The Slogan: Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History
...The ambiguity of the slogan surely accounts for its appeal. To the public spirited, it is a provocation to action, a less pedantic way of saying that if you want to make a difference in the world, you can't worry too much about what people think. To a few it may say, 'Good girls get no credit.' To a lot more, 'Bad girls have more fun.' Its popularity proves its point....
American historian. Raised on a farm in eastern Idaho, Ulrich studied at the University of Utah, Simmons College, and the University of New Hampshire, where she earned her Ph.D. and became a professor of history. In her Pulitzer Prize–winning study, A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785–1812 (1991), Ulrich wrote that "well-behaved women seldom make history," a phrase that took on a life of its own, appearing on T-shirts, bumper stickers, and other commercial paraphernalia. Ulrich has continued writing scholarly works such as The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth (2001); her most recent book, Well-Behaved Women (2007), returns to her famous phrase and explores the myriad ways women have affected the course of history. Ulrich currently teaches at Harvard University. See also history.fas.harvard.edu.