....despite this, feminists have always had difficulty with the value of embroidery, a craft that has been used for centuries to "keep women quiet". Embroidery has always been a discipline used to inculcate feminine qualities and indicate a social setting where leisure prevailed. Whilst girls in domestic servitude or at school would “employ the needle” out of necessity, the idle rich would encourage their daughters to embroider for amusement and to “signify an aristocratic lifestyle”. The “sexual division” whereby women were assigned to needlework and boys to Latin prose or carpentry, was fostered by the school curricula, and still exists. However, with the rise of the feminist art movement, embroidery came into it's own and became a strong political tool (for example Judy Chicago's "The Dinner Party, 1979). Confessional artists Louise Bourgeois and Tracey Emin shaped their careers by making public confessions about their lives. Both have also used the craft of embroidery from time to time and, in doing so have given artists 'carte blanche' to do the same.
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