Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Yes, Etsy, please insult us and our customers.

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.

Fail.

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.)

72 Comments:

alienated boomer with money said...

I am offended, but have been offended frequently by these sorts of things on etsy-- including the non-exclusive hipster slant that Etsy pushes on their FP.
Who do they think has the $ to spend? Maybe the check that the hipsters get from their grandparents will get recycled into Etsy? I doubt it-- they are using to pay their rent.
Where do they get these ideas? And you can bet that a stereotype of a racial group wouldn't cross their minds. It's so insensitive, but more than that, it's ignorant.
Call me alienated.

alienated & too old for Etsy said...

That thread was closed with no real apology:
"
Vanessa says:
I am so sorry that I offended you. I didn't mean it like that. My use of the word "Hip" was more tongue-in-cheek. I meant my post to be playful. I was trying to poke fun at the admin for being into the hip stuff all the time. I'm so sorry it was taken the wrong way.
"

YOu are sorry it was taken the wrong way, Vanessa? You should have apologized for being insulting!!

teawithfrodo said...

my husband just said "the nipple teapot would be a good gift for grandpa"

And my in laws are hicks (in the true sense...and they wouldn't buy any of that crap)

whatever said...

My Grandma was a doctor, if the cookie jar was full granddaddy put them there.

whatever said...

sorry if that was not clear, I meant Grandma had no time for stinkin' cookies!

Disappointed said...

Wow. My mom (who is a grandmother to 5 children) would be horribly insulted by those articles. My mother works full time, dresses fashionably, and definitely doesn't bake. Even my grandparents (who are no longer with us) did not fit those stereotypes when they were in their 70's and 80's.

forum rubbernecker said...

SNICKER. My grandparents were well traveled writers who lived in NYC. They were a little more cosmopolitan than the Etsy hipster view of old folks. My aunts and uncles are now the age of what the Etsyhip crowd considers "Grandma" and "Grandpa" age, and there are no rocking chairs and quilts. These "old folks" write, compose music, play in jazz bands, and bike across Europe. In a few more years, I will be ready for my rocking chair, having been put out to pasture covered in a handmade quilt by the Etsyhip™ ageism police. So, if there are guides for the hip folks and guides for the old folks, what about us folks in between, who are fashionable-but-not-hip and not yet ready for the rocking chair? I would venture to guess there are a lot more in betweens! Gift Guide FAIL.

The Disgruntled One said...

That's the thing -- those stereotypes don't actually exist.

There's nothing wrong with a grandma who bakes (I had one, she was a great baker, but she also drank like a fish) or a grandpa who whittles. But slapping a label on people and not seeing them as the whole people they are is absurd and, as you point out ABWM, ignorant.

I just hate the cheesy sentimentality of it. It's intellectually and emotionally lazy. I despise it, truly.

Unfortunately Etsy doesn't seem capable of anything deeper or more rigorous.

shannon said...

Heh, I'm sure a stereotype of a racial group would cross their mind*

*I am obligated to reply this way to all such statements until people stop making them.

My grandma is a cuss word using, church going neighborhood activist ;_; I don't think she'd like any of the stuff they put in there.

Art of the Firebird said...

I'm married to a grandpa of four (the oldest is thirteen), who is getting two pairs of nunchucks for Christmas because he just passed his black belt test in Tae Kwon Do on Saturday. Perhaps we should send him over to Etsy Headquarters to show them what grandpas are REALLY like?

fenrislorsrai said...

My parents are both 68. Mom is the gamer of the family. She's the one with the Playstation who plays DDR. She also listens to Sisters of Mercy.

Dad's still working... as a camp ranger. So he's out doing crazy physical stuff all the time. None of it involves fishing. about only thing he might use is the knife. Of course he'd probably spray paint it hot pink to go with all his other tools. He kept losing them in the woods, so painted them all neon pink.

I'm a little sketchy on highlighting two smoking items. You want grandpa to stick around, not drop dead.

I did my own guide over on my blog: http://fenris-lorsrai.livejournal.com/411081.html

Which I partially based on stuff I got for my own parents and things I got my own grandmother when she was in her nineties. (and had to deal with restrictions of a nursing home)

Glassgrrl Studios said...

That crocheted grandma looks like Harvey Krumpet.

eclipse said...

