Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Time For a Coffee Break! => Topic started by: Venus193 on October 16, 2013, 07:59:04 AM

Title: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Venus193 on October 16, 2013, 07:59:04 AM
I first learned that word when reading Gone With the Wind when I was in high school.  Scarlett uses this word disparagingly with reference to Melanie.  The dictionary.com definition is:


blue·stock·ing  [bloo-stok-ing] noun
1.  a woman with considerable scholarly, literary, or intellectual ability or interest.
2.  a member of a mid-18th-century London literary circle: Lady Montagu was a celebrated bluestocking.

Origin:
1675–85;  so called from the informal attire, especially blue woolen instead of black silk stockings, worn by some women of the group (def 2)

However, for the purposes of this discussion we will also use Scarlett as a role model because she had major practical intelligence and the ability to solve problems.  In that way she was far smarter than either of her first two husbands, Ashley, and most other women of her acquaintance.  She was often criticized for it when she let it show and also thought it preposterous that women should hide such intelligence.

If you are a Scarlett or a Melanie -- or some combination of the two -- who criticized you for it and how did you respond?  Did you find that men were intimidated or otherwise offended by this or was that just something your female elders tried to scare you with?

Were you lucky enough to find a man who appreciated this about you?
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: BeagleMommy on October 16, 2013, 08:03:56 AM
In high school I was told by a classmate that I would never be able to date because "boys think you're too smart and use too many big words".

My response was "that's their problem".  Fortunately, DH didn't find that intimidating.

Last year, I joined the Bas Bleu Society for Literary Women.  :D
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Lady Snowdon on October 16, 2013, 08:10:20 AM
Yes, I've been criticized so many times for using vocabulary that other people think is too intimidating.  I'm not about to apologize for it.  If something (or someone) is being obstreperous, I'm going to say that, and not annoying.  I've been hearing the criticism since about 3rd grade or so, all the way up through my last job.  Thankfully, I never heard it as "Men don't like a woman like that", just a more generic, "You talk funny/weird/strange.  Can't you just say words that normal people know?".

As a sidenote, DH and I both acquired most of our vocabulary from extensive reading, and so we occasionally aren't aware of the correct pronunciation.  It's fun to compare how we think a word should be pronounced and then go check the actual pronunciation.  My favorite incorrect pronunciation is "courtesy".  In my mind it should be "court-esy"; I don't like saying "cur-tesy".  :P
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: audrey1962 on October 16, 2013, 08:17:56 AM
Never.  And I've never met anyone else that criticizes other people that way. To the contrary, most people I know praise others for their intelligence.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: cattlekid on October 16, 2013, 08:20:50 AM
I've lived with this my entire life.  It was a source of much stress when I was growing up because we were always moving so I was always the new kid.  Combine glasses, braces and an educational aptitude that was usually far above most of my classmates with that and I was the target for either a) bullying or b) kids trying to get me to do their work for them. 

Due to all of this, I didn't date at all in high school or college.  It took me getting out of college and into the work world until I found males who weren't turned off by me.  I hated high school and tolerated college for this and many other reasons.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: flickan on October 16, 2013, 08:27:06 AM
My vocabulary isn't really that impressive but I was never criticized for showing intelligence.  My parents may have been sexist but that never extended to women not being as intelligent as men, they're mostly bogged down about gender roles and women deferring to men.  My mother always wanted her children (male and female) to show off their smarts-- a little too much so probably, she was one of those moms.

To be honest I've never encountered anyone in my life who was openly threatened by a well-spoken and intelligent woman.  I've met my share of misogynists but the issue of being "too smart" just wasn't part of it, or if it was, wasn't something I heard about.

My situation is probably different because there weren't a lot of girls to compare me to growing up.  I did then and still do have a very hard time relating to other women.  I either had no friends or male friends.  With the boys I was expected to be like them-- my male friends in high school were smart, well-read, opinionated, and I was always driven to keep up with the conversation and be able to banter with them.  It wasn't a boy thing it was just a "my social group" thing.  Me, and a bunch of boys who would hang out at the coffee house and play D&D and work on school projects together.  I looked up to them because they were brilliant and brilliance has no gender.

I would have been furious if anyone had tried to tell me to dumb myself down for anyone.

I married someone who was born to a highly intelligent and incredibly accomplished mother so no issues there.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Thipu1 on October 16, 2013, 08:40:16 AM
Yes, I got that too from time to time.  On occasion, I still do. 

In my case, it isn't the use of vocabulary.  It's more likely I know something that people of 'superior' intellect don't.

One of my bosses in the library cataloged a book and listed 'M.S. Cantab' as a secondary author.  It was a delicate matter to tell her that 'MS Cantab' meant that the author received his Master of Science degree from Cambridge University.  Another time, she listed 'Gallimard Jeunesse' as a secondary author.  That simply meant that book was published by the children's division of the French publishing house. 

This was a woman who had two Master's degrees. 

Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Venus193 on October 16, 2013, 08:45:28 AM
When I was in elementary school I was always reading at least four years above average levels.  My vocabulary was always more sophisticated than than that of 95% of my classmates.  I was always being told "Don't use words nobody else knows" by classmates whose grades were below mine.

The messages that Scarlett O'Hara got came later.

I never bought what this notion was selling.  A man who falls for a dumb act can't be very intelligent or confident and that is not a man worthy of my respect or my time.

What truly blows my mind is that so many women fall for this.  I wonder what happens to them in the long term?  Do they play dumb until after the officiant says "I now pronounce you husband and wife" and what happens then or do they continue to play dumb to appease the weak self-esteem of their husbands (or others)?  Do any of you know an example of this?
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: English1 on October 16, 2013, 08:51:02 AM
As a child my parents didn't really value education and had a very 'this is our place in life' mindset. It's a product of their age and background, so I don't blame them. But it did limit me I think: I was never told I was smart (I am!) and was not encouraged to continue in education past the compulsory age, so I left school at 16. I'm now doing a degree in my 40s and they are supportive and proud, but it all seems a bit late. I now know I'd have loved a career in academia. But to them, universities, degrees etc were like something from another planet, so I didn't know anything about them at the time either. My son went to university and my mum got quite upset and worried about him 'fitting in'  and made a comment that 'none of ours could have gone, they wouldn't have been accepted back then' (meaning socially). They really had no idea that higher education was extended to the 'working classes' like us as a realistic option in the 80s, and that it was the time of boom for people from our background to start getting degrees etc.  :(

Their only career advice for me was to marry a rich man. I don't think it ever crossed their mind that a woman could make her own money.

The only people, however, who really had a problem with it were my ex's. Bad taste in men. My ex husband resisted my ambitions in my 20s to go to university and put every obstacle he could in my way. He even felt very threatened by my doing one A Level (the qualifications you do at 18 to enable you to go to university) and I wasn't allowed to use the family money to pay the very small fee and buy the books. My parents paid (see, they do support me really, they just didn't understand too well when I was younger) in the end. I didn't get to uni though.

My last ex, T, was very threatened by my brain power as he was very 'man is head of the family' type (groan, I never agreed with that, it caused all manner of friction between us) and I clearly recall him telling me I should be a woman first, and a genius second!

New man (finally developed a bit of taste!) is very supportive and comes from a similar background; he's very intelligent but left school at 16, has since self-educated albeit with few formal educational qualifications, so we love our high-brow discussions, watching documentaries, reading, learning. Got back from my university tutorial last night around 10pm - he picked me up from the rail station even though it's only a short walk from home, shooed me over to the sofa, made me a cup of tea, produced a plate of dinner he'd made and saved for me, and asked me all about my tutorial. Heaven. I'd love to do a Masters next - and he's already said he'll move with me if need be.  :D

We both get the urge to dumb down a bit with some people we know. Just choosing a more basic, understandable vocabulary. It's so nice for both of us to be able to let rip with each other.





Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: cabbagegirl28 on October 16, 2013, 09:15:02 AM
I've always been super nerdy. Dad taught violinp and me to read at 3, and I never looked back. I'll list a few of the examples of teasing/conflict I dealt with. I apologize for how long this is, I can't be short-winded in my story telling.

When I was in first grade, my classmates got angry that I didn't have to do group reading and could sit in the back and read books like The Trumpeter Swan. They said I should be treated exactly the same as anyone else.

When violinp and I found out for Accelerated Reader (a program that supposedly encourages reading, but all it did was annoy me) that we were essentially reading on a college level, one of my friends asked me, "Why do you have to be so smart? Why can't you just be normal?"

A friend who was listening in to my conversation with violinp (as in, not talking to her and it wasn't about her or anyone she knew) told me that I needed to dumb my words down so she could understand what I was saying.  :o I told her in no uncertain terms that the conversation wasn't for her, and if she really wanted to understand us, she could pick up a dictionary and actually learn new words.

A kid who ostensibly was one of the smartest kids in the school (he really was intelligent, he just thought he was the best) got angry when our AP English Lit teacher gave me an 8 out of 9 on an essay when he'd given me a 5 in peer grading. His grade essentially meant that he thought my essay was superficial and the writing was immature. He said it was unfair that I should write a better essay, because he'd been in AP English Language the year before. For people who aren't familiar with AP, he basically said that being able to write a persuasive essay should mean that he knew how to write a literary critical essay. Not necessarily.

Honestly, most of this stuff I laugh at. If I didn't, I would be walking around with a grudge bag that weighed 200 tons. When people make fun of me for being intelligent, I ignore them. Most people who do that are insecure, and I try to remind myself that they are struggling like I am. Most guys haven't made fun of me for my intelligence, and the one guy who did (AP Lit kid), I basically told him, "Look, I just am good at literature. My dad is a Shakespeare buff and majored in English. He passed that on to me. Get over it."

More girls have made fun of me, but they didn't relate my smarts to whether I'd get a boyfriend or not. No, apparently being intelligent at all makes you a smarty-pants, and you should shut up and never talk because your smarts make everyone feel bad.

I couldn't date anyone who didn't value intelligence in a life partner. I like reading Shakespeare and Dante for fun, and I love having deep philosophical discussions. So far, I haven't had a boyfriend for any real length of time (2 hours in 6th grade does not count), but I hope that when I do, I can find someone who wants me to enjoy my intellectual pursuits.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: weeblewobble on October 16, 2013, 09:21:17 AM
Not by my parents, because they were thrilled I loved to read and was smart.  (They did wish that I focused more on schoolwork instead of creative pursuits.)

But by classmates and friends?  Yes.  I used words that were too big.  I raised my hand too many times in class.  I volunteered too much information.  (Meaning I didn't pretend to be dumb  When I knew something, I shared it.)  I was basically Hermione Granger, before Hermione Granger was cool.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: guihong on October 16, 2013, 09:23:35 AM
Not directly.  However, one of the biggest fights my husband and I ever got into was over a (get this) Larry the Cable Guy movie.   It was one where Larry has to work with a very intellectual woman, who I do admit was played as a humorless snob.  I asked my husband if that's how he saw me (an admitted bluestocking from a long line of bluestockings), and he said yes  :'(.  Oh, that was bad.  It was a sore spot in our relationship; his blue-collar upbringing and that he was the first to go to college at all, and my very intellectual family.  I was really sensitive about feeling "less than" he was.

Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: weeblewobble on October 16, 2013, 09:29:43 AM
When I was in elementary school I was always reading at least four years above average levels.  My vocabulary was always more sophisticated than than that of 95% of my classmates.  I was always being told "Don't use words nobody else knows" by classmates whose grades were below mine.

The messages that Scarlett O'Hara got came later.

I never bought what this notion was selling.  A man who falls for a dumb act can't be very intelligent or confident and that is not a man worthy of my respect or my time.

