Well Behaved Women Don't Make History.
Start writing a post

This piece will mark one year of pieces I've submitted for Odyssey. My very first piece shed a bit of personal light on a controversial topic. To start off another year of writing with Odyssey, I wanted to cover the topic of introversion in a different sense. How the dismissal of those who are quiet are what's preventing a different type of role model profile to emerge.

You've seen the title quote in some form or heard it around. It's a slap in the face to those of who want to make a difference in the world, but yet are introverted and/or shy. It's hard being an introvert/shy in an extroverted/assertive world. Which was why when Susan Cain published "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking," she became a hero to all of us who had no idea we could make a difference in the world because we are quiet.

Even when it comes to conveying my feelings in a romantic safety situation, I find I cannot process how to express myself without feeling like I'm being bossy or demanding or intimidating. I find people only want to communicate on their terms, and they either don't realize or don't take the time to access alternative means of communication and emotional signals. What is common sense to one person may not be common sense to another, and this is especially true of introverted/shy common sense vs extroverted/assertive common sense.

For example, in the kink/BDSM scene, when one wants to play with someone, a negotiation takes place beforehand. Now, one-on-one interactions are ideal for a great number of introverts and shy individuals, but what if something goes wrong during a scene? One is expected to disclose immediately and tell their partners how to proceed or to just stop altogether. This may seem like a Safety 101 No-Brainer, but this is actually pretty terrifying to someone introverted and/or shy. What if they don't stop? What if they continuously coax you into more because they sense you're afraid to say no? What if the play partner stops the scene due to frustration with you and not only never plays with you again, but also tells others to stay away from you too?

A good majority of the time (it feels like 100% for me) when an introverted and/or shy individual stands up for themselves, the backlash is worse than the threat to our autonomy. "Why you have to be so mean?" "Why does that bother you?" "Why are you being so difficult?" "It's not that hard!" "That's easy, why are you having such a hard time with it?" "That's common sense!" "That's stupid."

There's never a consideration that though some of us are extremely humble and just have subtle means of communication. We are looked over and avoided for play interactions because we don't communicate the way the world of extroverts and assertive personalities want us to.

People think that introverted/shy women don't make history because of our personalities; however, three years ago, this piece was written with a very similar title to this piece. Though it was great and useful to attribute the original quote to its rightful owner, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, as I predicted, there wasn't even an attempt to research if there WERE any quiet women of note in history to try and dispel the validity of the quote. So my piece here will hopefully do just that.

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

\u201cWell-behaved women seldom make history.\u201c

It's ironic to me that the woman who coined this quote was not extroverted or assertive. She leads a quiet life doing what she is passionate about for a career. Her literary work even delves into the every day of a quiet person.

Annie Edson Taylor

Annie Edson Taylor next to barrel

Annie needed some money, so on her birthday decided to travel over Niagra Falls in a barrel. Unfortunately, in true introvert fashion, she was barely noticed and consequently died pennilessly.

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson Poetry

Ms. Dickinson has ALWAYS been a role model of mine. Not only for her incredible poetry, but also because she lived my introvert's dream. She never left home; just wrote letters to those she cared about. She was so secretive that it's not even 1000% certain what her sexual orientation was. She quietly made history by publishing her masterpieces anonymously, and when they were heavily edited or published without her permission, she withdrew her genius from the world and shared with friends.

Susan Cain

Susan Cain book

The author of "Quiet" had to end up here on my little list because she gave myself and the current generation of introverts and shy people a recent role model. She's done right by so many people that it would almost be a crime to not pay a little homage to her. The amount of research and data collection and self-assessment it must have taken to complete this project while still staying true to her introvert roots deserves an award.


I'm sure there are many more. Yet their names are probably buried under the hundreds of extraordinary extroverted and assertive women that got the attention their ways. Most likely the women on my short list endured much social death due to not openly and actively and brazenly fighting to achieve the little things they wanted. Not including those kinds of struggles in addition to the struggles of actually achieving their goals perpetuates a narrative that only women who extroverted and assertive can make history. These women are neither, and they made history. These are my role models.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Ready or not, here come the holidays, friends, and if you're as obsessed with the spirit of the season as I am, you are much more ready than not. Thanks to Hallmark Channel's Monopoly game making it possible to celebrate all year long, you can be ready now, too!

Keep Reading... Show less
Stephanie Tango

The pandemic has been in our world for more than half of 2020 and people are still acting stupid. If anything, they're getting stupider. They think that the virus is gone. It's not. Stop going to frat parties. Stop trying to go places without a mask. I wish things were normal, too. They're not.

Keep Reading... Show less
Kai Parlett

In the summer of 2017, 20 type 1 diabetics completed a 10-week 4,000+ mile bike ride from New York to California. They biked against the advice of doctors, family, and friends. Many were skeptical that people with diabetes could complete such a physically challenging trip without putting themselves in danger due to their disease.

Keep Reading... Show less

That's right, you heard that correctly: Demi Lovato and Max Ehrich called off their engagement after the couple originally announced their engagement in July after beginning to date in March.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

Demi Lovato's Called-Off Engagement Reminds Us Of The Importance Of Taking Our Time In Relationships

While this may be another hardship she sadly has to endure, I know she will find a way to inspire and help others through it.

4416

I am heartbroken.

Keep Reading... Show less

We all love a good ol' sappy Christmas movie and this year, the Hallmark Channel is finally giving us what we want: diversity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Seasonal Depression Is Real And It Deserves Our Attention

Check in on your friends throughout the winter season, it can be brutal.

143

As we transition seasons and enter the last few months of the year, some are feeling grand about this natural shift. But that doesn't mean everyone is thrilled that the weather is cooling down — it's important to extend your knowledge to the phenomenon that is seasonal depression.

The lack of sunlight during the later seasons of the year, beginning with autumn, triggers a state of depression for about 15% of the population. This results in the lack of serotonin provided by the sun, causing it to be hard for some to do a lot of the things that would normally be deemed simple tasks to do during the earlier times in the year like getting out of bed, showering, going to work/school, etc. A major difference is an intense need for sleep similar to a hibernation effect.

Keep Reading... Show less

September is Suicide Awareness Month, providing an opportunity to raise awareness, further educate yourself, and remember the reality that mental illnesses present. Yet it's critical to understand that suicide awareness is not an annual Instagram hashtag to use and forget. Actively advocating for mental health resources, progress in education, and a broken stigma is an everyday ask — an activity that we can each participate in.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments