Saturday, April 20, 2013

Copyright Infringement in the Gift Shop

Down in a coastal southern city, one for which a Girl Scout cookie has been named, I came across this in the tourist gift shops.:

"Women who Behave Rarely make History." Complete with quotation marks.
I had three thoughts up on seeing this. First, if it is, in fact, a quotation, shouldn't they both attribute it and quote the person correctly?  Second, that these all appear on paraphernalia associated with drinking, my first thought was that this is associated with the "I'm liberated because I get drunk and fuck the first guy [or girl, depending on your preference] I see" brand of feminism. I'm not certain that was the original intent of the quotation. Third, I think Laurel Thatcher Ulrich may want to look  into copyright infringement on this.


Janice said...

Ulrich's line was actually "Well-behaved women seldom make history." In her book of the same name, she opens with a chapter on the phrase's history and spread - it's quite an educational read since she goes through the gamut from outrage to resignation.

nicoleandmaggie said...

I'd always thought that it was attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, but apparently it has a longer history than that!

Love the Midwife's Tale. :)

Clio Bluestocking said...

Janice, I saw this as something akin to students who rearrange the words of a sentence in order to escape plagairism charges. Here, some tchotchke maker seems to have rearranged the words in order to escape copyright violation. I wondered if it really were an infringement or not. That, or they knew that they were quoting, but didn't know the proper quotation or source.

Nicoleandmaggie, it's also been attributed to Marilyn Monroe. I wonder how that happens?

undine said...

Ulrich said that it came from her observation that women who didn't make their way into the law courts (the "well-behaved" ones) often left no trace in the historical record. How it came to be a "You go, girl!" slogan for all kinds of stupid behavior is discouraging.

Also: I love _A Midwife's Tale_ and _Good Wives_.


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