What truly blows my mind is that so many women fall for this.  I wonder what happens to them in the long term?  Do they play dumb until after the officiant says "I now pronounce you husband and wife" and what happens then or do they continue to play dumb to appease the weak self-esteem of their husbands (or others)?  Do any of you know an example of this?

My husband is more than willing than admit that I am smarter than him. When it comes to literary, scientific, historical, or other academic knowledge.* He is very proud of my brain and loves it when we play trivia games with his friends so I can "crush their spirits with the power of my mind."

*To be fair, he is far better with practical "life knowledge" sort of things, like applying for mortgages, car repairs and not setting the kitchen on fire when cooking.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 16, 2013, 09:33:42 AM
I was basically Hermione Granger, before Hermione Granger was cool.

LOL.  Yes, that was me.  My vocabulary was better than most of my peers because I read a whole lot more.  I was reading several grade levels above and I was reading a lot.  My school had a library period once per week where a whole class would go and pick out a book to sign out for the week.  The librarian quickly learned that she'd have to let me sign out more than the one book allowed in order for me not to be bugging her to come in and get another book a day later.  She'd let me sign out 5 at a time.  Other kids complained.  So she asked them, 'That one book you are signing out?  Will you be done reading it next week when you bring it back?' and when they answered that they'd likely sign it out again for another week, she'd point to my stack and tell them that I'd be turning all those back in and getting 5 new ones.  They quit complaining.

I, too, had trouble with pronunciation because of the reading.  Hyperbole comes to mind.  I pronounced it hyper-bowl for the longest time until I was corrected.   ;D

I have a bit of a competitive nature that may have played into not keeping a high school or university boyfriend.  If we were in the same class, I was always quite pleased when I got a better grade than they did.  Them?  Not so much.  Still haven't met a man that can keep up with me.  But I'd rather be on my own than settle for someone I wouldn't find stimulating.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: cwm on October 16, 2013, 09:43:12 AM
When I switched to public elementary school in 5th grade, we had these computer programs that were designed as instruction in science, math, reading, and something else. I was tested as reading at beyond a 12th grade level (that was as high as the program went) and finished the science and math programs entirely by March. All of my classmates complained that I got to play Oregon Trail during the work time, but I literally had nothing else I could do. The teachers wouldn't let me read books, this was computer learning time, you see.

I surprised the librarian that year by checking out The Hobbit and then returning it the next week. Then I wanted to read Lord of the Rings, but they didn't have it. She said there was no way I could read it at that age and understand it. So I went to the public library and brought it in to school as my library book.

In middle school, I read A Brief History of Time. For fun. When I got to 9th grade, we had to do an independent book report on some piece fine literature. The teacher left it entirely up to us. I was too busy, forgot, so I picked up that book and took it in for my book report. She didn't believe I had read it, so she opened it to a random page and asked me about wormholes. I explained them to her, using words the book used, and then when I saw the confusion on her face, I explained it in plain English for her. I passed the book report, and she never questioned my reading choices again.

The thing is, I've never had a problem dating. I managed to follow John Green's advice before I even heard it.
(http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m0dhluSXO41qe1n7yo6_250.gif)
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Thipu1 on October 16, 2013, 09:55:36 AM
I was a very early reader.  In the 3rd grade (age 8) when the other kids were in reading lessons, I was sitting in the back of the room with 'A Tale of Two Cities'. 

I also had quite a bad stutter which led some to believe that I was below the average in intelligence. 

It wasn't a good combination.  In 1st grade (age 6), I was bullied by classmates into reading the comics that came with bubble gum.  They couldn't read the comics themselves  and claimed that the teacher demanded that I read them out loud.  When I stuttered, they laughed at me and called me stupid. 

The public library was never much of a problem because I always went with my mother.  If a librarian questioned a book I wanted to check out, Mom was there to approve my choice.  The only
one she ever vetoed was 'Doctor Zhivago'. 

School was a different matter.  In the 8th grade (age 13) our class was moved into the High School.  The librarians there were the bane of my life.  I was constantly told that the books I wanted to read were 'too hard' for me.  The best birthday gift I ever received was an adult public library card at the
age of 12. 

High School wasn't great but, at least, I could check out anything I wanted in the school library.

Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on October 16, 2013, 09:56:47 AM
I got more criticism from peers than family when it came to my vocabulary and reading.  Reading was strongly encouraged amongst both genders as I was growing up.  I had two bookshelves in my room that were packed full, I had so many books and my dad had built floor to ceiling shelves for our living room, that's how many books were in our family.

The only time I got in trouble for reading was when I was supposed to be doing something else like homework or chores.  Though sometimes my mother would make me put a book down and call a friend cause she was worried I was too much of a loner. 

But as I said in the other thread, a friend of mine, who was very sharp, once accused me of trying to sound smarter than I was by using big words and it would turn boys away.  She dumbed herself down for that very reason and was trying to convince me that was why I had no boyfriends or prospects.  I told her I didn't want a boy who didn't want a smart wife.

And sure enough, I found a guy that does like having a woman with a good vocabulary.  The only thing he ever said though was that when I was a teen, it might have been that my nose was always buried in a book that kept guys from asking. Not so much a matter of not wanting a smart woman so much as it could be taken as a sign of non-interest in anything that wasn't in print.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: #borecore on October 16, 2013, 10:04:29 AM
I was in public school, and I was bullied for a lot of things, but never for being too smart, even when I was considered one of the "smartest kids" and "the smartest girl"! My school was chock-full of smart kids with smart parents who valued smarts.

By the time we got to high school, there was a bit of a class divide on who was math/science smart and who was literature/history smart, and who was creative, and I was definitely more in the latter two groups.

The funny part is that the only times I can remember being mocked for my intelligence were in my math and science classes, where I was on the 'regular' track rather than the advanced one, so I was getting A+s and A's (as opposed to the solid B's I got in advanced math), and answering questions when the other kids didn't get it, or didn't want to look uncool by answering questions aloud. Some boys would flirt with me just so they could try to get answers from me, but it didn't get them very far. One older girl took to calling me "Miss Smartypants," which was kind of hilarious, because she was trying to be venomous, but the name just made us all giggle; we ended up getting along well.

It never really affected my dating life, either, except insofar as I did break up with a few guys when I realized we had nothing to talk about. 
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 16, 2013, 10:23:15 AM
Not criticized by my parents, but a teacher of all things.

In 1976 I was in 6th grade. My Dad was the superintendent for our small town school. One of my 6th grade teachers had to take a leave of absence for the last 4 weeks of the year. They brought in a teacher who had been retired for 15-20 years but who had done some substitute teaching. She wasn't ancient but just hadn't taught full time since the early 1960's. On the last day of school she pulled me aside to inform me I had the highest grade average for the class and warn me that I shouldn't outpace my male classmates as it could cause me to be alienated by the boys as they would feel intimidated. She also noticed that I spent a lot of time afterschool in the public library across the street and it might not be good for my reputation to be seen as too bookish. I shared this hilarious advice with my parents. Dad made sure she was never hired by the school again. My mom took a more "direct" approach with an after church discussion with her that weekend.

In HS, I had a teacher (small town, had him for 3 years in diferent subjects) who always complained that the smart girls dated the dumbest of the guys. He'd just shake his head when he'd see me with my BF who was an average B/C student. But his comments did make me realize that none of us in the top 10% of our class ever dated each other.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Spring Water on Sundays on October 16, 2013, 10:23:56 AM
The only example that comes to mind in my own life is when I was in early elementary school (maybe 2nd or 3rd grade), I got to skip English class once a week to participate in Enrichment with a few other high achieving students. My best friend was either jealous or didn't understand what Enrichment was about, because she told me it was for stupid kids.  ::)

My husband loves my brain, and he is always proud to tell people that I'm smarter than he is. He says it's one of the things he finds most attractive about me :)
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: guihong on October 16, 2013, 10:35:10 AM
I wish I was shocked at the number of us who were put down by teachers and librarians, of all things.

I remembered in fifth grade, we were reading Johnny Tremaine.  The teacher told me, "You ask too many questions!"   And in sixth grade, my English teacher accused me of cheating somehow because I consistently got perfect scores on tests.  That one earned her an earful from my mother.

And it's not just daughters who get put down :(.  I am concerned for my son, who tells me the other kids don't like him because he's so flipping smart.  I tell  him to use his full brainpower, and the kids who don't like him today will come to respect him later.  Or even if they don't, that he's not going to cheat himself to spare someone else's feelings.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: magician5 on October 16, 2013, 10:39:07 AM
Just ask famed bluestocking Rebecca Watson http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca_Watson

If you're an intelligent, articulate woman who won't crawl back into the woodwork when she faces resistance from the men in her field, they'll send an awful lot of flak your way. And, the internet being the "wild west" of maltreatment, the abuse will be both voluminous and vicious.

On the other hand, some men (including me) consider an active mind and an assertive spirit incredibly attractive (I know, I married one).
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: nuit93 on October 16, 2013, 10:55:41 AM
I was a voracious reader as a kid, and this carried with me through high school.  I have a ton of books. 

Mom encouraged this, my teachers encouraged it, the school librarian loved me.  Stepdad was concerned that I'd never have a boyfriend if I was always reading and 'acting smart' (I had to stop talking about what I was learning in school by the time I got to high school because he would complain that I was wasting my time with all that 'academic junk' that would do me no good once I left HS). 

It was a point of contention between him and mom that she expected me to go to college and strongly discouraged high school dating, and he thought I should just get married right out of high school so I could be some other man's problem.

Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on October 16, 2013, 11:04:52 AM
I've always been lucky with my mom. She's encouraged me to read, think, ask questions, and be smart. In fact when I once worried I wasn't pretty (I was maybe 8) my mom said "Sweetie, you are pretty. But remember, looks are boring. It doesn't take skill to be good looking. Be smart. Smart lasts forever and is actually impressive". She also drilled into my head that normal was boring too. I mean, the woman handed me To Kill a Mockingbird, when I was in 3rd grade. It was one of her favorite books and I was complaining about being bored.

My grandmother is a bit of an odd duck. She likes that I'm educated and will often tell her friend she got the "smart granddaughter" however complained I spent too much time reading and that I didn't need to keep going to school after high school. Very odd mixed message. She herself is very bright, as is my mother, but lacks formal education past 9th or 10th grade (I can't remember which year she quit going). However she's better with computers then I am and can catch onto ideas quickly.

My classmates. Oh, my classmates. Well I was just a walking talking target in school. I was too tall, I developed earlier then the other girls, I was gay, and oh yeah, I was smart. I used to get into trouble for reading ahead of the kids in class. I once had a teacher scold me that my reading ahead made the other kids feel badly about themselves. I asked why that was my problem. Then I got sent to the office. I also hated library time because I was limited to where I could check books out from based on my age. My mother finally sent a letter oking me to read the 7th and 8th grade books (our school was k-8) in 4th grade. Of course I had already read most of them but it was better then what I was "allowed" to read. In high school I just took advanced classes and did a dual enrollment at the community college. The only time I got teased/picked on was by someone who wanted me to do  their homework. When I refused I was teased for being smart. But...but that's why you want me to...never mind.

As an adult, I just surround myself with other smart people and it's a non-issue. We all have areas we know a lot about, so we get together, we talk, we educate each other, it's wonderful.

As for not finding a boy. Well I got told that as well. It was pretty much a non-issue. Turns out girls, are super into smart girls. But I know a lot of smart girls with guys...so clearly it's a non-issue there too. I do think the phrase is the key though, boys don't like smart girls. But men love smart women.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Luci on October 16, 2013, 11:09:27 AM
Never! My grandmother taught for two years before she was married at 18, they sent my mother through college. My mom taught off and on until I was 10, then went back until she passed away. Dad married another teacher. My other grandparents offered to send all of their 9 children to college. They both had degrees! I was from a large enough school that there were plenty of collegebound kids to be friends with and date.

