Ethics Dunce: The Joy of Knitting Proprietor Elizabeth Poe


Once more, we see the disturbing trend of hyper-partisan business owners attempting to divide the nation into politically exclusive camps, with progressive and conservative bars, restaurants, supermarkets, hardwear stores, pet shops and, in this case, yarn shops. This is madness, and indefensible ethically, especially in a pluralistic democracy. It is also pure bigotry, attributing negative character traits to individuals based on one characteristic alone. Banning customers because they have a political view is no less hateful, and no less offensive to the nation’s ideals, than banning them because they are black.

Elizabeth Poe, owner of a small yarn store, The Joy of Knitting, in Franklin, Tennessee, doesn’t comprehend that, so she proudly posted this  unethical announcement  on Facebook, telling potential customers who participated in the Women’s March last week,

“…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 welcomed 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.”

Whereas shunning fellow citizens because they advocate different policies and positions than you do is a wonderful way to “promote values of mutual respect, love, compassion, understanding, and integrity, unity of family, friends, community, and nation.”

How does someone compose hypocritical and divisive nonsense like this and not have her ethics alarms ringing like an 8-alarm fire drill? big, pointless, primal scream protests just for the joy of protesting in a sympatico mob is as American as it gets. Sure it’s dumb and often offensive, as last week’s festivities showed, but it blows off steam, and can be therapeutic, though an expensive form of therapy to be sure. Punishing people for expressing their beliefs, no matter how annoying? That would be like…sucker punching a Nazi on the street. You respect their right to spout off, and they, in turn, should respect yours, and not be pugnacious about it. Surely there are many things you can agree one.

Not surprisingly, some of the reaction against Poe was as confused as her post. “A business should not tell other women what they can and can’t do with their bodies, nor should they speak out AGAINST women, especially when it’s a woman-owned business. BYE, the Joy of Knitting,” wrote Facebook user Kristin Luna. Nice lockstep thinking there, Kristin! A woman can’t disagree with women who dress like this in public…


Of course she can, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But she should also allow you to knit one of these with her yarn.


Pointer: Spartan


23 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce: The Joy of Knitting Proprietor Elizabeth Poe

  1. Oh well, maybe the DOJ will sue and put her out of business and slap her with a fine that will bankrupt her…oh, I forgot, Loretta Lynch and the Divider in Chief are no longer in charge.

    That said, political views aren’t a protected characteristic, but they probably should be for public accommodations, same as other characteristics protected by the First Amendment. Boycotts, on the other hand, are a separate problem in this age of social media. Heaven forbid an elected official of the wrong persuasion stops in the wrong coffee shop…

    • Frankly I think we have too many damn laws regarding protected characteristics especially in my state Obviously, if somebody wants to ride a bus or take a flight with a “viva la raza” tee shirt that I’m on, that’s their right, like it or not. In a business, it’s a different issues. Some jerk that comes into a nice beach front restaurant with dirty feet and flip flop is possibly violating health laws and certainly effecting the ambience of the place.

    • [Reply to Steve-O-in-NJ Jan 27 at 10:29 am]
      “[P]olitical views aren’t a protected characteristic, but they probably should be for public accommodations, same as other characteristics protected by the First Amendment.”

      Hear, hear! For the new regime and Congress to enact that into law, it would be perhaps one of the most unifying things they could do.

  2. Another case of the repressed/oppressed finally saying “I have HAD it with these lefties!”

    Still not the right ethical response, but then again, the right eithical response has not worked for decades, as the leftists have gotten more and more bold and egregious. Patience is at an all time low, nationally, with those of opposing political views.

    I weep for our nation. But, then again, surgery hurts.

    Trump floated a trail balloon yesterday about a 20% tax on Mexican imports. The Texas media establishment is up in arms today about how that will send Texas into a depression. Texas is the 20th largest exporting region in the world (I’m told) and Mexico is the second largest partner (not sure who the first is: maybe the rest of our nation?) (Note the MSM also have said that a wall will do similar things to the Texas economy.)

    So what? If we have been using speed to hold up the pace in our economy, the healthy thing is to detox and break the addiction. That is a painful process, but if it is necessary for the health of Texas and the right thing for the rest of the nation, so be it. I personally will suffer from it, I’m sure, but it will not destroy us. And we get to participate in the Renaissance that follows as jobs return to America, at living wages and with the rule of law reestablished.

    • I think the problem is there is no guarantee any of those jobs are coming back. It is just as likely that anything coming from Mexico will cost more, let’s say 20% more. Much of that are parts made here, then sent to Mexico for assembly, then brought back. Now we’ll have products that cost more, which people won’t buy. Because if there is one thing shown, Ameicans will buy a foreign product from China if it saves them $1. So the parts manufacturers in the US will be hurting.

      Throw in the almost obligatory 20% tax on American goods in Mexico that will follow, and the few things actually made here will have trouble selling in one of our biggest trading partners.

      Then we’re supposed to get jobs back, for some reason. I’m not sure which jobs those are, as a “living wage” basically means for more money then will be paid elsewhere, otherwise the jobs would be here in the first place. And isn’t “living wage” just another term for “minimum wage”??

      • Law of supply and demand, in a true capitalistic system. If there is demand that can be profitably filled, it will be produced here. If not, we buy Chinese.

        Why cannot the parts manufacturers assemble here? (Using those low wage illegals, perhaps? Sorry, that was trolling 🙂 ) If we make the parts here, we can assemble them here.

        The jobs were lost because NAFTA made it a business decision to locate certain activity in Mexico. That same business acumen will dictate if the jobs return.

