Well-Behaved Women Seldom Makes History .. Interpreters Of Ignorance


All of us ofttimes must have seen this quote on our friends wall,in communities and groups on many social networking sites.I was quite baffled and at the same time felt offended (being a feminist) when i read this.What kind of demeaning statement is this?Many people of both the gender recklessly used this quote.But wait a second,have you really ever bothered to scoop out the meaning and intention of this quote when it was first quoted?Or are we all interpreters of ignorance?

The slogan can be seen on coffee mugs,t-shirts,pens, buttons, so what it really means to be a well-behaved women. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich delved into the implications of the phrase she coined in the 1970s. “Well-behaved women seldom make history”.According to Ulrich “If you want to make a difference in the world, you can’t worry too much about what other people think,” ..She pointed out how interesting it is that in each generation, history is written according to how it is perceived, according to what the public wants or needs.

Ulrich used Joan of Arc as an example. Over the course of time, Joan of Arc was deemed a transvestite, then a witch, a whore, and then a saint, she said. Joan of Arc inspired rebellion. She is now an icon of Catholic conservatism. “My goal is not to lament these women in their oppression,” Ulrich contended, “but to give them history. Serious history gets beyond good and bad. Some history is intentional. Much of history is accidental.”

Some misbehavior is celebrated, some is not. Contemporary culture defines the boundaries, and it is all very complex. But, as Ulrich told the audience, “It’s the job of historians to take something simple and make it complex.”

    “Ulrich gave a run-down of women who are famous or infamous because they went against the grain or did things deemed unbecoming, or even inappropriate, for women.”    


References :Loyola Today


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