Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, in a scholarly article written in 1976, wrote that “well-behaved women seldom make history” (Ulrich XIII). Over time, that phrase has became a slogan for feminists around the world. It appears on many products and media, like shirts, jewelry, and even wine glasses. At the time she wrote it, she meant for it to mean that women who are well-behaved do not get their stories told, even if they did something extraordinary or heroic, though now, people interpret it in many different ways.
“Well-behaved women seldom make history.” This is a quote that was taken from a scholarly article written by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. The article for this assignment discusses how this single line ignited a fire within the female population across the nation. Ulrich published her article that was titled with this line in 1976. From there, it was used in 1995, when journalist Kay Mills used it as an epigraph for her informal history of American women, From Pocahontas to Power Suits.
In 2007, Laurel Ulrich, wrote Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History, from which there is an essay that speaks on history, and how women have been left out. She wrote this as a result of her newfound fame due to a phrase in her 1976 journal article; this phrase would ultimately give her 2007 article it’s name. In her essay, her goal is to write about the lack of women in history as a whole; she then illustrates the type of women who by a turn of fate make it into history. Her point being that on few occasions women are written in history books, and even when they are, they are not the women who lead ordinary lives; most of the history that include women is tied to some groundbreaking or exotic
Given these points, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich has addressed that women who misbehave do make history. From the illustrations to the title, the tone in the passage, and also the effectiveness in pathos. The author indeed succeeded in proving that women that challenge the expectations of society do make history. The analytic form in her essay is clean, very well written, and argumentative that women should be just as important as men are. Even though the stereotypes of the 3 women had judgments and consequences, the faces of those women will run the course throughout history as women who indeed occasionally misbehaved but yet remained in the historical books and will always be remembered. Even though there may be possible bias in some aspects, the
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, an author and professor of history at Harvard University, introduced the phrase in a 1976 journal article about the characterization of women in Puritan funeral sermons. Ulrich more recently wrote a book, based on the phrase, that explores how women in the past have challenged the ways history was written. In her essay “Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History,” Ulrich discusses the history of the phrase, how it was coined, and how it has taken on a life of its own. The phrase is now commonly seen on everything from t-shirts to coffee mugs, and has been featured in magazine articles and even advertising campaigns. She reflects on how her “accidental fame” has given her new insights into her historical studies.
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich is generally accredited for the quote: “Well-behaved women seldom make history”. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich quote perfectly captures the struggle of equality and the entrapment of “femininity” that all women face. In order for most women to protest the oppression traditional gender role place on women, they (women) would have to deviate against societal gender norms. The narrow framework of Victorian’s “true womanhood” did not allow women to challenge their treatment in a patriarchal society. It would have been impossible for a woman to assert her independence and rally for her civil rights and civil liberties in American society; while, still upholding the status of a “true woman”. Thatcher Ulrich quote embodies the public’s perception of women who differed from social gender norms. Their actions were not viewed as heroic or innovative; instead women were publicly ridiculed as deviants and inappropriate women. They were in the outgroup of American society.
Throughout our modern and ancient history the lives of women have been overlooked by male historians. In some cases, not just the lives of ordinary women, but some of the most powerful and influential women at the time. Examples of this included Nancy Wake, Mary Bowser, Sybil Ludington, and Claudette Colvin. And in many instances, important facts about our history have been erased by historians simply choosing not to record the lives of women- especially women in their everyday lives. In many communities, women were the ones who kept the household, the stores, and even life up and running. Women worked in their own homes, gardens, the fields, stores, healthcare, and in religious ceremonies. Without them, society would have fallen- women kept the world turning. Yet we know so little about the lives of everyday women. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, famed early American and women’s historian, decoded the diary of Martha Ballard in her book The Midwife’s Tale, to bring us understanding and insight into the lives of many women in the 18th century. Ulrich is a devout believer in studying the lives of ordinary women to understand history.
A sport is an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment. Sports originated in early history as males only, and was often used to see which male was more dominant. In today’s society sports have a different meaning and is played by both genders, but still holds a mentality of superiority. In this essay, I will be arguing the Social Constructs of Masculinity in Sports in the language and the actions used when performing these activities through both genders and how some actions are acceptable for one gender and not for the other. Using Laurel Richardson’s article Gender Stereotyping in the English Language, and X: A Fabulous Child’s Story by Lois Gould. The article and story will help distinguish the use of words in our society and how they are incorporated in sport and how the actions of a person that does not fit the social standard faces repercussions for their actions.