I met Lucas in college. Our daughter was tops in her class. It never even entered our minds that either of our kids to not get degrees. We would have adjusted, but just didn't think about it. We know tons of uneducated but intelligent, successful people. Our son married a doctor, so I guess he isn't intimidated.

All of our grandchildren are expected to go - tops in their classes. The two oldest are juniors at university, girls.

It was a total shock to me when I found out that one of the top ten students in our class would not be going to college as her father didn't believe in girls getting an education. I often wonder what happened to her.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Venus193 on October 16, 2013, 11:23:51 AM
A good friend of mine went to college despite the sexism in her family.  When she was in junior high she came home with perfect grades and accolades from teachers only to hear her father say "That's nice but brains on a woman is like t---s on a bull.  Useless."

That stands out a lot more in her head than praise for anything she ever did in school.

To this day she actually believes that her intelligence is more of a liability than an asset.  I'm trying to decide whether that conclusion negates intelligence.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Reader on October 16, 2013, 11:24:46 AM
I was a voracious reader as a kid, and this carried with me through high school.  I have a ton of books. 


That was me too. I remember being 1 of only 2 in my sophomore English class that after finishing reading Native Son by Richard Wright we were given his other book Black Boy to read while the rest of the class caught up.  I'm also a girl who has been asked because of my extensive vocabulary from reading, to explain the word I just used.  I was known by name to the librarians at my town's library.  I would read so much during the summer that one year they allowed me to review a book being considered as an addition. 
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: cwm on October 16, 2013, 11:38:14 AM
I was a voracious reader as a kid, and this carried with me through high school.  I have a ton of books. 


That was me too. I remember being 1 of only 2 in my sophomore English class that after finishing reading Native Son by Richard Wright we were given his other book Black Boy to read while the rest of the class caught up.  I'm also a girl who has been asked because of my extensive vocabulary from reading, to explain the word I just used.  I was known by name to the librarians at my town's library.  I would read so much during the summer that one year they allowed me to review a book being considered as an addition.

I would read three or four books in the time our class took to read one. And the ones I read were twice as long each as what we were studying. But I couldn't stand the books we read in school. Probably due to having to dissect them so thoroughly.

There was a project in 12th grade. We had to compare and contrast two existing books, and use existing critical essays to support our positions. Most of my classmates took it on themselves to do modern novels and use book reviews. They struggled with how hard it was to find anything, and how hard it was to finish two 200 page novels in a semester.

I took Lord of the Rings (omnibus) and Chronicles of Narnia (omnibus), threw in as further primary sources The Hobbit and The Silmarillion, compared the Biblical aspects in each of them, and had to cut down my secondary sources from over 50 books published on the subject. I at least skimmed most of those primary sources. Spent entire weekends at the library. Ended up with a two page bibliography and one of the longest senior papers my teacher had seen. And I had cut at least half of it out to get my page count down, too. He said he'd stop reading at 12 pages. If the 12th page ended in the middle of a sentence, he'd consider that the end.

Everyone hated me when I got the highest mark in the entire grade (short of AP and IB courses). All of the teachers pooled to grade the papers, it was something everyone in my grade had to do. And the teachers who hadn't had me before were astounded that I managed to read all of that in nine months, let alone understand it, digest it, and be able to parse it back out coherently.

Two years later my sister did a project on the biblical aspects of Narnia compared to Harry Potter. My old English teacher apparently commented that erudite women didn't seem to run in our family, they just sauntered with long strides.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Sebastienne on October 16, 2013, 11:48:15 AM
Twice in my teaching career, I received evaluations complaining that I "used too many big words." My teaching career AS A COLLEGE PROFESSOR. Teaching college subjects. With college words. I can't tell you how happy I am to be away from that institution.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Venus193 on October 16, 2013, 11:49:25 AM
I was always at the top of my class in English and related subjects and always above average in math.  I think the most resentment I ever encountered from classmates was in French when I could pronounce everything perfectly.

The only kids who weren't put out by that were the others who could pronounce French perfectly.  With one exception they were all from Italian families.

Pausing to continue after another post:

Twice in my teaching career, I received evaluations complaining that I "used too many big words." My teaching career AS A COLLEGE PROFESSOR. Teaching college subjects. With college words. I can't tell you how happy I am to be away from that institution.

I can't pick my jaw up after that one.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: flickan on October 16, 2013, 12:02:27 PM
To this day she actually believes that her intelligence is more of a liability than an asset.  I'm trying to decide whether that conclusion negates intelligence.

Depends on why she thinks that.  If it's entirely because of her father it's a self-esteem issue and one she could (and should work to) overcome.  But I'm definitely someone who is not any better off for being smart.  I'm surely not as bright as some of the women in this thread but I'm just smart enough to be disastisfied with my own lack of achievement sometimes.  Above average intelligence coupled with a lack of ambition is it's own trial.  Promising kids are pushed hard.  I'd rather have had my average life accomplishments met with approval.  Knowing what I know now I'd have taken a little more beauty, a little more common sense, maybe a little more humanity in exchange for a little less intelligence. 
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Venus193 on October 16, 2013, 12:18:10 PM
Her problem is twofold:

Since she came from a family of narcissists (of which her mother was Queen) she has very little sense of self and therefore no self-esteem. 
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: PastryGoddess on October 16, 2013, 12:56:14 PM
My mother used to punish me by removing the books from my room. Once I got too many books to remove, she would just tape cardboard over the bookcases so I couldn't get to them.  I learned at a very young age how to hide books in my wardrobe just in case I got in trouble :)

I remember the first time my stepfather sent me to my room and told me I couldn't watch TV for a week.  I think I just shrugged and went to my room.  He got mad because he thought I was playing it cool.  My mother had to say...no, she just doesn't care about watching TV. 
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: weeblewobble on October 16, 2013, 12:59:51 PM
The only example that comes to mind in my own life is when I was in early elementary school (maybe 2nd or 3rd grade), I got to skip English class once a week to participate in Enrichment with a few other high achieving students. My best friend was either jealous or didn't understand what Enrichment was about, because she told me it was for stupid kids.  ::)

Ah! I forgot about that.  In 4th grade, I tested high enough to join the gifted program for one class period a day.  My friend, "Traci" was not invited to join the program. Traci told her mom that weeble got to go to a special classroom every day to play games (logic/problem solving activities) and do special projects. Traci's mom didn't want Traci to feel bad about not being selected for the program, so she told Traci that it was a special education class for "slow kids" and she shouldn't talk about it with me, because it would make me feel bad. 

Traci, of course, immediately told me I was in a class for slow kids, and I was only in there because I was too stupid for regular reading and math.  I told her that wasn't true, but she wouldn't believe me until the teacher confirmed it.  She went home and complained to her mom about not being in the special class. Traci's mom called my mom to fuss about me contradicting Traci's mom, and since she couldn't get Traci into the gifted program, decided that the next best thing that would make Traci feel better would be to get me OUT of the program. So she told my mom that she should pull me from the program because I would be 'labelled' as brainy for the rest of my school career and there would be too much pressure on me, I would only be able to hang out with smart kids, and worse yet, (GASP!) boys wouldn't want anything to do with me. Mom ended the conversation with a "'K Thanks" and hung up.

Traci and I didn't hang out much after that.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on October 16, 2013, 01:23:54 PM
Ah gifted programs. We had one at our school I think I really would've benefited from. But I wasn't allowed to take the test to be placed in the class because I had ADHD and my mother refused to medicate me. Except I didn't have ADHD (confirmed by two different doctors), I had a high IQ and got bored when I wasn't challenged. And when I was bored I got distracted. And since I was distracted I clearly had ADHD and thus would be disruptive in the gifted program. Also my mom hadn't gone to college and so she couldn't help me understand the homework I'd be given (this was used to justify so many things until I graduated high school, your mom didn't go to college so you can't BLANK, what?). The fact that I'd help my friends in the gifted program with their work was irrelevant. By the time a teacher said "Uh, you need to be tested for the gifted program", I'd been in the same school too long and the test was only open to new students from outside the district.

I also got labeled as "anti-social" because I didn't get along well with kids my own age. Well no, we didn't have a lot in common. However a couple grade levels above me, I thought those kids were awesome. My mom tried to have me skipped at least one grade because I was obviously bored out of my mind and was told "Oh, she's not social enough", so I had to stay with my grade and "learn social skills". Unfortunately my mom didn't know how to fight the system and didn't have a lot of free time to make a stink. She did enroll me in any program she could find outside of school to foster my interests.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: BeagleMommy on October 16, 2013, 02:00:18 PM
Wow, these library/school stories are bringing back memories.

When I was in 7th grade (age 13 or 14) I wanted to read Sybil.  It was in the adult section of the public library so I wasn't allowed to check it out.  My mother told the librarian it was okay for me to read it.  The librarian insisted that I wouldn't understand it and refused to let me take it out.

Okay, so Mom checked the book out the next day and handed it to me to read.  When I returned the book two days later the librarian smugly said "I guess you didn't understand it since you're returning it early".

I replied "Actually, I finished it last night and really thought it was interesting how her psyche developed these alternate people to help her deal with the horrible abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother.  Are there any other books on multiple personalities?"

She looked like this:    :o
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: cwm on October 16, 2013, 02:42:19 PM
I feel really lucky now. Short of the one librarian at school, I never had a bad librarian. I was reading Steven King by the time I was in middle school, as well as encyclopedias and physics books, and whatever else I could get my hands on. My parents trusted me that if something was too scary I'd talk to them about it or stop reading it. The one book that my parents told me I couldn't read was Gerald's Game. And having snuck it out to read it, I'm not surprised. It is one messed up book.

It took my parents a long time to realize that sending me to my room had little effect on anything. Even once they got rid of the small bookcase I had in there, I always hid books around the room, including under and around my bed and in dresser drawers. They'd send me there to punish me after checking to see that there were no books, and they'd come back two hours later and I'd have a book at my feet that I'd finished and another one I was working on.

Apparently it's always been weird to my mother that my sister and I can read several books at once and follow the plotlines of all of them. Yes, sometimes they get a bit confused, especially if it's a lot of similar books at once, but otherwise it's not that bad at all. Plus I can always mention different books in different company, depending on who I'm talking to.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Luci on October 16, 2013, 02:53:11 PM
When I was in 7th grade (age 13 or 14) I wanted to read Sybil.  It was in the adult section of the public library so I wasn't allowed to check it out.  My mother told the librarian it was okay for me to read it.  The librarian insisted that I wouldn't understand it and refused to let me take it out.

Okay, so Mom checked the book out the next day and handed it to me to read.  When I returned the book two days later the librarian smugly said "I guess you didn't understand it since you're returning it early".

I replied "Actually, I finished it last night and really thought it was interesting how her psyche developed these alternate people to help her deal with the horrible abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother.  Are there any other books on multiple personalities?"

She looked like this:    :o

I signed a  card giving our daughter permission to check out books from the adult library when she was in middle school. Oddly, there were some Judy Blume books in the young adult section that I didn't feel she was ready for. We did talk about those if she happened to grab them, but she never borrowed anything from the adult library that I was uneasy about. She and I had an agreement that I could look over her selections.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on October 16, 2013, 03:18:51 PM
When I was in 7th grade (age 13 or 14) I wanted to read Sybil.  It was in the adult section of the public library so I wasn't allowed to check it out.  My mother told the librarian it was okay for me to read it.  The librarian insisted that I wouldn't understand it and refused to let me take it out.

Okay, so Mom checked the book out the next day and handed it to me to read.  When I returned the book two days later the librarian smugly said "I guess you didn't understand it since you're returning it early".

