I'd like to thank an Auxiliary Member who pointed us in the direction of two jaw-dropping Storque "articles" on gift ideas: "Goodies for Grandma" and "To Grandpa with Love"
Okay, folks, so we've got underemployed hipsters at Etsy writing about people over 45. Right away, you just know it's gonna be good.
Where shall I start? First of all, you'd think Etsy would be a teensy bit more sensitive about stereotyping older people on the site, after the Forum thread this June in which Storque Suprema Vanessa asked us to find some old people in the Midwest who wanted to be interviewed about quiltin' and whittlin'.
Here's the thing. We really want to represent the older demographic of Etsy sellers. We are not looking for the hip, the indie, or the alt craftster seller for this one (though we love you guys, you know we do)! We are looking for the classic, traditional, old school crafter. We are dreaming of a charming, little old lady who has been quilting for 60 years! Or a blacksmith or a furniture maker whose techniques have been passed down through the ages! Lacemaking, whittling, miniatures (and there are so many more examples...) If this is you or have noticed a shop like this on Etsy, (or your grandma or grampa or uncle that you've been dying to get on Etsy, now is the moment) and you're in the area, this is your moment to shine!But then Etsy's Admin have become parodies of themselves, so learning from previous experiences is just not in the cards. Someone (I suspect that it was Vanessa) thought that these two articles were just the thing to help them reach out to an "older demographic" at this festive season of goodwill.
First up is Vanessa herself, clearly none the wiser after her experience this summer, writing (somewhat unintelligibly) about Grandmothers:
Grandmothers know how to welcome kids into their homes for the holidays. They [sic] always filled cookie jar! There's a child-size rocking chair for the older sister and her doll, while grandma rocks the new baby in hers. Many of our grandmothers were the ones to teach us how to make things — and so these ladies appreciate a well-crafted item as a holiday gift.Featured items include rocking chairs, a vintage handbag, birdhouses, a quilt, owl shaped soap (wearing a scarf no less), a teapot (with "lifecast nipples" on the lid and as the feet), a jar shaped like a cupcake, a Victorian love note (How freaking old do they think our grandmas are?) and, of course, the obligatory cowl. Yes, folks, they included a cowl.
Then we have TeenAngster (the fount of wit and wisdom who gave us style picks inspired by mass murderers), waxing rhapsodical about grandfathers:
Oh, dear grandpas! What would we do without your wisdom, candy filled pockets and subtle aroma of pipe smoke and Brut? This holiday season, give Grandpa a finely crafted gift that suits his hobbies and interests. He'll be sure to reciprocate with plenty of butterscotch candies and piggyback rides!"
Stylish picks include glasses cases, mugs, pipeholders, fishing themed knickknacks, a ship in a bottle and a walking stick.
What fucking planet are these Storquians from? It's like something out of "Little House on the Prairie" or "Anne of Green Gables". " The always filled cookie jar!" "Subtle aroma of pipe smoke and Brut?" What's with the insane stereotypes? (My grandad, by the way, smelt of scotch and halitosis, and it wasn't at all subtle). The only way Etsy Admin seem able to approach people different from themselves is by labeling and stereotyping, and it would be funny if it wasn't so damned sad. And insulting.
Not everyone is taking the articles lying down. There are some great comments on the Grandmas article from members of the WWWG Team (Wild, Wise, Witty Grandmamas) pointing out that many grandmothers would prefer something more young and trendy (as well as the cowl-knitter taking umbrage with her piece being labeled "for grannies"., and some people just noting that ageism seems always fashionable at Etsy.) There's also one commenter on the Grandpas article pointing out drily that her grandfather listens to heavy metal.
Etsy, please remember that behind every apple-cheeked cookie-baking Grandma and grizzled, cardigan-wearing, Brut-bedabbed Grandpa there's a real human being who would probably like, more than anything this Christmas, a little respect for his or her individuality. Or they'll kick your asses.
(Oh and that nippley teapot? Brooklyn seller. Of course.)