Gawd these articles are so ridiculous, some people of grandparent age right now were baby boomers and hippies! They are more likely to identify with those Dennis Hopper TV commercials for Ameriprise. 60 is the new 40, hasn't Etsy heard?
These stereotypes were obsolete and stupid 20 years ago, they are just plain fake now.

organidog said...

My paternal grandmother, God rest her soul, would have been one of Etsy's customers. She loved to buy beads. Fuck, she may have even considered setting up a shop for her screenprinted goods from the biz she and my late grandfather owned.

"Jesteś żałosna." English translation, "You're pathetic". That's what she would have said about this.

Heather - CROQZine.com said...

Ha haha ha! I laughed at the "halitosis & scotch" line.

Great article!

Ericka Bailie-Byrne said...

Jesus. My rather cool grandparents might have enjoyed some of those things in their twilight years, but they're long dead & my parents, who are grandparents themselves now, would ask me what the fuck I was thinking if they received any of these gifts from me.

And none of them ever or has ever had candy in their pockets.

Rana said...

What's particularly bothersome about those articles - and it took me a moment to put a finger on it - is that the copy reads as if what's for sale are the nostalgic stereotypical grandparents!

Instead of talking about the featured items, and how your grandparents might like them, the articles talk about the stereotypes - and talk about them as if they were real and available on Etsy.

The opening items - Grandpa in his rocker and a bespectacled Granny - only reinforce this idea. The articles are about selling the IDEA of stereotypical grandparents, rather than offering practical and creative suggestions for what to buy for actual live grandparents.

That the stereotypes are inaccurate is less disturbing to me than this confusion between gift and recipient.

comedyoferrors said...

IMO, the point isn't so much whether the ridiculous stereotype is accurate, but that the way Etsy presents it is condescending and rude. How about respecting people for who they are, not patronizing them?

Yet another stellar example of these people's inability to think about or understand people who aren't just like them.

There's a way to talk about the love and comfort that grandparents can provide without making them seem like doddering old fools.

Oh, and someone has edited Vanessa's cookie jar sentence, but it's still not correct. Is there anyone at the Storque who actually proofreads the articles? Ever?

jodie nicholson said...

My mum is 62 and she wants an iPod for Christmas.
If I told her the Etsy definition of grandparent, she would gag.

And believe me, the woman is not hip or cool....but she's also not living in the fricken 1920's.

The Funny One said...

This is surprising from Etsy with their new "human" touch photos at the top of the front page???

(You know, the same white, 25-something, sundressed, gazing with hope, probably girlfriend of an Etsy Admin in that new boxed feature?)

No, not the one with the 2 white suitcases! Remember, this is a site for HANDMADE!!!

I'm not as worried about ageism on Etsy as I am about what Etsy's DONE to handmade--------boxed it into a site for Etsy-condoned products with Etsy-like prices ($15 and under) pushed by Etsy Admin until the entire planet is walking around up to their eyeballs in cowls tucked into indie shape by fingerless gloves holding a nifty ($13.95! wow!) snap purse.........

Etsy is now THE place for just a couple of products made by a hell of a lot of sellers, sold for $15 and under, and promoted every hour on the hour by Etsy.

In 2009 - the handmade community should start making a huge stink about Etsy and their tradmarked "all things handmade" because they marginalized handmade into a cute little formula that has NOT been positive for the handmade community.

Even 25 year olds run out of pocket change to spend on Etsy.

KPP said...

Okay, given the tone of the article...did they even look at the teapot that they posted? Or is that some sort of bizarro joke?

Eveline said...

It's so pathetic! As one of the people who replied said, does Etsy not realize that today's grandparents were the hippies in the 60's and they still listen to rock music?

My sweetie's mum was one of Pan's People, the dance group of Top of the Pops in the early 70's. She would still get on stage if they would let her... If I'd buy her a rocking chair and a cowl she'd never want to talk to me ever again!

confused said...

This article made me laugh! The only thing my grandma had in common with Etsy's definition of grandparents, is the fact that she was my grandma. Other than that, my grandma was nothing like their definition.

Yes, my grandma loved to cook and bake, but if you got in her way, she would loudly tell you "Get the Fuck out of my kitchen while I am cooking" while smoking her cigerette and yelling at her husband. Man, I miss that woman! She would laugh at Etsy's narrow minded definition!

SewCrazyDogLady said...

ahem.. my Grandmother was a chain smoking booze guzzling business owner who never baked a cookie in her life. She taught me how to mix a drink by the time I was 8. She held her own with every guy who worked for her. No rockers for her! I loved and respected her in more ways that one can count.

