While relishing in my recently acquired connectivity, I came across a fabulous article on the Garden & Gun website. For those of you who are not familiar with the magazine, Garden & Gun is publication that highlights all aspects of southern culture. From food and literature to traditions and demeanor, the magazine attempts to define what it means to be from the south (of the U.S.A., I should add).
The article illustrates the poise of southern women. Although I enjoyed the article and will forever consider myself a southern woman, I do not perfectly align with the description. For example, I leave the house with wet hair at least three times a week. The southern woman in me argues that leaving the house with wet hair is, in fact, southern, because the redefined southern woman does not have to do her hair. Further, unlike Oprah, I most certainly see the value in a good power nap.
However, even with such discrepancies, I agree that the redefined southern woman is proud of her heritage and maintains an air of positive confidence. While adjusting to my new life in Japan, I have often noticed the southern woman inside of myself. Whether immediately teaching my students about North Carolina, BBQ sauce and cornbread, incidentally referring to my supervisors as ma’am and sir, or smiling in a seemingly impossible situation, I am still just a southern girl who happens to live in Japan.
“Southern women are also a proud lot. In any setting, at home or abroad, Southern women declare themselves. Leading with geography is not something that other ladies do. You do not hear “That’s just how we roll in Napa.” Or “Well, you know what they say about us Wyoming girls…” You may hear “I’m from Jersey,” but that’s more of a threat than a howdy.”
“Southern women see no point in the hard way. Life is hard enough. So we add a little sugar to the sour. Which is not to suggest Southern women are disingenuous cream puffs. Quite the opposite. When you are born into a history as loaded as the South’s, when you carry in your bones the incontrovertible knowledge of man’s violence and limitations, daring to stay sweet is about the most radical thing you can do.”