WELL BEHAVED WOMEN

This is an opinion piece. Please comment nicely!

I have nothing against women, but I always get very angry when I see that stupid bumper sticker, "Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History."

What does that even mean?

When Bloody Mary burned hundreds of English heretics at the stake, she was obeying the rules of the Catholic Church. Was she not well-behaved? Was she not making history?

Young black men die every day on our city streets, shot down by police or shot down by each other. But no one tries to explain the violence by saying "Well-behaved black men seldom make history." And when terrorists attack us, no one says "Well Behaved Muslims Seldom Make History."

Why should women pretend that angry, rude behavior is useful for them and for nobody else? Does anyone think that men actually get ahead by beating up on other people? Does anyone think that all men enjoy doing those things?

The world is full of well-behaved men who have done what was expected of them all their lives. Very few of us are rich. Very few of us have had the opportunity to make history either. How are we supposed to feel about our lives?

Another thing I resent about this stupid bumper sticker is that you always see it on college campuses. As if the professors that put the stupid sticker on their cars aren't authority figures. As if they don't expect their students to obey orders and do as they're told. As if their own lives and careers don't depend on other people being respectful and well-behaved.

When I was a college student thirty years ago, I was always polite and well-behaved. I always turned in my tests and papers on time. I never made excuses for late work. I never bothered the professors with my personal problems, either. No-one ever told me not to be so well-behaved.

Of course, there were times when I felt like telling my professors how much I hated being a college student. There were times when I felt like crying because I had no friends on campus and because all the other students seemed to be richer and more privileged and much more at home with who and what they were. But it never occurred to me that I had the right to burden my professors with my problems. I thought I was supposed to be polite and well-behaved. I thought the professors were doing me a favor just by letting me come to class, sit quietly, and take notes. I thought I had to return the favor by not being rude or selfish or childish. I didn't think I had the right to ask the professors for help.

No-one ever told me I was supposed to make history.

I'm a man. I'm a Marine veteran and a college graduate. I've never raped a woman or killed a woman or broken the law. I've worked hard all my life. Where's my bumper sticker?