My partner's grandmother ran a "business" in Chicago... running booze for Al Capone. She flew around the world twice and believed that cookies should be bought.

Take that Etsy...

Laughing all the way said...

OH! this post made me laugh. Sadly, it just illustrates the disconnect between Etsy and the rest of the world. Is this what the Storque writers think Grandmas and Grandpas are like outside of the insulated bubble that is Brooklyn?

I'll tell my 68 year old, white water rafting mother that she needs to keep that coolie jar full and get her ass back in that rocker!

another boomer with money said...

What? What? I go away for a few days & they start this blather again?

Incredibly stupid, insensitive, unprofessional... & so very typical. I'm not putting another penney in their trendy, immature pockets. Not as a seller & not as a buyer.

Off to pay my Etsy bills & that will be that. My shops are already closed. I'm going to pump my dollars back into my local economy, where it should have been all along.

Bye-bye, Etsy. You young'uns behave now, ya hear?

Heather said...

Um, did anyone notice the pendant in the grandpa article? I suppose TA's grandpa was a pipe smoking, brut smelling cross dresser...not that there's anything wrong with that.

The Disgruntled One said...

I loved the comment on the site from the 29 year old who wasn't offended at all.

That's like a white person not being offended by someone being condescending to another race.

Fail.

Old and most decidedly UN-hip said...

My favorite part of all of this hot mess? The seller who was totally apologetic and embarrassed about one of her items being selected for that wacky grandma feature. Ouch.

life-during-wartime said...

Has anyone considered the possibility that the (mistaken) view that grandparent = conservative old fart/ess is some of Maria's influence? I mean, some of Etsy's early adopters/sellers were boomers, and these people would never have joined Etsy if this was how the community stereotyped their (okay, our -- I'm that age) demographic.

The reason I thought immediately of Maria is the huge mistake in understanding the female boomer demographic. 25% of women in my age group with college degrees never ever ever had a baby. And we (might) shop on Etsy, and not just for gifts for our friends and family members observing reproductive milestones we never passed....cf Maria's Etsy purchases and Dorque articles about same.

We are adventurous, dammit, and we are cool. We make handmade, we love handmade, we buy handmade.

Oh, and wasn't high-end commercial handmade lace-making traditionally done by girls and very young women because of the keen eyesight needed to do it?

buddy said...

Most grandparents are not only more hip than the Admins, most are also better businesspeople.

My grandmother would know better than to put Reserved Item listings in a promotional feature.

Why do admin keep putting Reserved items in the Dorque features and on the FP?

Even grannies know it's stupid to advertise items that are already sold. Advertise the listings that are for sale to the public, Vanessa.

thinktwice said...

... and of course they went searching high and low for these gift ideas. Oh wait, actually I've seen most of them before... in the gift guides. Admin must not be able to figure out how to use the search function either!

Etsy... get a clue... said...

This is just one more FAIL for Etsy. So glad I'm pretty much closing my shop and using my announcement to send people elsewhere. I can't believe they even posted this article, it's so off the mark, I don't even know where it is.

For the record, Etsy... my Mom, who is almost 64 has more sense and hipness in her little pinky, than you do if you combine everyone in the entire company... here is an overview of her (and most of her friends are like this too):

- traveling all over the world, one big trip at least once a year, if not twice.
- finding new clothes, home decor, etc. that are fun and new... and let me tell you, a rocking chair is not on the f'ing list!
- She has a Doctorate degree, was one of the first woman to do what she did in her field at a large company, and she can hold her own against anyone you throw at her.
- She is not sucking on a hard candy, rocking in a chair and whitlin'. Shit, women (and men) haven't been doing this for ages... get with the program Etsy... everyone else seems to understand that the boomer population is not sitting around waiting to die by making an afghan.

I'd love to see the meetings that bring this kind of crap reporting to the Etsy community. While I wouldn't classify it as age discrimination, I will say it's thoughts like this that lead to people being discriminated against based solely on age.

Dumb fucks! I'm so over people in their 20's (I'm in my 30's BTW) thinking that those that are 30 years older than them can't do what they do. My Mom and many people I know in her age group can work circles around most of you... I wish some of them would come to work for you and get rid of all of the dead wood around there. I think they could at least figure out when there is a product displayed twice on the front page.

*ugh* Etsy... we're through.

