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Thread: The Original Bluestockings

  1. #1
    Djiril's Avatar
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    The Original Bluestockings

    Interesting article from Bitch magazine:

    The term bluestockings really caught hold when Elizabeth Montagu and Elizabeth Vesey founded the Blue Stockings Society in London in the 1750s as an informal social and educational group open to both men and women, modeled on the salons that had become popular in France. Blue stockings were cheap, in contrast to the bleached or expensively dyed stockings worn by upper classes, and there’s speculation that the group got its name for allowing in a philosopher who showed up in his cheap blue stockings (that’s right: the first bluestocking was a man).
    Of course, there were women scholars around the world who were renowned for their intellect long before this, but bluestockings were seen as members of a group defined by their gender (although the term originally included men) and intellectual interests. They also dealt with a societal stigma that implied they were frumpy, uncivil (thus unfeminine by standards of the day), and doomed to fall short of male intellectual achievement. For these reasons, they’re probably the closest historical group we have to today’s feminist nerds, who obviously face less stigma but see themselves as part of a larger group of nerds and who challenge the idea that intellect is a male terrain.
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  2. #2
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    Oct 2010
    your thread reminded me of this comic. Made me kind of sad.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2008
    http://georgianaduchessofdevonshire..../Bluestockings has a little post about them, including some nice details from a painting they inspired.
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