The eighties were chocked full with iconic fashion, some memorable and some forgettable. The humble scrunchie, legwarmers and puffy shoulder pads all have legacies but now is the time to celebrate blue stockings.

Bluetocking Week, organised by The National Tertiary Education Educational Union, celebrates women’s place at university. This year’s Bluestocking Week theme is Women Change The Rules.  The initiative was organised in the eighties and ran for several decades before support died down. In 2012, along with press on nails, Bluestocking Week made a comeback and is here to stay as more women across the nation get involved in fundraisers, dinners, lectures, panels, morning teas, bake off’s and protests that are organised. The week is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the experience of women in tertiary education and start conversations about areas in which improvements could be made toward equal treatment for men and women.

While Blue Stocking Week was on hiatus, many female university students labelled as feminist, believed the term was derogatory and could even affect careers.  Originally, the term Bluestocking was used to describe women who left high school and went to university. The bluestocking reference was thought to be characterising such women as wearing unattractive worsted stockings, preferring developing their minds than focussing upon their appearance. The women behind Blue Stocking Week took this stereotype and changed the rules, making the Blue Stocking label something to be proud of rather than ashamed of.

University campuses around the country will host a variety of events from August 13 to 17. A comprehensive list of events can be found on the NTEU website.

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