I replied "Actually, I finished it last night and really thought it was interesting how her psyche developed these alternate people to help her deal with the horrible abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother.  Are there any other books on multiple personalities?"

She looked like this:    :o

I signed a  card giving our daughter permission to check out books from the adult library when she was in middle school. Oddly, there were some Judy Blume books in the young adult section that I didn't feel she was ready for. We did talk about those if she happened to grab them, but she never borrowed anything from the adult library that I was uneasy about. She and I had an agreement that I could look over her selections.

That just reminded me of when I was in second grade I picked "Are you there God, It's Me Margret" for a book report. My teacher nixed it saying I wasn't "Emotionally prepared to deal with the subject matter", of course I'd already read it and my mom was fine with it. Since we weren't giving oral presentations the teacher allowed it but still didn't think I'd understand or that I'd be traumatized by it (nothing more traumatic then a girl hearing about other girls buying bras and getting periods). She was shocked I actually understood it.

I never had problems at the public library. Everyone was issued the same card, I think at least. Though when I figured out where the adult non-fiction was (upstairs), I had a lot of fun going up there and looking up books on well...various subjects. My favorites when I was around 11 or 12 were the uh, scrabble playing guides. Those were great.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: nuit93 on October 16, 2013, 03:32:07 PM
When I was in 7th grade (age 13 or 14) I wanted to read Sybil.  It was in the adult section of the public library so I wasn't allowed to check it out.  My mother told the librarian it was okay for me to read it.  The librarian insisted that I wouldn't understand it and refused to let me take it out.

Okay, so Mom checked the book out the next day and handed it to me to read.  When I returned the book two days later the librarian smugly said "I guess you didn't understand it since you're returning it early".

I replied "Actually, I finished it last night and really thought it was interesting how her psyche developed these alternate people to help her deal with the horrible abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother.  Are there any other books on multiple personalities?"

She looked like this:    :o

I signed a  card giving our daughter permission to check out books from the adult library when she was in middle school. Oddly, there were some Judy Blume books in the young adult section that I didn't feel she was ready for. We did talk about those if she happened to grab them, but she never borrowed anything from the adult library that I was uneasy about. She and I had an agreement that I could look over her selections.

That just reminded me of when I was in second grade I picked "Are you there God, It's Me Margret" for a book report. My teacher nixed it saying I wasn't "Emotionally prepared to deal with the subject matter", of course I'd already read it and my mom was fine with it. Since we weren't giving oral presentations the teacher allowed it but still didn't think I'd understand or that I'd be traumatized by it (nothing more traumatic then a girl hearing about other girls buying bras and getting periods). She was shocked I actually understood it.

I never had problems at the public library. Everyone was issued the same card, I think at least. Though when I figured out where the adult non-fiction was (upstairs), I had a lot of fun going up there and looking up books on well...various subjects. My favorites when I was around 11 or 12 were the uh, scrabble playing guides. Those were great.

My public library allowed anyone with a library card to check out any book (music and videos were still restricted, I think), so I was free to read whatever I felt comfortable checking out.  It was the one thing that I was never restricted on, probably because no one had the time to police my reading material and figured if I understood it then there was no reason to keep me from it.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Library Dragon on October 16, 2013, 04:23:02 PM
My mother used to punish me by removing the books from my room. Once I got too many books to remove, she would just tape cardboard over the bookcases so I couldn't get to them.  I learned at a very young age how to hide books in my wardrobe just in case I got in trouble :)

I remember the first time my stepfather sent me to my room and told me I couldn't watch TV for a week.  I think I just shrugged and went to my room.  He got mad because he thought I was playing it cool.  My mother had to say...no, she just doesn't care about watching TV.

Oh, yes, the dreaded "Go to your room...Wait, you're not allowed to read."  It took my mother and step-father until junior high to realize that was the real punishment. 

Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Micah on October 16, 2013, 04:51:50 PM
Never. I was lucky I guess. My mother is insanely intelligent (she's just fast tracked herself to becoming a Registered Nurse, while working part time. She's 58). She homeschooled me until grade 7. I was reading Ben Hur when I was eight. I'm not above average intelligence, maths has always eluded me, but both parents encouraged any and all pursuit of knowledge. There was never any suggestion that I shouldn't learn or better myself just because I was female.

My OH was intimidated by my vocabulary and the fact that I memorize random knowledge like a sponge sucks water. He was astounded by the amount of books I read and the speed that I go through them. He's never read anything except for school books and his parents don't own a single book. I didn't actually know that was possible until I met him. I pointed out that his knowledge of engines and maths put him into the gifted category in my mind. Seriously, there's nothing that man can't drive, fix or pull apart and put back together. He once told me that when he looks at an engine, all the pieces sort of blow apart in his mind (like those blow out diagrams) and he just sees where everything goes.  :o

I have a horsey friend whose husband likes her to be the ditzy rodeo queen. Think blond, permed hair, heaps of makeup and air for a brain. Trouble is, she actually a beautiful person and fairly intelligent. She's just 'played the role' for so long that she comes out with the daftest things. Her husband (who is a whole other story) doesn't want her to work, but cut off her budget for her horses for some imagined infraction. So she went out and got a job, after fifteen years of not working. When I pointed out that this was a fairly huge deal, she just didn't get it. *sigh*
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: PastryGoddess on October 16, 2013, 04:55:49 PM
My mother used to punish me by removing the books from my room. Once I got too many books to remove, she would just tape cardboard over the bookcases so I couldn't get to them.  I learned at a very young age how to hide books in my wardrobe just in case I got in trouble :)

I remember the first time my stepfather sent me to my room and told me I couldn't watch TV for a week.  I think I just shrugged and went to my room.  He got mad because he thought I was playing it cool.  My mother had to say...no, she just doesn't care about watching TV.

Oh, yes, the dreaded "Go to your room...Wait, you're not allowed to read."  It took my mother and step-father until junior high to realize that was the real punishment. 



My mother is just like me.  She gave me my love of reading. so she knew that just how tempting a room full of books would be for me.  My stepfather kept doing it though, I think it may have gotten to him by the time I reached high school :)
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Just Lori on October 16, 2013, 04:56:31 PM
I tend to gravitate toward the smart people in a crowd.  I love a stimulating and challenging conversation.  The upside is that nobody accuses me of being smart, because they're all smarter than me.

There are different types of smart people, though.  There are smart people who seek to find a common ground with people of different intelligence levels, and smart people who like to subtly or not-so-subtly remind you that they're smarter than you.  The smartest people I know are also gifted with the ability to hold a conversation with anyone, without making the other person uncomfortable. On the other hand, I have worked with people who come off as pretentious.  It's hard to explain.  I suppose it's like a wealthy person who treats everyone as a worthy companion, vs. a wealthy person who sneers at people who aren't wearing name brands. 
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Thipu1 on October 16, 2013, 05:03:42 PM
If my father had anything to say about it, I never would never have gone to College.  I was to be graduated from High School, (to please my mother),  marry a son of a friend of his from the loading dock, move into a double-wide and happily pop out plenty of children. 

Thank the Deity I received five scholarships that paid for everything including textbooks and money for trips home at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.

My mother put only one restriction on my College education. I could not sell my text books at the end of term.  I had to bring them home with my class notes.  During the day, she'd study while I was at my summer job.  In the evening, we'd sit down around the kitchen table and discuss history, political science, literature or whatever else I had been taking in the last semester.

After the first term,  it dawned on me that I was giving my mother a College education.  After that, I made sure to take good notes and keep my books in excellent condition.  Mom was smart and asked the sort of questions my professors at school wanted me to ask.  I learned to be more assertive in class because Mom depended on me and I had to be able to answer her. 

It may sound strange but it was a great mother-daughter bonding experience. 
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on October 16, 2013, 05:21:35 PM
I tend to gravitate toward the smart people in a crowd.  I love a stimulating and challenging conversation.  The upside is that nobody accuses me of being smart, because they're all smarter than me.

There are different types of smart people, though.  There are smart people who seek to find a common ground with people of different intelligence levels, and smart people who like to subtly or not-so-subtly remind you that they're smarter than you.  The smartest people I know are also gifted with the ability to hold a conversation with anyone, without making the other person uncomfortable. On the other hand, I have worked with people who come off as pretentious.  It's hard to explain.  I suppose it's like a wealthy person who treats everyone as a worthy companion, vs. a wealthy person who sneers at people who aren't wearing name brands.

I completely agree. There are some smart people I can't stand to be around. I'm always reminded of Legally Blonde when Elle tries to join the study group and they say it's a "smart people" thing. Hi, she got into Harvard Law School. She had 4.0 at UCLA. That's actually a hard school to get into. We've established she's smart. She's a smart person. Yes, she like pink, and fashion and is a friendly person. That doesn't make her dumb. That makes her lovely to be around! She brought baked goods! I would've studied with her! I feel like Elle a lot.

I strive to be someone who can make anyone, regardless of education/money/background feel comfortable and welcomed. This goal has lead to me having a varitey of friends with unique backgrounds and views on life. It's fantastic!
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 16, 2013, 05:36:58 PM
My Dad was told his whole school career that he was dumb.  He still thinks he's dumb.  Dad, you are not dumb; you are dyslexic!  Took us a long time to figure it out.  But to be able to get an English degree, without reading a single book, in night school, while teaching full time?  YOU ARE NOT DUMB.  You dummy.   ;D

He never discouraged me from reading, though.  In fact, he fed my habit.  He would buy me all sorts of Scholastic books; I'd get 10 or so in my stocking every Christmas.

My brother does make some comments about how smart I am - he's smart, too, but didn't get the marks because of an undiagnosed learning disability.  If he had gotten the help that my nephews are getting in university, I have no doubt that his marks would have been 10% higher than what they were.  But he is much more savvy at dealing with people than I am.  Which is why he's a manager and I'm a peon.  I don't have the patience to deal with the BS, though, so I don't really want to be a manager.  I have a steel trap of a mind for trivia; he won't play trivia games with me any more because I usually win.  But said skill does make me popular in bars with my friends.   :)
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on October 16, 2013, 05:46:08 PM
If my father had anything to say about it, I never would never have gone to College.  I was to be graduated from High School, (to please my mother),  marry a son of a friend of his from the loading dock, move into a double-wide and happily pop out plenty of children. 

Thank the Deity I received five scholarships that paid for everything including textbooks and money for trips home at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.

My mother put only one restriction on my College education. I could not sell my text books at the end of term.  I had to bring them home with my class notes.  During the day, she'd study while I was at my summer job.  In the evening, we'd sit down around the kitchen table and discuss history, political science, literature or whatever else I had been taking in the last semester.

After the first term,  it dawned on me that I was giving my mother a College education.  After that, I made sure to take good notes and keep my books in excellent condition.  Mom was smart and asked the sort of questions my professors at school wanted me to ask.  I learned to be more assertive in class because Mom depended on me and I had to be able to answer her. 

It may sound strange but it was a great mother-daughter bonding experience.

 :'( Seriously sweetest thing I've read all day!

My continuing my education and telling my mom how I was often the youngest in class, or that there were a lot of people close to her age in my classes, really pushed her to go back and get her BA (now she's getting her Masters, cause she's awesome). She kept thinking she was "too old". She got an AA the year I finished high school because she was working for the community colleges (so she got free school, so did I!), but then she was "too old" and it'd "take too long" to get what she wanted. She had wanted to be counselor for years, but someone once told her it'd take at least 10 years of school (and if she wanted to psychiatrist they'd be correct) so she figured she could never get and she kept saying, "it'll take 10 years", so finally one day I used logic that had once been applied to me and said "Mom, in 10 years, if you don't go to school, how old will you be?" and she tells me, so then I said "Ok, and in 10 years, if you do go to school, how old will you be?"...same number. Well then...why not go to school?
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Venus193 on October 16, 2013, 06:10:26 PM
Quote
I was reading Ben Hur when I was eight. I'm not above average intelligence, maths has always eluded me, but both parents encouraged any and all pursuit of knowledge. There was never any suggestion that I shouldn't learn or better myself just because I was female.

