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Laurel Thatcher Ulrich|Malebo Sephodi
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Miss Behave

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Miss Behave

Malebo Sephodi discusses her book Miss Behave. (Camera & Editing: Darlene Creamer)

4th July 2017

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Upon encountering historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s quote, ‘well-behaved women seldom make history’, Malebo Sephodi knew that she was tired of everyone else having a say on who and what she should be.

Appropriating this quote, Malebo boldly renounces societal expectations placed on her as a black woman and shares her journey towards misbehaviour. According to Malebo, it is the norm for a black woman to live in a society that prescribes what it means to be a well-behaved woman.

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Acting like this prescribed woman equals good behaviour. But what happens when a black woman decides to live her own life and becomes her own form of who she wants to be? She is often seen as misbehaving.

Miss Behave challenges society’s deep-seated beliefs about what it means to be an obedient woman. In this book, Malebo tracks her journey on a path towards achieving total autonomy and self-determinism. Miss-Behave will challenge, rattle and occasionally cause you to scream ‘yassss, yassss, yassss’ at various intervals.

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About the author

Malebo Sephodi is a development worker and social commentator on development, identity and gender issues. She goes by the name of Lioness and describes herself as a life nomad. She is the founder of Lady Leader, a platform that allows women to just be.

Miss Behave is published by Jacana Media

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