[Guest post by DRJ]
I can’t imagine putting a bumper sticker on a new car but I saw one today that caught my attention:
Brand new black SUV.
Driven by a young, very pretty (female) brunette.
Bumper sticker: “Well-behaved women rarely make history.”
I wonder if this driver is a devotee of Laurel Thatcher Ulrich? Ulrich first wrote a similar statement in 1976 as a graduate student and now she teaches at Harvard. Amazon summarizes Ulrich’s quote this way (from a Washington Post review):
“At the beginning of her career as a historian of early America, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich published an article entitled “Virtuous Women Found: New England Ministerial Literature, 1668-1735.” Could anything sound more narrowly academic than that — a scholarly examination of a small subset of Puritan funeral sermons? But Ulrich’s paper was destined to have a long history. It opened this way:
“Cotton Mather called them ‘the hidden ones.’ They never preached or sat in a deacon’s bench. Nor did they vote or attend Harvard. Neither, because they were virtuous women, did they question God or the magistrates. They prayed secretly, read the Bible through at least once a year, and went to hear the minister preach even when it snowed. Hoping for an eternal crown, they never asked to be remembered on earth. And they haven’t been. Well-behaved women seldom make history.”
Great quote. Is it true?
UPDATE: What about men: Do well-behaved men seldom make history?