An Introduction

Initially, when I decided to start this blog, I thought I might just jump right in with the Serious Issues. That seems to be taking a bit longer than I thought, so in lieu of actually posting about something I thought I might take the time to (briefly) introduce myself.

So, hello. My name is Brett, after Lady Brett Ashley from Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises (whom my mother, bizarrely, thought would be a good role model for some reason). I am, as the blog’s title suggests, a geek. Specifically, a history geek. And a queer feminist sex-positive social justice geek, if there is such a thing. I spent four years studying history at the University of Toronto, with a focus on gender and popular culture in late eighteenth-century France. Weirdly specific, I know. I also spent a significant portion of those four years either watching television or reading feminist blogs. And I don’t know if it was the blogs, or the eighteenth-century pamphlets, but at some point I realized that I hold Strong Feminist Views, and that I’d better do something about that.

I finished school in June, and have since been working a number of jobs usually with either the circus or the government, while trying to figure out whether I can afford to go to grad school next year. Since most of my writing over the past few years has been academic, this has left me with little to write about, and I’ve missed it. This blog is in part a cure for boredom, and in part an attempt to find a sort of middle ground between my two favourite preoccupations. It will, I hope, allow me to address feminism and other social justice issues with the historical perspective that I feel the blogosphere often lacks, as well as lending me a bit more flexibility in exploring my own ideas than I would get in academia.

Among the broader topics I hope to cover are gender in academia, eighteenth-century feminisms (and possibly feminism in other centuries, though I can’t promise that), the social construction of gender, race and sexuality in different historical periods, my own attempts to get into (and hopefully succeed in) grad school, and Battlestar Galactica. Because Battlestar Galactica is awesome.

Before I end this post, I also want to add a bit of a disclaimer: I understand that I am, in many ways, speaking from a position of privilege. I also understand that, having come from from sort of an odd background (more on that later) and having been part of a traditionally white, male-dominated and middle-class discipline, I will probably lack the perspective that many other writers and bloggers have, and I will often get things wrong. I hope that this blog will help me become aware of my own misconceptions, and I therefore welcome discussion and constructive criticism in the comments. I just ask that commenters be respectful of me (when I deserve it) and of each other, and I will try to do the same.

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