Tuesday, June 14, 2011

So what's a bluestocking?

The term was first coined around 1790, in reference to the blue, worsted wool stockings that were considered "casual wear" as opposed to the more formal black silk stockings. It traces to a London literary salon founded circa 1750 and led by Elizabeth Montagu and was used as a derisive word for a woman considered too educated or with a scholarly, literary, or intellectual ability


I've loved this term since the first time I heard it and always identified with it. While it used to be somewhat akin to calling someone a "strident, harpy feminist", which I've certainly been called in its various forms, I'd always hoped to use the term in some way.  

Farming too, has been ridiculed and maligned. While we used to understand that we relied on farming for our very sustenance, most of us have become so far removed from the sources of our food as to believe that everything is picked clean and waxed from a sanitized patch of air. 

Making has always been something appealing to me. Whether it's farming, baking, sewing, crocheting or building.  There is something so wonderfully rewarding about planting a seed and being able to use the results. Starting from scratch and eventually having a finished product. Building beds, hauling straw, amending soil, harvesting vegetables and serving them to the people you love is so satisfying to me.  None of this takes me away from feminism, but closer to it. When reading, learning, studying, I am in my head.  A place I am infinitely comfortable. When planting, digging, making, I am in my body; a place I am lacking familiarity, but I learn with every shovelful.  

The best part about it, is it makes me giddy. I laugh when I accomplish something and you should see how hard I laugh when I screw something up. It's all a journey.

3 comments:

  1. I love the idea of being a bluestocking. I want to wear some bluestockings. They sound like my kind of socks.

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  2. I can totally imagine you in blue stockings!

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  3. you're amazing. have fun!

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