This bugs me.  Math and science -- which are now being promoted at the expense of the liberal arts -- are not the only measure of intelligence.  Nor are they the only worthy use of it.

I was a decent math student but was never in love with it.  Literature, writing, and the arts were always my strengths.  People should be encouraged to direct their intelligence to what moves them and not to what someone else wants them to.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: kherbert05 on October 16, 2013, 07:31:38 PM
Sometimes I worry that in my family we do the reverse and shortchange the guys. In my Grandparents' and parents' generations the women were more likely to be
1. Sent to University
2. Get advanced degrees
3. Go work outside of the country

My BIL once commented "I guess we spent the day with Aunt Kimbee" when Loren met him at the door to explain that Giraffes were herbivores, had flat teeth, and their vertebrae are This (display of hands) big that is why they can eat leaves off the tops of trees. She was 2 1/2 yo. (He has no problem with smart women - he just thought it funny he could tell if I was babysitting or his mother from the topic of conversation Loren would greet him with.)

Dad called me Mr. Spock because I was very logical. Actually that was my biggest problem with Cousin C (we fought like cats and dogs for years) she didn't make sense to me.

In 2nd grade I insisted that I had to finish this huge reader they sent home in 1 week. Mom knew that was wrong, and was worried I wasn't reading 'good' books instead of this step up from see jane run basel book. So she took me to a meeting with Mrs. Blue (real name). Mrs. Blue told me I didn't have to read the book in 1 week. I stomped my foot and said yes I do. Mrs. Blue, bless her, asked why. I told them well last year I finished the stupid books so Mrs. Mahoney let me get real books from the library. If I read a book a week, then by Christmas you will have to let me read real books. Mrs. Blue took the basel reader away - and walked us down to the library and let me check out "real books"

5th grade Mrs. Lincoln   had us build electrical circuits as a project. She had a group of us explain our projects. Each of the other kids broke down and admitted that their parents had paid someone to make their project. I was able to explain everything on the board parallel circuits and series circuits. But I broke down crying that I had cheated also
1. Dad had cut the board using the circular saw because I wasn't allowed to use it.
2. Dad had done the soldering because I couldn't get it to do right and Dad was afraid I would burn myself (I have fine motor control problems)
3. The motor we bought at the hobby store was broken and Frank, my cousin who is an engineer, fixed it.

Mrs. Lincoln told me that wasn't cheating and I got like a 120% grade.

In HS - classmates didn't tease me. They threatened to beat me senseless because I "blew the curve" in an "easy curve" class. (I and another freshman got 100  on a test. the next highest grade was a 60. If we had earned similar grades the teacher would have added 40 points to everyone's grades in a "straight curve" not a bell curve) This big intimidating senior football player told us to stay put at dismissal. He explained to the teacher why announcing we had earned 100's was a bad idea. Then he walked me to the pick up area and waited till Mom got there and drove the boy home. Word on high came down that he would "take care" of anyone that tried to harm either one of us.  We didn't have any more problems and that teacher stopped curving grades and expected people to be able to score high on her test.

University - laughed in the face of a professor who tried to convince me I had been taught that scientist were all men. Every scientist I knew growing up was a woman (Mom and all her friends from work)
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: *inviteseller on October 16, 2013, 08:03:23 PM
I am a smart nerd and I have been told to dumb it down.  I have heard the lines "men won't like a smart woman" and "when you outsmart men in the business world you won't get anywhere" but I was also raised by my father who wanted only the best for us academically.   I was reading at 4, always was ahead of my class mates (altho I had a few teachers try to hold me down  >:( ).  My ex husband hatedhatedhated the fact that I was smarter than him..I really tried not to be overbearing about it but I would try to engage him in conversations about world events, politics, literature..and he would glaze over.  His mother said to me I acted all 'stuck up' because I liked to 'act' so smart, but education was not the  priority for their family as it was for mine.  My SO of 10 years was on the same level as me..we could talk about any subject, from the most intelligent conversations to Sponge Bob and it was great to finally find someone who could talk to me on the same level without anyone floundering to keep up or someone having to dumb it down. 

My 7 yr old DD is extremely intelligent (scarily so) and is reading at a much higher level than her classmates and is being targeted by some kids because she aces all subjects, all tests.  I feel that her teacher this year is not challenging her enough and I am dreading a meeting coming up about it.  I don't want to be SS mom bragging and asking for special treatment but I hate to see my DD lose her love of learning by being held back to keep up with the rest of the class.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: WillyNilly on October 16, 2013, 08:06:19 PM
I truly believe there is a fundamental difference in being educated and being intelligent. Ok yes it takes a certain level of intelligence to absorb and understand education, but true intelligence to me is the ability to understand when to use the education. Being well read and having a large vocabulary doesn't make you smart, smart is knowing when its a better idea to use common words and layman's terms.

I never wanted to be in the advanced classes at school; I preferred being a big fish in a small pond. And as such I learned early on, on my own to dumb things down. I wanted to take it easy in school and coast - much easier to do in regular classes! It drove my parents nuts though, they expected me to strive towards educational excellence.

I remember in 8th grade I took the NYC test for specialized high schools (Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech). When the results came in the students who took the tests were pulled out of class to the hallway. One boy looked at me and sneered "what are you doing out here? You're not smart!" I was the only student to make it into all 3 schools.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: flickan on October 16, 2013, 08:19:29 PM
I never wanted to be in the advanced classes at school; I preferred being a big fish in a small pond. And as such I learned early on, on my own to dumb things down. I wanted to take it easy in school and coast - much easier to do in regular classes! It drove my parents nuts though, they expected me to strive towards educational excellence.

This was my life too.  I hated being the underachiever in a classroom full of bright driven people because competition turned me off so much.  It was too stressful.  I much preferred being a smart kid in an average class and not having to work for anything.  I didn't get me through college but it got me pretty far.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Elfmama on October 16, 2013, 08:51:38 PM
I've lived with this my entire life.  It was a source of much stress when I was growing up because we were always moving so I was always the new kid.  Combine glasses, braces and an educational aptitude that was usually far above most of my classmates with that and I was the target for either a) bullying or b) kids trying to get me to do their work for them. 
A lot of a), often caused by refusing b).  I could have written this, minus the braces. In elementary school, my classmates thought I was weird because I knew how to read before I started school, and by the end of kindergarten was reading fluently and well above grade level.  Kindergarten then was ABCs, colors, shapes, all the sort of thing they teach now in nursery school.  They only started to teach actual reading in first grade, and then it was sight-reading, not phonics.  Teach a child that this shape means "cat" but not that C says "k" and A says "aa" and T says "t", and he's lost when you ask him what C A R  or C A T T L E means.  Even as late as junior high my classmates were. Reading. One. Word. At. A. Time.  It HURT to hear them read aloud.  I wouldn't be surprised if most of them read their last book in high school.  We left that town when I was in 8th grade, and I'd read through all of the children's books that interested me, most of the YA, and was making inroads on the adult fiction.  It upset the old lady librarian greatly that I wasn't reading "suitable" books, by which she meant girls' books about wanting to be ballerinas or nurses or some other suitable female profession.  The children's section was segregated into "girls' books" or "boys' books," with only a few books deemed suitable for everyone.  All the good stuff like SF was in the boys' section!   

As an adult, no one has ever criticized what I read and how much I read, with the exception of the librarian at a small US military base in Italy where I found myself stuck for 2 1/2 interminable years.  He thought I ought to be content to read the generous selection of Harlequin Romances that had been ordered specifically for dependent wives, and not be bothering him for ILLs from other base libraries.  ::)  And raiding the books meant for the guys wasn't in the cards either, because most of them were secret agent series with names like "The Terminator" or "The Executioner" or "The Exterminator."  I survived on care packages from my mother and sister. 

What's fun is watching someone come into the house who isn't familiar with our personal library.  "Did you guys read all of those books?"  And DH laughs and says "That's only about half of them.  The rest are upstairs." There are 1988 books in the inventory, and I know that we've probably missed a few.  Every time we moved, the moving company was told to bring 40 (or 50, 60, 70...) book boxes, and someone looked at that and obviously thought "They can't possibly mean 40 (50, 60, 70...) book boxes!  Sam must have misheard them.  They meant 14 (15, 16, 17...)"  And when they got to the house and looked at the library, someone went back to the warehouse and brought the rest of the book boxes that they were TOLD to bring.   
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Elfmama on October 16, 2013, 08:55:08 PM
When I was in elementary school I was always reading at least four years above average levels.  My vocabulary was always more sophisticated than than that of 95% of my classmates.  I was always being told "Don't use words nobody else knows" by classmates whose grades were below mine.

The messages that Scarlett O'Hara got came later.

I never bought what this notion was selling.  A man who falls for a dumb act can't be very intelligent or confident and that is not a man worthy of my respect or my time.

What truly blows my mind is that so many women fall for this.  I wonder what happens to them in the long term?  Do they play dumb until after the officiant says "I now pronounce you husband and wife" and what happens then or do they continue to play dumb to appease the weak self-esteem of their husbands (or others)?  Do any of you know an example of this?
Well, there was a similar conversation in GWTW.  And Mammy said "Men 'spects dey wives to have sense." 
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: gmatoy on October 16, 2013, 09:43:39 PM
If my father had anything to say about it, I never would never have gone to College.  I was to be graduated from High School, (to please my mother),  marry a son of a friend of his from the loading dock, move into a double-wide and happily pop out plenty of children. 

Thank the Deity I received five scholarships that paid for everything including textbooks and money for trips home at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.

My mother put only one restriction on my College education. I could not sell my text books at the end of term.  I had to bring them home with my class notes.  During the day, she'd study while I was at my summer job.  In the evening, we'd sit down around the kitchen table and discuss history, political science, literature or whatever else I had been taking in the last semester.

After the first term,  it dawned on me that I was giving my mother a College education.  After that, I made sure to take good notes and keep my books in excellent condition.  Mom was smart and asked the sort of questions my professors at school wanted me to ask.  I learned to be more assertive in class because Mom depended on me and I had to be able to answer her. 

It may sound strange but it was a great mother-daughter bonding experience.

This made me cry! (In a good way!)
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Venus193 on October 16, 2013, 09:59:38 PM
I remember that conversation Scarlett had with Mammy.  I'm sure even Mammy was aware of the ridiculousness of the situation.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: gmatoy on October 16, 2013, 10:09:07 PM
I remember in 8th grade I took the NYC test for specialized high schools (Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech). When the results came in the students who took the tests were pulled out of class to the hallway. One boy looked at me and sneered "what are you doing out here? You're not smart!" I was the only student to make it into all 3 schools.

My BIL went to Brooklyn Tec and my DH went to Stuyvesant. I was the first girl in my family to graduate from high school. When we met (while in the Army) DH was a college grad and I had only a high school education.

I graduated from college 30 years and 1 day after my high school graduation. While I was going to college, my DH kept talking about how smart I was! Finally I asked him if he hadn't known that already. His reply? "How could I know that? You either didn't know or didn't believe it yourself!"

Umm, no. I knew but didn't have any proof except for my ridiculously high scores on my Army entrance tests.

When I was going to college, my daughter finished high school and went on to college. I feel like it was something I had to do to be sure that my daughter knew how much I valued education.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: ammyd on October 17, 2013, 12:25:37 AM
My parents were great about it and always encouraged me to read and learn. I actually had a teacher who criticized me and actually kept me from the enrichment program since you had to have the scores and a teacher recommendation my first year.

I have always been a fast reader who didn't just skim it I just absorbed the information and locked it in my brain. She'd never believe I read and understood our assignments and would make me read and re-read them until the rest of the class finally got done. Never mind my mom loves to tell the story of how I knew and used the word rotund when I was three the teacher never would believe that I wasn't an idiot.

 My only problem were being fidgety, terrible math skills(now we know it's likely dyscalculia) and horrible handwriting, like really horrible. I was in the fifth or sixth grade before it was legible to everyone.

I was so stressed and anxious from her constantly picking on me that I was sick every day before school because I knew I'd have to face her. She really crushed my love of school and it never fully recovered.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Tini on October 17, 2013, 09:35:38 AM
Like I said in the original thread, my mom was of the opinion that I should not 'let it hang out' so much that I was clever because it would put boys off.

Her whole attitude was really weird. On the one hand she always said that if her girls (there's four of us) had the smarts for it she would make sure we'd get an education (and three of us did A-levels, I've got a first in maths and my youngest sister has a doctorate in geology), on the other hand she made me going to university as unpleasant for me as you could imagine. She is terrible at empathy and one of those people who'll do pretty awful things if she's convinced that it is the right thing to do. I was the first person in our entire family to go to uni, ever, and that makes it much harder and more frightening. I really did not know what to expect. I'd also been bullied badly in school for being clever, so I was still very  bruised emotionally and, well, a bit otherworldly.

And then my mother told me that they would not support me financially, although they could have well afforded it. Even a hundred bucks a month (and I must have cost them more while I was at home) was too much. Yet they still got the local equivalent of child benefit (a universal benefit all parents get) for me. This did not change when my health took a bad turn. I was actually misdiagnosed with cancer at one point. For six weeks I thought I had a tumor on my adrenal cortex, but then it turned out to be a mistake and all I had was PCOS. I had to go to hospital for the first time in my life an no-one came to visit. I really thought they were going to let me go through chemo and whatever was to come on my own - not once did they say, 'we'll be there'.

She later told me that she did not give me any money on purpose. She thought I should be forced to work on the side so I'd get 'some different ideas in my head', whatever that is supposed to mean.

On the other hand our house was full of books, and if one of her kids asked a question and she didn't know, she'd pull out a book and look it up.

And yet again, I got crappy craft kits for christmas or some stupid stuff like 'mix your own perfume' and my brother got a physics experimentation kit I would have killed for. My interest in astronomy was thoroughly mocked. She kept on pushing me into languages.

Small wonder I never finished my first attempt at a degree (or, indeed, my second). I just did not feel like I was supposed to be there or be a success at anything. And she was soooo disappointed in me.

It wasn't until I was in my early fourties and in another country, happily married and with two lovely children that I finally went back to university and got the degree I should have had twenty years ago. The older I got and the more I compared the way I raise my kids and how much I love them to how she treated me, the less I understand her.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Thipu1 on October 17, 2013, 10:13:29 AM
There certainly is a big difference between being educated and being intelligent.

  Some of the most clueless people I've known have held multiple PhDs.  One firmly believed that the X-Files were documentaries.  Another thought it would be a good idea to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge on an afternoon when a hurricane was expected to hit. 

The world's smartest garbage man in Dilbert isn't far from the truth.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: twiggy on October 17, 2013, 10:21:34 AM
My mother used to punish me by removing the books from my room. Once I got too many books to remove, she would just tape cardboard over the bookcases so I couldn't get to them.  I learned at a very young age how to hide books in my wardrobe just in case I got in trouble :)

I remember the first time my stepfather sent me to my room and told me I couldn't watch TV for a week.  I think I just shrugged and went to my room.  He got mad because he thought I was playing it cool.  My mother had to say...no, she just doesn't care about watching TV.

Oh, yes, the dreaded "Go to your room...Wait, you're not allowed to read."  It took my mother and step-father until junior high to realize that was the real punishment.

I had a book or two stashed under my mattress at all times :)

But my favorite story is the time that my mom wanted us to watch some crazy movie. All I remember is an old guy drove his riding lawnmower cross country to see his brother one last time before the brother died. It was strange, and boring, and I grabbed a book I had stashed under the couch, hid behind said couch and read it while pretending to watch the movie. When Mom saw me, she made me sit in a folding chair in the center of the living room so that she could watch me watch the movie. ::) ::)

She says that we were "making memories" and when the story comes up now, she says, "well, you remember it, don't you?"
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on October 17, 2013, 10:33:19 AM
My mother used to punish me by removing the books from my room. Once I got too many books to remove, she would just tape cardboard over the bookcases so I couldn't get to them.  I learned at a very young age how to hide books in my wardrobe just in case I got in trouble :)

I remember the first time my stepfather sent me to my room and told me I couldn't watch TV for a week.  I think I just shrugged and went to my room.  He got mad because he thought I was playing it cool.  My mother had to say...no, she just doesn't care about watching TV.

Oh, yes, the dreaded "Go to your room...Wait, you're not allowed to read."  It took my mother and step-father until junior high to realize that was the real punishment.

My mom would ban the TV (because I did like watching TV), then she'd ban books, and then I'd still be happy to just sit and let my mind wander. Finally she quit taking things away and loaned me out as free labor to her friends when I broke the few rules I had. Of course then I started liking the physical labor and learning new skills, so finally she just decided we'd have talks. Long, on going, never ending, talks. I followed the rule very carefully.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: #borecore on October 17, 2013, 10:48:24 AM
My mother used to punish me by removing the books from my room. Once I got too many books to remove, she would just tape cardboard over the bookcases so I couldn't get to them.  I learned at a very young age how to hide books in my wardrobe just in case I got in trouble :)

I remember the first time my stepfather sent me to my room and told me I couldn't watch TV for a week.  I think I just shrugged and went to my room.  He got mad because he thought I was playing it cool.  My mother had to say...no, she just doesn't care about watching TV.

Oh, yes, the dreaded "Go to your room...Wait, you're not allowed to read."  It took my mother and step-father until junior high to realize that was the real punishment.

I had a book or two stashed under my mattress at all times :)

But my favorite story is the time that my mom wanted us to watch some crazy movie. All I remember is an old guy drove his riding lawnmower cross country to see his brother one last time before the brother died. It was strange, and boring, and I grabbed a book I had stashed under the couch, hid behind said couch and read it while pretending to watch the movie. When Mom saw me, she made me sit in a folding chair in the center of the living room so that she could watch me watch the movie. ::) ::)

She says that we were "making memories" and when the story comes up now, she says, "well, you remember it, don't you?"

That movie is legendary in our home, too. My mom rented it at the library, and we all sat around, bored out of our brains, until someone cracked a joke (probably 10 minutes in), and it was a massive mocking session thereafter. I don't remember what it's called, but "Lawnmower Man" (which may or may not be the title) is synonymous with drudgery in our home.

That said, my parents did tease me a lot about reading all the time. They tried to make me play with other kids outside, but I'd almost always rather have been reading. They weren't sure what was going on, but framed it as concern about my physical health. I was skinny and did fine in gym class, but I didn't want to deal with the rules and physical contact of neighborhood sports most of the time. (It didn't help that most of the kids playing were boys 1-3 years older than me!)
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: mime on October 17, 2013, 12:56:03 PM
My parents were great-- always encouraging me in school. Grandparents were not so good. They were worried I'd become one of those "(expletive omitted) intellectual broads". When I graduated from college, they gave me a sewing machine to make clothes for our yet-to-be children because, after all, I was just in college to get my "MRS degree", right? A woman in the family working was, and still is, a source of embarassment for my grandmother.

I was never very interested in reading, but did well in English, Lit, Social Sciences anyway. Math and Science were my ground, though. When my HS Physics teacher heard I was going to study chemical engineering, he suggested I *not* go to the nearby university because it was #1 in the country and I wouldn't get in. Wrong. I got in. Along with honors program acceptance and scholarships. He then said I'd probably succeed in engineering because of affirmative action and I "have the right plumbing".

I had a Spanish teacher who saw me upstage a male classmate one day in an oral assignment in class. He went on a tirade in front of the class about how shameful it is to be outdone by a female.

HS boyfriend was smart, but always a bit behind me. I didn't talk much about my grades, but if anyone else brought it up he was horribly defensive about his scores and always trying to explain my grades as somehow less valid than his. This got worse as we went into college; he tried to spin things to sound like the honors program at the university was somehow a less-intelligent choice.

Now:
Mom & Dad are proud of me.
Grandpa even bragged about me (before he died).
I guess I did get the "MRS degree" as I met DH in our Analog Circuit Design class.
Physics teacher was wrong: I did not go on to a successful career in engineering, but chose to become a very successful mathematician instead.  :D  I am now surrounded by men and women who had similar experiences to my own, which is nice. I also get to do math all the time. I was made for math.
Somehow the Spanish teacher came around: by the end of my senior year one of my honors at graduation was the "top honor" medal for Spanish, for which he recommended me, and personally presented.
My DH is very smart and we remember fondly how we spent one of our first dates telling Physics jokes. We fight over who gets to fix things. : )
As for HS boyfriend: Don't know. Don't care.

Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Amanita on October 17, 2013, 04:42:49 PM
I'm just smart enough to be dissastisfied with my own lack of achievement sometimes.  Above average intelligence coupled with a lack of ambition is it's own trial. 

The story of my life! I heard a lot of things like this thrown at me growing up:
"For somebody so smart, how could you do something so stupid!?"

Seriously, I got that a lot as a kid- my mother expected me to "just know" a lot of things, and when I didn't and messed up, Gods help me.
I got leather sneakers soaking wet? I should have known better, according to my mom. Never mind that nobody had told me that water was bad for leather.

And yes, count me in as another who's VERY dissatisfied with her life. The amount of self hatred and loathing I feel at myself for not doing better, for not knowing how to "do better" is unreal. Seriously, I hate myself for the fact that a minimum wage, dead end job is the best I've been able to do so far. I don't know what I want to do with my life. I know I'm not cut out for the corporate world and culture of conformity. But I can't keep going on like this- I can't even afford my own place, and after ten years of working the job I have, I am beginning to wonder if I can even handle anything more mentally taxing, or being in a workplace with lots of other people. (Such is the nature of my job that I spend a lot of time alone)
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 17, 2013, 06:16:28 PM
The story of my life! I heard a lot of things like this thrown at me growing up:
"For somebody so smart, how could you do something so stupid!?"

My mother's expression was, 'If clues were shoes, you'd go barefoot.'
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Library Dragon on October 17, 2013, 09:35:34 PM
The story of my life! I heard a lot of things like this thrown at me growing up:
"For somebody so smart, how could you do something so stupid!?"

My mother's expression was, 'If clues were shoes, you'd go barefoot.'

Oh, yes, while my mother took a public pride in my reading abilities it was also a weapon.  Sitting quietly on the couch reading I was told I was conceited because I read well. I was in 5th grade. 

I was always in remedial math.  (It wasn't until my DSs struggled that I discovered that I have dyscalculia.)  I was convinced I wasn't smart enough to go to college.  Thank goodness for the Army.  I failed the ASVAB the first time but my scores the second time were usually the highest in several offices.  I was told I was smart and HAD to take college classes by one first sergeant. 

One Side Story: DH is a nurse anesthetist and often his peers in the Army were men.  DS1's pediatrician was a woman and the anesthesiologist while we were at Ft. Dix was a woman.  When he was 3 years, DS1 met a male surgeon.  DS1 declared he couldn't be a doctor because only women are doctors and men are nurses.  The surgeon, from a country that has sometimes outlawed female eucation, didn't think it was funny.  The rest of the OR staff loved it.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: flickan on October 17, 2013, 10:24:11 PM
I'm just smart enough to be dissastisfied with my own lack of achievement sometimes.  Above average intelligence coupled with a lack of ambition is it's own trial. 

The story of my life! I heard a lot of things like this thrown at me growing up:
"For somebody so smart, how could you do something so stupid!?"

Seriously, I got that a lot as a kid- my mother expected me to "just know" a lot of things, and when I didn't and messed up, Gods help me.
I got leather sneakers soaking wet? I should have known better, according to my mom. Never mind that nobody had told me that water was bad for leather.

And yes, count me in as another who's VERY dissatisfied with her life. The amount of self hatred and loathing I feel at myself for not doing better, for not knowing how to "do better" is unreal. Seriously, I hate myself for the fact that a minimum wage, dead end job is the best I've been able to do so far. I don't know what I want to do with my life. I know I'm not cut out for the corporate world and culture of conformity. But I can't keep going on like this- I can't even afford my own place, and after ten years of working the job I have, I am beginning to wonder if I can even handle anything more mentally taxing, or being in a workplace with lots of other people. (Such is the nature of my job that I spend a lot of time alone)

From one who's asocial tendencies prevents job advancement, you have my heartfelt sympathy.  But you don't have to do better to be happy.  I've spent the past couple of years learning to tune out the noise from those who say I'm smart enough to achieve much more.      I feel like any unhappiness that comes with failing to live to potential could be negated if I could just find a good place to be at.  So far so good.  Learning to be okay with the fact that I don't like being around other people was a huge hurdle but it's much easier now than it has been at any other time of my life.  Once you find a niche hold on tight to it.  It's harder to be successful when you can't lead and you won't follow.  But self-acceptance is 100% internal.  You can definitely achieve it.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: WolfWay on October 18, 2013, 03:58:29 AM

That movie is legendary in our home, too. My mom rented it at the library, and we all sat around, bored out of our brains, until someone cracked a joke (probably 10 minutes in), and it was a massive mocking session thereafter. I don't remember what it's called, but "Lawnmower Man" (which may or may not be the title) is synonymous with drudgery in our home.


I think you might be looking for "The Straight Story" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0166896/)?

"Lawnmower Man" is a horror movie about virtual reality (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104692/), which I only know because I loved it when I was 12. I watched it because it was written by Stephen King, and I was a strange child.

Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Cherry91 on October 18, 2013, 04:14:31 AM

In HS - classmates didn't tease me. They threatened to beat me senseless because I "blew the curve" in an "easy curve" class. (I and another freshman got 100  on a test. the next highest grade was a 60. If we had earned similar grades the teacher would have added 40 points to everyone's grades in a "straight curve" not a bell curve) This big intimidating senior football player told us to stay put at dismissal. He explained to the teacher why announcing we had earned 100's was a bad idea. Then he walked me to the pick up area and waited till Mom got there and drove the boy home. Word on high came down that he would "take care" of anyone that tried to harm either one of us.  We didn't have any more problems and that teacher stopped curving grades and expected people to be able to score high on her test.

*Standing ovation for the footballer for subverting stereotypes and restoring faith in humanity.*

The thing is, I've never had a problem dating. I managed to follow John Green's advice before I even heard it.
(http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m0dhluSXO41qe1n7yo6_250.gif)

I had to quote this, I adore John Green's vlogs. Yet oddly I have yet to read any of his books (I'm more interested in his process of writing than his writing, I can't help it, the Vlogbrothers are so interesting...)

I think it's definitely becoming more "acceptable" (by which I mean less likely to be mocked) to be smart, nerdy or geeky than it used to be. When we were kids, my cousin used to tease me for always having my head in a book or studying. She's now working towards a business degree. Best victory ever - I get proven right and she benefits from it too.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: cicero on October 18, 2013, 04:56:14 AM
I was never criticized for being smart, but I always felt stupid and did horrifically badly in school. It was only on my second college attempt when I was in my 40s that I went to a prof to ask him to explain something to me and he said " you are much smarter than you think you are, you have to start giving yourself more credit". That caused me to change a lot about mysekf and respect myself more.

ETA - now that i thought about it a little bit, i think that there probably WAS an underlying message of "you're a girl, you don't have to be so smart, just be pretty, get married, and have children". To my parents way of thinking, girls got "jobs" that were mostly "fill ins" until they got to their "real" job which was being a mom.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Venus193 on October 18, 2013, 05:54:29 AM
I was never criticized for being smart, but I always felt stupid and did horrifically badly in school. It was only on my second college attempt when I was in my 40s that I went to a prof to ask him to explain something to me and he said " you are much smarter than you think you are, you have to start giving yourself more credit". That caused me to change a lot about mysekf and respect myself more.

ETA - now that i thought about it a little bit, i think that there probably WAS an underlying message of "you're a girl, you don't have to be so smart, just be pretty, get married, and have children". To my parents way of thinking, girls got "jobs" that were mostly "fill ins" until they got to their "real" job which was being a mom.

This is what a friend of mine was taught and to an extent she fell for it.  To this day she believes that her biggest failure in life is being divorced and never having had children, not even not becoming a success in the theatre (which is my biggest failure).
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Amanita on October 18, 2013, 02:44:36 PM


From one who's asocial tendencies prevents job advancement, you have my heartfelt sympathy.  But you don't have to do better to be happy.  I've spent the past couple of years learning to tune out the noise from those who say I'm smart enough to achieve much more.      I feel like any unhappiness that comes with failing to live to potential could be negated if I could just find a good place to be at.  So far so good.  Learning to be okay with the fact that I don't like being around other people was a huge hurdle but it's much easier now than it has been at any other time of my life.  Once you find a niche hold on tight to it.  It's harder to be successful when you can't lead and you won't follow.  But self-acceptance is 100% internal.  You can definitely achieve it.

Actually, I DO have to do better. I can't afford to move out of my parent's house. Paying rent and all the other associated expenses would take virtually ALL of my pay. Which means everything else in my life that keeps me from being completely miserable would go away. No money anything but expenses. I've done that before and it sucks. And thanks to some seriously bad experiences, I won't take a stranger as a roommate. Not after what I (and the rest of the household) went through in Toronto.
Even here at home, things kind of suck sometimes. My mother is environmentally sensitive, so whenever she catches a whiff of something, I get blamed. "Are you using something?" I get that even when I'm sitting at the kitchen table with nothing more noxious than a pencil. On top of that, we live in the sub-suburbs, and I'm a non driver. Even if I knew how to drive, I can't afford a car, insurance, and gas on what I make. So I'm largely stuck here, as public transit is useless to everyone except those who keep office worker's hours.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: demarco on October 18, 2013, 03:57:37 PM
I was definitely a Melanie.  Reading and studying was very important to me.   I was mostly praised for it by family members and encouraged by my teachers (with a few memorable exceptions).  I married a man who is also bookish and who appreciates that trait in me.   We have commented to each other more than once, "Wouldn't it have been awful if we were married to people who didn't love to read?" 

But... I have lately come to the realization that my life would have been better and I would have had more success professionally and personally had I spent more time developing a Scarlet side.  The ability to solve problems and the invaluable skill of being able to work a room and have everyone in your thrall  open a lot of doors and keep them open.  They make life easier.  I wish I had recognized this a long time ago. 
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on October 18, 2013, 04:17:57 PM
Growing up and then later on,  I retreated into books and later video games as they were a way I could 'escape' from reality. Reality wasn't nice. I was expected to be ambitious and want to succeed and have a good job like my younger sisters...but all I wanted to be was happy, because most of the time I wasn't while living with my Mum and stepfather. I was always asked why I hid away in my room, it was to avoid them.

It even got to the point where I tried to kill myself, but it was that year that everything changed. I moved to the big city, DH (who I had met earlier that year ) was VERY pleased I was moving up and we started dating. I managed to get a qualification (no job yet) but I've never been happier.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: VorFemme on October 18, 2013, 06:19:29 PM

The thing is, I've never had a problem dating. I managed to follow John Green's advice before I even heard it.
(http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m0dhluSXO41qe1n7yo6_250.gif)


Mom was a teacher who translated her Greek New Testament for "fun" - so being teased about being a bluestocking didn't happen at home - now, the other kids in school didn't like it when the glasses wearing girl taller than the guys (until high school) was reading several years in advance of the former "smartest kid in class" - I did NOT make either valedictorian or salutatorian because at a certain point it was easier to pull the grades that came naturally and NOT study to make higher grades - I could read for fun instead - because once I got home, I would have chores to do and those would expand to fill the entire evening if I didn't have some "studying" to do (four kids and both parents worked - we all had chores). 

Turned out to be a bad idea when I got to college (not having learned to study efficiently) - but I did learn to study much more efficiently once I was paying for my own classes!  Getting married and moving to a house 1/4 the size of the one my family was living in cut down the amount of chores to do, too!
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: mrs_deb on October 18, 2013, 06:23:55 PM
"Put down the book, Miss Anti-Social, and watch television with the family."  -- my mother
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on October 18, 2013, 09:45:43 PM
I do remember when I'd go visit my grandparents house and my mother, her two sisters, grandma and their guests would get together and chat and chat about things I would have no input on, such as gossiping about people they grew up with, who did what, what they're doing now, etc. 

I'd pick up my book I'd left on the table and just start reading since I wasn't even really in the conversation and didn't find it interesting.  I'd be told to put it down, there was company and WE were having a conversation.  So I'd put the book down and go back to being ignored, pretty much.  ::)
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: *inviteseller on October 18, 2013, 09:58:33 PM
I just talked to DD's teacher the other day..asked her about testing for the gifted program (again, my DD is above and beyond the majority of the kids in her class and her school is very academically ahead of other districts around here).  Teacher said , somewhat condescendingly, that the tests were reeeeeally long and gee that is so hard for the kids.  I countered with "She loves tests" (this is the child, when told she could pick any book at the book store picked out a third grade workbook and a book of timed math tests that she finished this summer.  Before she started 2nd grade).  She then said "Well, I like to take till at least January to evaluate them for any interventions (school starts in August, if you haven't picked up by October what they are basically capable of, then somethings wrong).  I am going to talk with the principal next week because DD just got her mid month behavior chart review and there is already 3 x's (she got 1 all last year) and the note says she should have had more but she decided to warn her about talking all the time.  I asked DD why she was suddenly acting up in class..she said she keeps trying to ask questions or talk about the subject (she loves to delve into things..it can be annoying but I hate discouraging her from satisfying her need to expand on the basics) and the teacher tells her she is talking too much.  ARGHHHHHHHH!!!!!  I do NOT want to be that mom, but I guess I will have to be.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: finecabernet on October 18, 2013, 10:10:47 PM
Oh yes! I was told that getting my MA in English was "stupid" by step mom, who also prevented my father from paying my tuition (I didn't ask him, she told me later he wanted to pay for it and she said no). She also declared she'd been to too many graduations and wouldn't go to mine. Despite discouragement bordering on sabotage, I got the degree anyway. Amazed now I had the guts to pursue it, let alone achieve it.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Venus193 on October 18, 2013, 11:13:34 PM
Wow.

My mother didn't attend either my high school or my college graduation.  I have come to realize that she resented the fact that I finished school and she never did.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Bijou on October 19, 2013, 06:49:23 AM
From a shirttail relative:
"I can't stand Bijou, but she's really smart!"  (I can't stand him either, and I don't think he's smart, at all.  I think he hates more people than anyone else I have ever met in my life.)
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: kherbert05 on October 19, 2013, 11:58:37 AM
I do remember when I'd go visit my grandparents house and my mother, her two sisters, grandma and their guests would get together and chat and chat about things I would have no input on, such as gossiping about people they grew up with, who did what, what they're doing now, etc. 

