out his love in their hearts and continue to heal and unite Americans.”
Apparently, Mrs. Poe was offended by the pink pussy hats women made to wear at the many women’s marches around the country. Perhaps she misunderstood that they are supposed to look like little cat ears—not giant vulvas.
Perhaps Mrs. Poe has forgotten that just a couple of generations ago she wouldn’t have enjoyed the privilege of owning a business. This opportunity was given to her by the women who marched before us.
Her statement is quite reminiscent of the many businesses who said they would refuse services to gay couples who were planning weddings after the supreme court decision to make gay marriage legal. I was horrified to see local businesses, right here in my city, refusing to bake cakes or arrange flowers for gay couples celebrating their union—finally having the right to have their partnership honored by the state of Tennessee.
I am not a native Bible Belt dweller. As a Midwestern transplant, I still cannot fully comprehend the culture. I don’t understand what being a “Christian” (a term I use loosely, as it means different things to different people) has to do with disapproving of the women’s movement. I don’t understand why people use Christianity as an excuse to judge others, or why they feel it’s appropriate to discriminate under the guise of their religion.
I certainly don’t understand why any intelligent, female business owner wouldn’t want to support other women.
My best guess is that Poe is a Trump supporter. She is choosing to support Trump by disapproving of the women who are standing up against him, and everything he stands for. She is choosing misogyny over equal rights in the name of her God. This is something I will never understand.
The Joy of Knitting is a business I drive by every day. Before, it was just a little yarn store. Now, it’s an embarrassing symbol of the culture where I live. It’s the red dot on the map of my street that I wish I could erase. It’s a daily reminder that somehow Trump has fooled even some successful business women into supporting him.
Author: Renee Debeau
Image: video still
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock