I have been reacting badly to this bumper sticker in our parking lot, but didn’t think it through until yesterday.
Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History. It’s supposed to sound like a feminist admonition, but it comes across as a personal complaint hiding behind feminism for cover. Well-behaved men seldom make history either. Badly-behaved women or men are likewise unlikely to “make history.” Very few anyones make history. It’s not a particularly meaningful standard. Too much luck involved.
Is she saying “I have unappreciated greatness, primarily because society thinks women like me should pipe down, or make cookies, or be nice. But you’re wrong, all of you. I act this way not because I am obnoxious, but because I am great. You just don’t get it.” It has a similarity to"They laughed at Columbus. They persecuted Jesus. Einstein's teachers thought he was stupid." From those partial truths, every person laughed at, persecuted, or looked down upon claims an equivalence to those great figures.
So there is some sort of bad behavior this woman wants a pass on for which she believes she is being put down by The Man. Temper? Volume? Sex? Bossiness? Staying out late? Drinking? Those are indeed areas where men still do get some slack in some places that women don’t, I suppose. Good cover has to be based on something.
Yet somehow I think it’s just cover.