I've always found that adage problematic. Mainly because it defines "well behaved" from a male gaze. When I think of the women who history has chose to preserve and remember, they are always notorious and scandalous. But when you put their actions next to the men of their time, you'll find very little difference between them...besides their gender.
One of the clearest examples of that is the biblical figure, Jezebel.
Accroding to Merriam-Webster her name is defined as : "Jezebel. 1 : the Phoenician wife of Ahab who according to the account in I and II Kings pressed the cult of Baal on the Israelite kingdom but was finally killed in accordance with Elijah's prophecy. 2 often not capitalized : an impudent, shameless, or morally unrestrained woman.
According to the pop culture reference guide "The Urban Dictionary" Jezebel is
"A female who is seeking attention from and possibly plotting to use someone who is wealthy or otherwise desirable in order to gain status in society.
She is often beautiful and knows it, she uses her looks to her advantage to "lure in" her next victim.
She doesn't enjoy being out of the loop, she very much has to be the center of attention but also doesn't have many real friends because of how shallow she is.
She will do anything and will use anyone to get what she wants. She is interested in the people she's interested in purely as a status symbol and will toss them away and move on when they no longer satisfy what she wants."
When I looked deeper into the woman behind the name, I found that she wasn't only a wife or daughter of powerful men. She was a ruler - a queen - in fact. She was ruthless and cunning. But that is the way of rulers is it not?
When I was creating Rivers Wilde, and Regan Wilde came up, I was excited to use the opportunity to write a woman who is perceived much differently than she really is.
And who takes the taunt that was hurled her way and decides to embrace it.
Regan is a fascinating character and her love interest Stone is, too. I can't wait for you to meet them.
Who are some of your favorite historical women who you think get an unfairly harsh bad rep?
If you haven't had a chance, pleas add the Jezebel to your Goodreads TBR. It's coming Spring 2020!
The Jezebel on Goodreads
And check out the newest teaser for The Jezebel.