I'd pick up my book I'd left on the table and just start reading since I wasn't even really in the conversation and didn't find it interesting.  I'd be told to put it down, there was company and WE were having a conversation.  So I'd put the book down and go back to being ignored, pretty much.  ::)
I come from a family of story tellers. They would send us kids away when certain types of stories got told.


At Nanna's I would sit in this old cane back chair that fit just between the frig and the counter. They would forget I was there.


At Dad's family's houses I would sit in the open or behind a couch with a book. THey all figured I wasn't listening. Years later they were shocked at the racier family history that I knew.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Sirius on October 19, 2013, 01:02:23 PM
I'd get "Put down that book and do something!"  I also got "If you're so smart, why are you working as a waitress?"  from my parents.

Well.  Mr. Sirius and I are both voracious readers, and not only do I appreciate his intelligence he appreciates mine.  He says it's one of the first things he noticed about me.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: KenveeB on October 19, 2013, 03:50:41 PM
Fortunately, my parents were very supportive and encouraged me to read and take advanced classes whenever I could. My only real problem was that no one in my family was a reader and I never found a supportive teacher/librarian who could encourage me in what to read. I ended up reading a lot of YA lit that wasn't that good, just because it was what I ended up with in the library. I've tried to expand my horizons later in life.

My extended family, though, just Doesn't Get It. They all talk about how smart Kenvee is, but in the way you might talk about your dog suddenly picking up a curious new habit. My uncle would get mad and walk out if I was doing well at a game. (Sorry, don't play trivia with me!) My cousin said she wasn't going to chat with me online anymore because I used too many big words. They just don't get the concept of reading for fun, or reading nonfiction, or remembering odd facts because you watched a documentary on the subject, or whatever.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: misha412 on October 20, 2013, 08:40:15 AM
I actually had a family very supportive of education, so me being an advanced student was a good thing in their eyes. I am a voracious reader and have been since I learned how to read the basics. In my elementary school, the librarian made the 1st and 2nd graders read books in a certain section geared to their typical reading level. At the beginning of the second grade, she gave me permission to read anything in the library (K-6) because I was taking out more books than others every week. (Okay, call me a geek, a nerd, I don't care).

That did not stop criticism though. My vocabulary tends to be more expansive than most because I read so much. When I was in my twenties, finishing up my bachelor's degree, my mother made the comment that I "talk down" to people because I use "big words." I asked a few other people, including other family members, about that comment and never had anyone agree with her. It made me self-conscious about the words I use and that still continues through today.

I also had an aunt make a comment that if I weren't so dedicated to my education I would have "found a man" earlier. And it was said in a way that made it sound like a sad thing to not get married at age 20.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: camlan on October 20, 2013, 08:55:04 AM
Reading a lot was one of the few things I wasn't criticized for. That was seen as as a good thing. And it kept me quiet in a house full of very noisy brothers. And both sides of the family come from a long line of teachers, so doing well in school was expected.

However, I'd go off to my room to read. And that was seen as bad, because I isolated myself from the rest of the family.

But with 5 brothers who were allowed to tease me endlessly and mercilessly until it reached the point of bullying, why on earth would I want to spend time with them? And if I complained, I was told I was "too sensitive."

And we lived in small houses mostly, with the TV in the living room, and no other room to go to except the dining room or kitchen. And the TV was always playing some sports thing--baseball, football, basketball, hockey--that I was not interested in. And it's hard to read with the noise of the TV and shouts of the TV viewers for every score or fumble or whatever.

My mother once threatened me with boarding school if I didn't come out of my room more. It was truly the worst punishment she could think of--being cut off from your family like that. Sadly, what she didn't realize was that I would have loved boarding school and not being around my brothers all the time. I lived in hopes for a few months that I would get to go away to school, but it had been an idle threat and never came to pass.

Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: mime on October 22, 2013, 04:14:16 PM
Growing up and then later on,  I retreated into books and later video games as they were a way I could 'escape' from reality. Reality wasn't nice. I was expected to be ambitious and want to succeed and have a good job like my younger sisters...but all I wanted to be was happy, because most of the time I wasn't while living with my Mum and stepfather. I was always asked why I hid away in my room, it was to avoid them.

It even got to the point where I tried to kill myself, but it was that year that everything changed. I moved to the big city, DH (who I had met earlier that year ) was VERY pleased I was moving up and we started dating. I managed to get a qualification (no job yet) but I've never been happier.

This is a good reminder to be careful how you measure success. I believe in my post I referred to my career as very successful. By that I don't mean "I'm going to be President of Fortune100 company". My success in my career is that I get paid nicely to do what I love and it supports my family and my lifestyle. My advancement and non-advancement have been very much at my chosing, and I am happy with those choices.

If you have never been happier, then even though you are on a road that is different from that of your sisters, you are on a road to success nonetheless. I wish you continued success!
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: BeagleMommy on October 24, 2013, 02:40:59 PM
I have a large vocabulary.  I love words and have dictionary.com's word of the day coming to my email.  Sometimes I know I sound like a walking thesaurus, but I can't help it.  It's the way I talk because I always read above my age group.

A former coworker complained to a former boss that I was insolent because I used "a lot of words she couldn't understand".  Boss asked that I use smaller words so coworker wouldn't feel bad.  I looked at her like this  :o and said "Do you really expect me to dumb myself down because coworker can't be bothered to pick up a dictionary"?  She apologized.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Miss Misery on October 24, 2013, 03:49:49 PM
My parents were avid readers---my mother had her detective novels and my dad was always reading Stephen King. It was only a matter of time before I got my grubby little hands on them and started reading King in grade school. I was never tested but I'm pretty sure I've always read well above my grade level.

The only I can think of being criticized for books are when a co-worker commented that I had a different book every time she saw me (and made it sound like a bad thing) and a message board troll who bashed people for reading for enjoyment.  *le gasp!*


I just had to buy some more shelving because my apartment is overflowing with books.  ;D I wouldn't have it any other way.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Twik on October 24, 2013, 03:58:59 PM
Going back to Scarlett O'Hara for a moment, I wouldn't call her a bluestocking. She was intelligent, even frighteningly smart in a feral sort of street sense, but she wasn't an intellectual. I never noticed her weeping over the destruction of the books by Sherman's March. If I recall, she sort of listened to Ashley talk Books And Music And Big Thoughts with glazed eyes, waiting for him to come back to things she cared about. Like her.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on October 24, 2013, 04:10:47 PM
Growing up and then later on,  I retreated into books and later video games as they were a way I could 'escape' from reality. Reality wasn't nice. I was expected to be ambitious and want to succeed and have a good job like my younger sisters...but all I wanted to be was happy, because most of the time I wasn't while living with my Mum and stepfather. I was always asked why I hid away in my room, it was to avoid them.

It even got to the point where I tried to kill myself, but it was that year that everything changed. I moved to the big city, DH (who I had met earlier that year ) was VERY pleased I was moving up and we started dating. I managed to get a qualification (no job yet) but I've never been happier.

This is a good reminder to be careful how you measure success. I believe in my post I referred to my career as very successful. By that I don't mean "I'm going to be President of Fortune100 company". My success in my career is that I get paid nicely to do what I love and it supports my family and my lifestyle. My advancement and non-advancement have been very much at my chosing, and I am happy with those choices.

If you have never been happier, then even though you are on a road that is different from that of your sisters, you are on a road to success nonetheless. I wish you continued success!

This! All of this! I am never going to be CEO of a major corporation. In fact if I were I'd probably have the desire to fling myself out the window of my corner office. However I adore what I do. I consider myself incredibly successful at my jobs. Yes, I have multiable jobs, because that's what works for me. It's not traditional, it's not going to make me a millionaire, but it's perfect for me.

My mother often remarks neither Partner nor I really have anywhere to move up in our jobs, and it's true. Partner could move to a bigger company, or take on more specialized projects, but she'll probably never move into management. And I'm self employed. I'm already CEO of the Me Corp! My mom cannot grasp how we can both be happy like this.

I saw a focus stone at church that I had to buy, it says "I have all of the money to do the things I need to do in this moment", which was true, I had a $1.50 to buy the stone!
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: KenveeB on October 24, 2013, 06:21:50 PM
Going back to Scarlett O'Hara for a moment, I wouldn't call her a bluestocking. She was intelligent, even frighteningly smart in a feral sort of street sense, but she wasn't an intellectual. I never noticed her weeping over the destruction of the books by Sherman's March. If I recall, she sort of listened to Ashley talk Books And Music And Big Thoughts with glazed eyes, waiting for him to come back to things she cared about. Like her.

I agree. Scarlett is not what I would ever call a bluestocking. It's not a matter of being smart, it's having a love of learning. Scarlett was very practical. She learned things that she needed to learn and didn't care about learning just for the sake of knowledge.
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Elfmama on October 24, 2013, 06:31:13 PM

Going back to Scarlett O'Hara for a moment, I wouldn't call her a bluestocking. She was intelligent, even frighteningly smart in a feral sort of street sense, but she wasn't an intellectual. I never noticed her weeping over the destruction of the books by Sherman's March. If I recall, she sort of listened to Ashley talk Books And Music And Big Thoughts with glazed eyes, waiting for him to come back to things she cared about. Like her.
An opinion I read about a while back posited that Scarlett was a Narcissist.  The only thing that mattered in her world was Scarlett. 

I agree. Scarlett is not what I would ever call a bluestocking. It's not a matter of being smart, it's having a love of learning. Scarlett was very practical. She learned things that she needed to learn and didn't care about learning just for the sake of knowledge.
As a matter of fact, in one of the early scenes in the book where she's talking to the Tarleton twins, it says specifically that she hadn't opened a book since leaving the Female Academy the year before.  (Might have said "willingly opened"; I don't have it in front of me to check.)
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Venus193 on October 24, 2013, 06:40:11 PM
My mentioning Scarlett was specifically because she was intelligent and annoyed that she was expected to hide it.

The word "willingly" is in that sentence:

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0200161.txt
Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Elfmama on October 24, 2013, 07:08:35 PM
When I was in elementary school I was always reading at least four years above average levels.  My vocabulary was always more sophisticated than than that of 95% of my classmates.  I was always being told "Don't use words nobody else knows" by classmates whose grades were below mine.

The messages that Scarlett O'Hara got came later.

I never bought what this notion was selling.  A man who falls for a dumb act can't be very intelligent or confident and that is not a man worthy of my respect or my time.

What truly blows my mind is that so many women fall for this.  I wonder what happens to them in the long term?  Do they play dumb until after the officiant says "I now pronounce you husband and wife" and what happens then or do they continue to play dumb to appease the weak self-esteem of their husbands (or others)?  Do any of you know an example of this?
Well, there was a similar conversation in GWTW.  And Mammy said "Men 'spects dey wives to have sense."
and here's the exact passage:

"Why is it a girl has to be so silly to catch a husband?" 

"Ah specs it's kase gempmums doan know whut dey wants.  Dey jes' knows whut dey
thinks dey wants.  An' givin' dem whut dey thinks dey wants saves a pile of mizry
an' bein' a ole maid.  An' dey thinks dey wants mousy lil gals wid bird's tastes an'
no sense at all.  It doan make a gempmum feel lak mahyin' a lady ef he suspicions
she got mo' sense dan he has."

"Don't you suppose men get surprised after they're married to find that their wives
do have sense?"

"Well, it's too late den.  Dey's already mahied.  'Sides, gempmums specs dey wives
ter have sense."

Title: Re: S/O of Parental Criticism Thread: Were you criticized for being a bluestocking?
Post by: Venus193 on October 24, 2013, 07:58:29 PM
I remember it well.  I've read this book at least six times, each time being glad I wasn't born in 1845.