Marc Ambinder has an article about obesity in the May 2010 Atlantic. I was knocked over by one sentence:
“To describe the existing federal policies and regulatory approaches on obesity as a patchwork is an insult to quilts everywhere.”
This use of patchwork as an insult really struck me, because it is such a gendered insult. Ambinder deploys the metaphor because it assumes that no thought goes into a quilt (like policy), and it’s just a hodgepodge. In reality quiliting is a predominantly woman-based art form, that had roots in resourcefulness, community, and skilled sewing hands. To debase something by calling it patchwork is based in gendered and derogatory understandings of the quilt.