BTW, has anyone else noticed that traffic has slowed way down on Etsy, and in the forums? Coincidence?

BigTex said...

This 55 year old grandma of four is headed to the liquor store because eight of my granny friends are headed over tomorrow for margaritas and cosmopolitans. Then its out to dinner and a movie. We are wearing our jeans and sweatshirts (all with a real trendy smartass saying on them) and than pulling an all nighter at the house after the movie. Part of the agenda was to do some etsy shopping for our selfish little selves.. but I don't know now, because I can't seem to get too excited about what is being suggested for me to buy. However, one of my granny friends already has a nipple ring hearted so I'm sure there isn't any stopping her.

forum rubbernecker said...

Grandma got run over by some hipsters
While trying to do some shopping Christmas Eve
All their gloves were fingerless
And in temps of 20, I believe

She'd been been shopping for some fun stuff
And they begged her not to buy
But she said " I'm still alive"
And poked her manicured finger in their eye

When we found her Christmas morning
At the scene of the attack
She'd been forced into a rocker
With a quilted pillow at her back

Grandma got run over by some hipsters
While trying to do some shopping Christmas Eve
All their gloves were fingerless
And in temps of 20, I believe

Now we're all so proud of grandpa
He ain't taking it too well
He's gonna tell those hipsters
To eff off and go to .....

It's not Christmas without rockers
For the old folks you know
And we can't help but wonder
Will the hipsters eat their crow?

Grandma got run over by some hipsters
While trying to do some shopping Christmas Eve
All their gloves were fingerless
And in temps of 20, I believe

Top Shelf Totes said...

I just posted a comment on the Etsy article. Thought I'd at least share the HuffPo article I referenced, as this shows you how Grandmothers really are these days... oh, imagine that... they aren't a stereotype.

"No previous generation of grandmothers has contained such a high percentage of women who either worked while raising their kids or returned to work when they had grown up. As a result, many of today's grandmothers are women at the very top of their careers, more likely to be locked in a boardroom or speaking at an international conference than gardening or watching TV."

http://tinyurl.com/2nyukf

KPP said...

Have you seen the update? TeenAngster amended the Grandpa article to comment that the description applies to her grandpa: "What would we do without your wisdom, candy filled pockets and subtle aroma of pipe smoke and Brut? (My grandpa, at least!)" and she also added a comment as such: "This is but one idea of what a grandfather would like. In my case, I went with what I knew - as my grandpa would've loved anything on this list! He was a pipe smoking, fishing, Wheel of Fortune loving, candy carrying, Brut wearing kind of guy. I realize not all grandfathers are! This was simply intended to give some ideas. Leave your ideas in the comments!"

Gimme a break Etsy said...

52 here and let me tell you, there is no way a woman with hot flashes wants to wear a cowl.

Etsy admin are so out of it. A lot of todays grandmas & grandpas attended Woodstock! Give me a break Etsy!
(pipe tobacco & butterscotch? sounds like someone watched the remake of Parent Trap recently)

The Funny One said...

Right On, thinktwice!

I just figured it out, being a little slow after 6 weeks of 20-hour-days (as a struggling small business, dear Etsy).

Those silly Admins keep picking the same products all day long because their humungous Neck Cowls go over their eyeballs, and the fluffy stuff hanging from their fingerless gloves keep getting stuck in the keyboard.

Hey Etsy! Is that really tacky look on the Front Page actually INTENTIONAL???????

Ah, fucking with sellers again, you little devils.

KPP said...

Ah. Vanessa has modified her's as well with personalized grandma comments. Vanessa's is longer so I won't paste the text. Good thing EB pasted the original.

put that in your pipe and smoke it said...

My father in law just became a grandpa and the only pipe he's got is for smoking "medicinal" stuff, if you know what I mean. He'd smack me upside the head if I tried to give him anything that they're suggesting.

Donnalda Does Art said...

I am going to be a great grandma and I am an old hippie. What are they talking about? My grandparents are long gone, this sounds more like them not me. Do the writers of the Storque articles do any research before they write? Does anyone edit their articles? I don't even read them anymore because they are always ludicrous.

Michele said...

Okay...I read the article. It's lame. I am the mother of a preschooler and a kindergartner..and I'm 42, so in 3 years, with 2 active elementary school children, I'll be considered old and feeble minded. Okay. Whatever.

Now, onto the grandfather with candy in his pocket..first thing that came to my mind...pedophile! We've all taught our kids NEVER to accept candy from strangers.....

