Beldaraan, I love what you had to say about this. I agree totally.
I've been knitting all my life, and I don't think I ever met a male knitter, until last year. Now, suddenly, I'm meeting them everywhere!
I think the face of knitting is changing quickly. It's great!
I know it can be shocking for some of us who are used to seeing only women knit, but once you realize that it's such a trend now, and really EVERYONE is doing it, it becomes less
shocking and more :D "Cool!, men are doing it too!" Not that it should
be shocking; but it can be. I do contra dancing here in New England, and one of the trends among some of the more daring men is to wear skirts to the dances! Like, real, long, flowery, flowing skirts. The first time I saw this, it was very shocking to me. Now I don't think anything of it, and I think it's great. I don't think knitting is as shocking, but for some people it can be! You can't really blame people for what they're used to seeing. All you can do is commend people for having the courage to not criticize it, and even to support it. Eventually these stereotypes change. Thank goodness! Imagine what it was like when women first started wearing pants! Or even working as professionals in the workplace, rather than being at home in the 50's. We don't think anything of these things now. They "shouldn't" have been shocking, but they were. This is how society grows.
If you suspect this might become an issue with your son at school, maybe you could ask the teacher to bring up the topic of gender roles, as a classroom subject. Kids love to be liberated from stereotypes. She could talk about women who are construction workers, etc. Then your son's knitting will be seen as heroic and cool, rather than weird because it's different. I think this is a great topic for a teacher to discuss, in any case! I think nowadays it's even more important for liberating the boys than for the girls. Not that it's not important for girls, too, but I think the women's movement and "girl power" have done a lot to liberate a girl's views of what she can do. I think that boys don't have as much of this support, and could really use more of this kind of encouragment and empowerment.
BTW, does anyone know of any kid's books that picture boys knitting? Might be good to donate to the classroom. ....Doesn't "Teen Knitting Club" have a boy on the cover, knitting with the girls? It would be great to find a book geared for younger kids. I've also heard that there was a poster made of cool snow-boarder guys knitting hats for themselves. That would be a great poster to have in a school, if you could track it down!
Long post here! Hope it was worth the read,