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Archive for February, 2007

Misbehaved or Badly Behaved

Since hosting the “Misbehaving Woman of the Year” Awards, I am often asked about what constitutes “misbehaving”.  I would like to clarify and discuss the difference between the words “misbehaving” as the inspiration for these awards and “badly behaved”. 

For me, the word “misbehaving” when used in the context of the quote by Louise Thatcher Ulrich “well behaved women seldom make history” conjures images of suffragettes challenging the status quo.  It conjures the image of women in the 1960’s, marching and burning their bras, it evokes the essences of a woman with personal challenges, stepping up and stepping out and saying no to a currently accepted social standard, with no thought of personal reward and for the good of women in her community.

Back in the 1990’s, two of my good friends who were (and still are for that matter) Community Nutritionists, working in the downtown eastside of Vancouver, assessed that the folks in that area didn’t have easy access to fresh locally grown produce.  They had the idea to start a farmer’s market.  Guess what, there was some type of a city bylaw preventing this and they were met over and over with a “no” from city hall.  This didn’t stop them.  Victoria and Carol kept talking with the municipal council and as I remember the story, the turning point came when in a meeting one councillor said, “we are talking about feeding people good food” and the bylaw was overturned, leading to the formation of what is now a Vancouver institution, the East Van Farmer’s Market.  Victoria Pawlowski and Carol Ranger are amazing examples of the spirit of the “misbehaving women” award.

Contrast this with “bad behaviour”, which I define as “misbehaving” attached to nothing but personal gain, ego, the need for drama or actions taken as a result of “too much” booze, drugs, the need for power or when our “pain body” (as coined by Eckhart Tolle) is out of control.

What do you think?  Who are your personal examples of “misbehaving women”?


Zoey Ryan, Life & Business Coach for Women


Our annual awards honor women who have dared to make a difference, take a risk and enhance the lives of women in her community!March 8th
5:50pm – 8:00pm
The Arbutus Club 

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“Well behaved women seldom make history”  Laurel Thatcher 

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