Lori Anderson Designs said...

They should have just said, "Here are some great gift ideas for your family" and left it at that.

The Dangerous Mezzo said...

I'm so glad to read these comments and know I'm not alone.

Interesting that both of the authors significantly changed their articles after EB posted this, eh? :)

And "Forum rubbernecker?"

I just can't stop singing "Grandma got run over by some hipsters". That's brilliant! I really, really, really want to go and start a thread on the Fora and quote that :)

kibbles said...

What the hell is THAT all about? I'm 50, look 30, but I guess I'm old. Oh...and my hot friends that are grandparents? Well, let's just say they won't be shopping on Etsy any time soon.

Ironic, as Etsy frequently uses these words to lock forum threads,"Please be respectful to other members of the Etsy community."

Amazing. Absofuckinglutely amazing.

Disappointed said...

Does anyone ever notice how many exclamation points are used by etsy admin? Every sentence that doesn't end in a question mark ends in an exclamation mark! Sometimes, they end with more than one!! I don't know about everyone else, but that gives me a headache! It is like having someone shout in your ear!

Nancy said...

Wow, I see I'm going to have to read this blog more! I guess I'm considered old, possibly a 'grandma' -- but I listen to NIN so somehow I feel like I'm lost, not sure what I am now, thanks Etsy admin.

Julie said...

Y'know, we watched the original "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" with our kids, and they were *horrified* that he got his grandpa some pipe tobacco. "We love our grandpa!" they exclaimed, "why would you get your grandpa something so unhealthy!"

We, of course had to explain about changing times and such.

Why does it not surprise me that my children seem to have more common sense than the Dorque writers?

The Dangerous Mezzo said...

You're absolutely right, Julie -- it IS common sense that the Storque "editors" lack.

They also seem so self-involved that they don't have a clue exactly how offensive they're being (or why anyone would take offense in the first place).

Adore said...

Both of my grandmothers have passed away but I still hang out with my friend and his grandmother and I AM the one that brings her baked bread and knitted goods. In fact, she calls me the old hag. After that, we sit around and play poker while she tells me dirty stories that would make a whore blush and curses up a storm. I love that woman and she is nothing like the etsy stereotype. In fact, I would say that she is far more "hip" than anyone working in Etsy. Oh, and she wouldn't be caught dead in a cowl.

JustaJewelryDesigner said...

I also am 52 look 30 act well younger~not spending one more (or two) thin dimes at etsy...I'm really done~

Not surprised at the Dorque article after the debacle of earlier in the year post about older mid west crafters..GAH!!

Done said...

My grandparents are dead.
I'm 41, therefore I must be ancient as well, and not a brokeass hipster wearing fucking fingerless gloves like Oliver Twist.

I will SO never forget Teenangster's mass murderer faux pas. What a moronic ass.

forum rubbernecker said...

And "Forum rubbernecker?"

I just can't stop singing "Grandma got run over by some hipsters". That's brilliant! I really, really, really want to go and start a thread on the Fora and quote that :)
________
Thank you thank you very much (said in an Elvis voice)
LOL

typical etsy ignorance said...

Do the kids in Brooklyn realize that some of the Grandmas & Grandpappies they are stereotyping actually worked to create the internet?

Think of that kiddos---you weren't even born yet when some of these old folks were paving the way and creating the tech that you use today.

Grace said...

My grandma just turned 91, and she DESPISES anything handmade, especially if it's recycled or upcycled. To her it just reeks of poverty, desperation and hunger.

Her concept of happiness is shopping at Sax Fifth Avenue, eating in 5 star restaurants and living in a penthouse apartment in a fashionable neighborhood. She only wears designer clothing and fine jewelry, and wouldn't be caught dead in anything synthetic or costume. To her, store bought means the comfort and security of affluence.

I guess that's what happens you survive the Holocaust and escape Poland.

The Dangerous Mezzo said...

I just wanted to post the last comment on The Stroque here, because I think it's brilliant:

"I don't even know what to say. The ageism in our society is so prevalent that it has become invisible to all but those of us who are often its victims. Vanessa, I am deeply offended by stereotypes in this article...and I got to see your article before you edited it. You were writing about grandmothers in general, not your grandmother.

I am 62. I don't know any cute little old ladies who wear dusters. I don't know any women from lets say 40 to 79 who has a curly white perms that gets done once a week.