        • The overriding theme I’m seeing among the MSM, both in stories and on their social media feeds, is: “Now, it’s going to cost more for tequila and guacamole, and we can’t have that.”

          This, apparently, is serious business, meriting serious coverage. For instance, a google search first revealed NBC’s headline: “What About my Guacamole? How a 20 Percent Tariff on Mexican Imports Would Affect You.”

          This story goes into great detail about how various sectors — produce, automobiles, appliances, etc. — would be affected by this.

          Not a word, however, about the possible economic impact of having fewer illegal immigrants in the US. You know, the whole fulcrum point of this issue they’re writing about?

          If you’re going to do a story about how building a wall will potentially impact Americans’ pocketbooks, you owe it to your audience to explain the entire story. I don’t know if there would be any positive benefits as some claim, such as fewer illegals taking up jobs, etc., but the question at least needs to be asked. And it ain’t.

          To be fair, the usually corrupt New York Times did mention the potential economic benefits for American exporters and their employees. Color me surprised that they even made a stab at balance:

          But the potential positive effects of having fewer illegal immigrants in the country is not touched on in the article.

          And all this isn’t even to mention: The 20 percent thing was just something he floated out there. It’s not even close to being policy.

          • (I’m sorry this got stuck in moderation, TS—I was detained.)

            The news media’s current strategy is to treat any typically hyperbolic off the cuff statement by Trump as a literal and serious statement of intent. Yes, he should be careful with his words, but he won’t be, and this obsession makes journalists look silly and biased.

  3. To defend Elizabeth Poe, I bet I’d get some very nasty looks if I wore a Make America Great cap in some foo foo shop in the Bay Area and possibly a strong request to leave the place. Elizabeth is not refusing service on the basis of race, religion, or sexual orientation. I’m sure that she’d be happy to sell some yarn to some gay man who just wanted to do some knitting. I think she may lose business by her decision but that’s her right.

    • I definitely want to buy and wear a cap with MAGA – but in Russian. While I know the origin of that version of cap is with sore-loser enemies of Trump, I intend to wear it as if to say, “See? Even the Russians want America to be great again!” (pokes fun at Cold-War-as-a-racket thinking)

  4. A better way to express your point is to use a cause you support to promote your business. If it causes others to boycott your business you have achieved the same end but the choice was made by another.

    For example: The yarn shop could have run a promotion giving a discount to customers this weekend donating a portion of profits to Right to Life causes. If the Pro Choice crowd CHOOSES to not shop there that is their loss and you effectively achieved the same end but lived up to the stated ideological beliefs of love and unity.

    Preventing speech is not the same as offering countervailing speech.

    • I agree. Why attack the other side when you can have them punch themselves? “Thanks to all you wonderful women who knitted pussy hats from yarn purchased at the Joy of Knitting. Because of your business I have been able to increase my donation to Pro Choice causes.” Of course, you then have to be ready for the inevitable boycott.

  5. As a side note, Franklin, Tennessee looks like kind of an interesting place: Kind of the “Mayberry” of Tennessee. Unfortunately Miley Cyrus is from there.

    • Site of a major Civil War battle in late 1864 at which Gen Hood suffered a great defeat leading to his further defeat at the Battle of Nashville and the end of any real resistance by the Confederate army in the west.

      As another side note, that picture of the woman protester in the vulva suit has destroyed my libido and the doctor says after a shock like that it may never recover.

      • “[T]hat picture of the woman protester in the vulva suit has destroyed my libido…”

        It didn’t affect my libido, but it convinced me that she is the bigger asshole.

    • I am awash with shame, because I intended to flag that myself. Good catch. I think her theory is that 467 wrongs DO make a right. Or something. This is the place for the knit-wit joke…

  6. Women who dress in vulva suits have plenty of problems. Compassion would dictate that they be given every opportunity to engage in persuits like knitting, basket weaving, and other arts and crafts.

  7. If I turned away business, because I do not share views with my customers I would have been out of business, before I started. Problem is I can find common ground with so many. I am a gay, roman catholic, republican! Most of my friends comment that they only have a problem with the republican part. They invariably make a statement later that is either homophobic or
    Anti-catholic. They are always blissfully unaware of their bigotry, which is common as bigotry comes from ignorance. Ignorance is the one thing we should all be bigoted about, but that is difficult because ingnorance is epidemic and widespread, in many forms. From the idiot at subway who asks if I want cheese on that when I order a subway melt to the person who believes the extremist views from the far right or far left. There is plenty of room over here in the middle folks. The Ray Stevens’ song puts it best a third on left a third on the right a third in the middle that can’t sleep at night. Back to the issue at hand which is our freedoms, if you do not like someone’s politics and do not wish to support them through your business that may seem like a good idea to support your views and make a stand, until, you, stop and think! This election was close our country is divided are you insane enough to turn away what is potentially half your business to Because if you do not they friends,and relatives may decide not to buy your cake, yarn, or crayons! You decision may only lead to your own financial ruin. I spend a lot of time thinking about this I own a business that supplies costumes and theatrical supplies. These are also often used in protests, I rent to one particular organization all the time that I disagree with their massage, but as a believer of our constitution I will never not rent to them as their views must be shared. I also rent to organizations that I believe in. But that is the easy choice. If what to be able to fight for my beliefs, I must take steps to protect all to represent their beliefs. I may not agree with you but you must be heard, and so must your opisitions opinion. Lady keep your yarn it may keep you warm while your customers buy from someone that does not judge others, which I do understand, as I went downtown after the women’s march and saw things that made me judge, but Christ commanded do not judge others and you shall not be judged. When the right and the left are both treating the other side with no respect it is hard not to judge. Your refusal to sell is unchristian as it is a direct judgement!

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