Hello there! My name is Meeghan Bresnahan, and I am from Massachusetts in the United States! Currently, I am entering my senior year at Framingham State University as an Honors History student with minors in Diversity Studies and Anthropology. I’m very involved on campus, acting as the drama club’s president and working as a student engagement and digital humanities intern in the school’s library!
As I’m sure is the case with the rest of the Girl Museum’s staff, I am extremely passionate about gender history! The majority of my papers for my history courses have focused on women’s history. For example, I recently completed my capstone paper titled “Abducted Colonists and Enslaved Natives: Displaced Women’s Encounters with Differing Cultural Perceptions of Womanhood in 1600–1750 New England.” I am perhaps most passionate about learning about the social and cultural lives of populations traditional history studies have frequently ignored, such as women and people of color. I also love learning about modern-day cultures and societies!
Besides history, I also have a great love of theatre. I was basically born into loving the performing arts, as my mother was a dancer! I’ve been involved in theatre productions for the past ten years, although I have loved it since I was a young girl. While I do love performing on stage the most, I also love participating backstage or watching other theatre productions. My favorite musical is Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, and my favorite role I’ve performed is Fräulein Schneider in Cabaret (I’m obviously a massive history nerd!). I also am an avid reader and book collector, and I love travelling and exploring with loved ones. Finally, I am known amongst my friends and family for my deep love of the Nancy Drew PC games!
In general, my dream job would be in a position where I can work daily with the public and help spread knowledge about the world and its history. I’d love to work in a library, museum, or historic site, interacting with patrons and organizing exhibits and events. I would also love to be an author! I’ve been passionate about writing since I was young, and I’d love to continue this passion throughout my life.
Coming from a city bordering the famous Salem, Massachusetts, I’ve spent a lot of time at the Peabody Essex Museum in that city. It has a wonderful blend of historic and contemporary art from the Americas and Asia, and I’ve always adored visiting it with my family! I also love the Newport Mansions in Rhode Island; I visited them for the first time last December, and that trip helped me realize I’d love to work in a location like that! It was incredible stepping back in time in those ornate mansions.
One of the biggest issues facing girls I know is them being told what a girl should be and being expected to conform to that image. For instance, compared to boys, girls are expected to be passive and quiet, kept from having their voices and opinions heard. They are expected to look and dress a certain way and can be insulted if they do not. Girls are also believed to prefer more “feminine” things like dolls over more “masculine” things like toy trucks. This all eventually leads to girls growing up into women who may be scared to speak their minds and express who they truly are. If they are not scared to do such things, others may not listen to their concerns or accept them due to them being women. Plus, girls (and boys) being placed into a gender binary can prevent them from doing things they enjoy (such as girls playing with trucks and boys playing with dolls). This binary can also restrict them from understanding who they are if they do not conform to the cisgender heterosexual standard society expects them to adhere to. All in all, this issue of being the “perfect” girl has negative effects on our entire society. I am very passionate about fighting against this narrative in whatever way I can, and I believe working with Girl Museum, highlighting the stories of extremely diverse girls, can help me in this fight.
Girl Museum, Inc.