A selection from the admired history Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History, the story of how one of feminism’s most popular slogans came to life.
In the opening paragraph of an obscure 1976 scholarly article investigating the prim and proper women celebrated in Puritan funeral sermons, Harvard professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich penned the phrase, “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” Since then, Ulrich’s slogan has been put on bumper stickers, T-shirts, and tote bags, in greeting cards and political speeches, entering the cultural consciousness in all sorts of unexpected ways. In “The Slogan,” Ulrich gives a brief history of her much-quoted words, and sketches out a primer on feminism today and the way it continues to make history.
LAUREL THATCHER ULRICH is the author of numerous works on early American history and women’s history, including A Midwife’s Tale, which won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize in History and became the subject of a PBS documentary film. A former MacArthur Fellow… More about Laurel Thatcher Ulrich