Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History 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. From the beginning I knew this novel was about women who rarely make history and this got me thinking. Men are always acknowledged for what they do, but you don’t really hear much about what women have done for this country.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton was first inspired by a Quaker “who believe[d] in the equality of sexes and who did not believe in the popular orthodox religion. “ As time passed, Stanton met Lucretia Mott at the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London and when the conference refused to seat them and other women delegates from America because of their sex, Stanton and Mott called a convention to address the condition of women, called The Seneca Falls Convention. This convention began her public career.
Stanton wrote “articles for the press, letters to other conventions” and even gave speeches. This group of women grew immensely until the time had finally arrived where the national victory came in 1920 after 72 years it was first organized. The author focuses a part of the book on Stanton’s book called Eighty Years and More. Her book was an autobiography of herself was mostly on her connection between her life and slavery. Many white people are not considered slaves, but she considered herself a slave.
Stanton helped numerous people during her time; she helped the Harriet’s, a lot. They made it into history and pretty popular, but the one that helped, Stanton, is still rarely known. This is why the author writes her book, so show awareness of women who do much work in history, but are not as well known for their movements. Christine de Pizan started her writing journey by “using her skills in penmanship to work as a scribe and copyist” then over time becoming a writer.
She wrote the book The City of Ladies to prove others her point where not only because she is a women but a scholar too, why should she be considered less of a person. Her writing also raises the issues like violence against women. In her book, she refers to the “classical mythology [where] Amazons [who were] female warriors who fought against the Greeks in the Trojan War. ” She makes note of good Amazons and bad Amazons, like the Joan of Arc and Elizabeth I who fought against men and the social order.
Ulrich mentions that in the last thirty years the “Amazons have inspired archaeologists, historians, poets, scriptwriters, feminist activists, and pencil-trotting travelers” and which all started with Pizan making a note of that in her own book. This shows how these people have been recognized but still Pizan is still rarely known and under all their successes. Virginia Woolf being the third women mentioned in this novel by Ulrich; her story is based on the book she wrote called Orlando. Woolf’s writing journey started when she moved with her brother and sister in the Bloomsbury district of London and became a writer of fiction.
Her story concludes that “a revelation [of] that a woman could be as tolerant and free-spoken as a man, and a man as strange and subtle as a women. ” As from this book, the idea spread and Sally Fox launched a project which became a personal passion. She made her move and was recognized for her work, but Woolf remains in the dust barely known still. This novel written by Ulrich, I found really interesting because of the way she acknowledges the work these three women have done to inspire others in what they believe in.
Although, those women get recognized for their work, but these three women who begin the works under cover do not. Even though this novel is very hard to understand because the author skips around leaving incomplete ideas which left me hanging in trying to figure out what her big picture was. From my understanding of this novel, I believe the author is trying to make a point of where there are women in history that do not get recognized for their work, but others that carry on their work do.
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