What else can I say about us? Most of us have worked our entire lives. In fact, many of us had mothers who worked. We are well educated and creative. We are involved in the world, we are political, we care about the environment, we care about human rights. Most of us are ribald, opinionated, and well read. We've had lots of adventures and have made lots of decisions, some good and some bad.

Most of us have raised families and were pioneers in one endeavor after another. We grew up in an unequal society and faced hardships because of racism and sexism that you know nothing about.

Some of us face health issues now, which may be a pain. A lot of us are feeling a real financial pinch. But most of us take an interest in everything and even, although you may find this impossible to believe, cultivate friendships with younger people.

Ask any woman my age how old she feels inside, and you will probably hear,"I feel no different inside than when I was a young woman."

My suggestion would be to get to really know lots of older women on an intimate friendship basis before you write about us again."

Erin, maker of chimes said...

forum rubbernecker you are brillant!

Morrigan said...

"52 here and let me tell you, there is no way a woman with hot flashes wants to wear a cowl."


A.M.E.N.

Hot flashes are evil.

WyomingK said...

I don't even know where to begin about these articles - they were extremely offensive before they were edited. I am glad Vanessa changed them to first person - it makes them a lot easier to take - but they should have been written that way in the first place!

I'm old enough to be a grandmother myself but I chose not to have children - thus apparently don't exist in any marketing category designated by Etsy. I AM a great-aunt, however, so I can only imagine what Etsy would suggest as appropriate gifts for me...

alienated aging hipster said...

The Grandma article is gone.

To Catch A Predator - Chris Hanson said...

He'll be sure to reciprocate with plenty of butterscotch candies and piggyback rides!"

_______________

After he molests your cousins.

WTF?!?!?!

Sir, you are under arrest. For being creepy.

Damn Etsy! said...

Both grandma and grandpa articles are still up. Just commented on the Grandma article. I love picklevalentine's comment.

Etsy, get a clue.

Merrill said...

My mother (my kid's granny) is http://silksiren.etsy.com. Her kitchen is lime green. She wears silver sequined ballet flats. Granddad loves Bob Marley and Carlos Santana. They are both well-respected artists and would cringe at that stereotype. I did buy their Xmas gifts off etsy too.

Too Old for Etsy? said...

So much for Artists and Collectors as professionals with years of experience under their belts.

Megan said...

Although my papa DID smell like cigar smoke and my grandpa carried Werther's Originals on him, I don't think they'd have liked anything in the GG. My grandpa owned a nursery (plants, not babies, lol) and my papa built things in his shop.

My grandmas don't bake. One grandma doesn't cook at all. The other one does but she never had a cookie jar full or anything like that.

I find the GG in general to be sucky. I looked in them for gifts for my mom and MIL...I didn't find a single thing they'd wear or use. Same when I was looking for my husband and his cousin. I looked in 2 or 3 different categories for all of them and nada.

damnthatishuge said...

If I bought my grandmother this cowl http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=fp_feat_9&listing_id=18481702

I think she would a)fall over from the weight of it after I explained to her what the hell if was and b) never speak to me again for buying something so damn ugly.

are-they-serious said...

WTF was she smoking?

AbbieRoad said...

pipe smoke and Brut, hmm, and is the best part of waking up Folgers in their cup? It sounds like something from a 1980's Folgers commercial.

I'd like to see a gift guide be more specific, like, one for my old Irish grandpa. They could fill the gift guide with things like, whiskey & cigarette scented soaps, ice packs (for bruised knuckles, of course) and flasks, and maybe some four leaf clover paraphernalia for good measure, so they can pigeon hole the demographics correctly.

snaggletooth said...

What fucking idiots.

First I'd venture to say that most of the sales on Etsy are TO us older people- you know, those with actual money to spend.

How condescending, rude, and completely unprofessional.

Oh, I see where it's going. Etsy is trying to make crafting a "hipster" thing, so chooses to offend older people to get rid of us.

Dumb. BAD PR.

2more cents said...

Bottom line, etsy has people on staff who are ill-qualified for the jobs they've been given.

Sure the blog content is pathetically amateur, but so is the writing style.

The majority of the storque articles are poorly written, hardly researched, often trite and all-around lame.

Hey etsy---- get some employees with some real creative writing or journalism experience. Because you're trying to stick square pegs into round holes and it's not working.
In fact, it's failing miserably.




(let the jokes begin about shoving things in holes)

openeyed said...

that tea pot is creepy.