Archive for April 29th, 2010

spider webs

April 29th, 2010

Does anyone know the origin of spider web imagery in seventies lesbian-feminism? When I came out, everyone was always going on about “we are the weavers, we are the web.” Was it about reclaiming something people are afraid of? Was it some Wiccan thing? Was it because female spiders are bigger than males? Was it an association to spinning, and spinsters? Was it based on a misperception that male spiders don’t spin webs? DO male spiders spin webs? I’m able to find surprisingly little about this with my impatient slapdash google technique.

I always thought it was very cool how women would bring rope and yarn to political demonstrations, and “weave webs” by tangling everyone up together…but what’s the symbolism about? Where did it start? I have a letter from a friend written in 1981, which says, “Remember—wimmin’s webs are always connected but when they become electricity is where it all happens, when the threads of the webs become the wavelengths is when the magic begins!” Except she didn’t use any capitals and all the “o”s are turned into little women’s symbols.