Some Rules Are Meant to be Broken
This topic is pointing beautifully at an internal battle I continue to have within myself. On one hand, there is the “please love me” part in that I was raised to behave well and I cringe at the idea of being “naughty” or rebelliously pushing the limits. On the other hand there is the “dare me” part that thinks “Some rules are meant to be broken”, especially the limiting ones, and that sees behaving as a form of social suppression of individual uniqueness. I assume that what Eleanor Roosevelt tried to point at is that women who abide by certain social norms are at risk to limit their own personal power and the liberty to act on that power.
I was raised to have good values and morals and they are important to me. It is important to me to be loving, kind, honest, true, respectful, hard working, and I actually feel that in these very rapidly changing times those values are even more important and can be a life line guiding me through troubled waters. If I behave well motivated by my own values and whatever that might look like in a society it increases my power to act for myself. If however I am well behaved in order to make sure I am in line with other people’s expectations and their perceived norms, if I behave not motivated by respect but out of fear to otherwise rattle anyone’s cage, I limit myself and my power and liberty to act. The one makes me an agent to act for myself; the other makes me someone to be acted upon. The one increases my ability to make history; the other diminishes it. So to me there is a difference between well behaved and behaving well or in other words it might not be the well behaved woman who makes history, but the best history is made by a woman who behaves well motivated by her values.
Yet as long as I still have a “please love me” part longing for appreciation and love
I am at risk to be well behaved in that sense. If I don’t want to fall into this trap I have to be grounded in my own worth, individual uniqueness and self love. I guess that’s my version of being rebellious: to be so well grounded in myself I am free of the need to earn love by fulfilling other people’s expectations and free to behave the way I want to. Then the history making part will happen easy peasy.