The novel, Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History, by Laurel Ulrich is about women who never intended to make history but did in different ways. History is usually always revolved around men, and not many mention about the women who have helped in creating history. Through the early modern era women showed progress in making the United States a better place. With writers and activists like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Christine de Pizan and Virginia Woolf, the contributions from these individuals they influenced others with bettering our country with different movements that have changed the view of what we see today and what we could have seen if these women did not take any action.
In most history books, women get far fewer pages than men. This is sometimes attributed to a lack of material left behind by women through time, but this and their relative lack of coverage are both testaments to the limits placed on women in the male dominated societies of the times discussed. An article on feminist literary criticism quotes Virginia Woolf saying, “woman ‘pervaded poetry from cover to cover’ but was ‘in fact the slave of any boy whose parents forced a ring on her finger’” (Lanser 5). In more recent history, strong female voices abound in literature as well as in social issues, or, as is common, in both. Like Virginia Woolf, other prolific authors of the nineteenth century wrote of the plights of female protagonists in
The fair-sex, the whimsical-sex, the gentle-sex, these are some of the phrases usually used in reference to the female gender. Through the course of history those have been romanticized and accepted as a positive synonym of women; they can be found in an innumerable amount of romantic stories and even in official, governmental, and historical documents. However, the reality is that these phrases constitute nothing more than patronizing, disrespectful appellatives used to rob women of their dignity and diminish their contribution to our society. A clear evidence of said discrimination resides in the fact that the majority of literature and history books are written by male authors. In 2015 the magazine The Slate made a survey of the gender and approach of the history books published for general readers and the results showed a total of 75.8% of male writer. (1) Said discrimination goes farther than just gender; it includes race and ethnicity in the mix and creates a complex compound that fuses together and targets a specific group, in this case the Latin women.
When describing someone who is feeble, slow-moving, or lacking athletic ability, people often use the phrase “Like a girl.” A company called always, created and then released an ad campaign showing how detrimental and harmful this negative stereotypical phrase was to women because of their gender. Female athletes everywhere had an outstanding year in sports. Mo’ne Davis jumped up to the plate and became the first girl to pitch a winning game in the Little League World Series. Serena Williams has 21 grand slam titles. The successes began to proceed into the U.S. women’s national soccer team, they won the World Cup. Many great accomplishments have happened dealing with the ladies, but the big question still remains: Will these wonderful achievements
On the subject on her thoughts on feminism being viewed upon as a joke throughout social media, she says that a true feminist can respond with one question, “Do you believe that women and men are equal?” She says, “When you have an individual that wants to debate, do you want to have a discussion, or have a debate?” By making a question about the person who views feminism as a joke, they do not realize the true idea of feminism and understand the statistics that also come with it. Nichole elaborates on society and the things that still indicate that gender bias is still shown in everyday life. “You throw like a girl,” is a commonly known phrase used in sports. Nichole describes how even though “You throw like a girl” is a phrase that is subtle and short, it negatively influences how young women are perceived. It indicates how when a child hears “You throw like a girl,” to them, it parallels to a negative connotation. This child’s ‘throw’ is viewed as not strong enough, fast enough, or good enough. At a young age, girls view how they throw, their ability to be strong, and most importantly, their perception becomes negative. Additionally, Nichole explains how boy programs hold a phrase, “I will,” while girl programs hold the phrase, “I will try.” Girls at a young age are pushed to be risk takers and try new things, while boys are almost born with knowing that they can try to be anything that they
It is strange for me to think about a world where women are looked down upon for having ideas and a voice. If I want to become a writer, most people in our modern time would not think twice about it. Now, I say most people. There are always exceptions. I cannot imagine living in a time where I would be ridiculed because of something that I have written down on paper. Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, and Jane Austen wanted to speak out for women’s education and rights. In the face of repercussion, they did just that. Through a simple understanding of Judith Butler’s Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limit of “Sex”, we will be able to have a better understanding of these three authors.