Well behaved women, act seven

So the news on lots of people’s minds this weekend is the Green Party’s top moron Jill Stein suddenly deciding to challenge the vote in the three key states Trump won, starting with Wisconsin.  She proceeded to raise more money in a few days than her joke of a party had been able to scrape together during her entire presidential campaign.  If this was just fleecing the rank-and-file one more time (which it could be) then it’s doubtful anything will come of it.  But if this is the top guns and big names putting more money into this debacle then this could get ugly and scary very quickly.  We will see soon.

Either way, seemed like a woman behaving like a grifting brat on behalf of a woman who is a traitorous criminal AND apparent bad loser would be a good lead-in to this week’s installment of how well behaved women do indeed make history, and in a good way.  For this week’s example, we get to look at someone worth remembering for the good she did standing against a terrible evil, American author Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Stowe lived in the mid-eighteenth century.  A Northerner and supporter of the abolition of slavery, Stowe was inspired to write her famous novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin (which is a fantastic, moving piece of literature to this day) by two tragic events in 1850, one being the passage of the Fugitive Slave Acts which forbade Northerners from rendering aid to runaway slaves, the other being the death of her infant son.  Stowe’s book, about an upright, moral man who was born a slave and subjected to horrors both mild and severe in his life of being treated as property served the two purposes of trying to educate Northerners on the realities of slavery and attempting to get Southerners to empathize with the people they thought of as something other than human.  As is the case with many such revelatory works throughout history, Mrs. Stowe’s novel galvanized the abolitionist cause in the North while supporters of slavery (Southern Democrats) stuck their fingers in their ears and tried to put out counter-argument novels painting a better picture of the antebellum slave South.  Anyone who has read Uncle Tom’s Cabin honestly already knows of course that the book is more than fair to Southern slaveholders and does not portray them as all being monsters, but of course it was too honest for those who built a society around closing their eyes to the havoc and misery they wrought on people they made themselves believe weren’t really people.

She went to the White House and met with President Lincoln in 1862.  Though she downplayed the event, the account from others present is that the President greeted her by saying “so you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.”  Of course at the time the outcome of the war was still not certain, but for an abolitionist I can hardly think of higher praise.

Stowe is not remembered for her later brief bleatings about how awful things were for married women as she descended into the depths of what is now believed to be Alzheimer’s disease.  But for her bold work against the evils of slavery and being one of the catalysts that pushed us to resolve it once and for all, she helped change history for the better, by being well behaved.

Next week we’re on to another story of a badly behaved woman.  Oh trust me, we got plenty of those too.


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