I don’t own any blue socks.
Well, I do, technically, but they also feature a large print of a raccoon holding a popsicle, which, though adorable, defeated my intended purpose.
This purpose was to take a cute picture of myself wearing said blue socks as a way to introduce the term bluestocking. Since I lack the blue socks, we’ll have to make due with internet pictures for now.
A bluestocking is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a woman having intellectual or literary interests.” It is a (now historic) term that began in the 18th-century to degrade a group of women who met to discuss ideas and scholarly subjects. However, the women refused to stop their meetings and adopted the term for themselves!
I was going to write about the history for how the term came around, but then I found this fantastic blog post from Susan Ardelie over at Life Takes Lemons which gives a fantastic history of the terms origins. Seriously, check it out!
(Susan has some other great posts and, though it looks like she’s taking a bit of a break from writing, her work is still up and available for us to enjoy!)
I first encountered the bluestocking term while reading romance novels.
(Yes, romance novels. And I still read them on occasion, along with all the great tomes of literature, so no judging! This is a space for all readers!)
This term was always in reference to smart, spirited, and serious women who could hold their own against (generally) brooding and equally smart men who were bored by the lack of challenge and intellectual equality provided by other women.
Amanda Quick (pseudonym for author Jayne Ann Krentz) is the first name that comes to mind for these types of books, and Christina Dodd is the second. (Coincidentally, both of these authors also live in the PNW.)
So, these stories are rather like Beauty and the Beast tales, but with more sex. Lots and lots more sex. (Some are pretty steamy.)
I always liked the term and I’ve always kept it in the back of my mind to be used someday. When the idea for this new blog occurred to me, I knew I was hovering near an idea for the perfect name.
The Resident Bluestocking came to me right before bed a few nights ago, while I was exhausted and feeding my cat his bedtime treats. I jotted it down and now it has been given life!
While my other blog, No White Knight Needed, is focused on my life and a broad range of subjects, this blog will remained focused on the scholarly, such as books, history (especially the misunderstood, marginalized, or plain ignored), and other scholarly subjects.
Embracing myself as a bluestocking -an intellectual or literary woman- feels especially powerful in a time where knowledge, learning, and intellectualism is under attack around the world, especially for women.
I hope you return and enjoy what I have to share. If you have something you’re interested in hearing about or a book for me to review, please visit my Contact page to reach me. I’d love to hear from you!
I’m also on social media, so if you’re interested in seeing what else I’m up to (or pics of my cats) find me there!