I have often seen the bumper sticker "Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History." I guess that is true, but what impression do "badly" behaved women leave behind them? Think of memorable women that people everyone would recognize, Marilyn Monroe is a perfect example. She is iconic, her image is everywhere years after her death, men still lust after her and women still wish they could look like her but for what good? She is dead, her life spent out at a young age and cut short by her own hand and a string of broken and disfunctional relationships ttmarked her personal life. The most desirable women in the world went into eternity lonely and alone.
My grandma has a book featuring the 50 most memorable actresses of Hollywood's studio era. The lives of most of these women were unconventional and daring. They had multiple husbands and lovers. They signified what it ment to be alluring and successful to generations of women. Yet the depth of fulfillment in the relationships of their personal life seems abysmal. Is making history really success?
One of my favorite novels is Middlemarch by George Elliot. George Elliot was an unconventional women who scoffed social norms by living with a married man and later in life marrying a man much her junior. She denied the Christian faith but continued to write novels reinforcing the morals taught by Christ and espoused (though not lived out) by her hypocritical Victoian society. She was a misbehaving women who left an indelible mark on history. Yet her own words speak of something else as the measure of success.
As Dorothea's epitath in Middlemarch, George Elliot says this...
"Her finely touched spirit had its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like the river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependant on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs."