Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Expected Behaviors of Southern Women

This blog is dedicated to one Shelley Nicole Young.  She has the charge of teaching me how to dress like I'm from the west coast, while I am to teach her how to talk like she is from the deep south.  Maybe this here blog will further her Southern education.

As previously mentioned, I work at a bookstore that also sells Georgia STUFF.  The University of Georgia is steeped in tradition.  Some which are (somewhat) honorable, some are obnoxious and some still are just trashy.  One tradition that has plagued me most of my life is the defined role that a good (read: obedient?) Southern woman should act out.  I say "act out" because, as any good (read: damn smart?) Southern woman knows, it is simply an act.  Yes, you may think that drinking at 7am on a Saturday is fun, or that your husband's jokes are kind of funny, but for the most part, it is a role that you play; one that I have observed and almost perfected (minus the accent...oops....), mostly from my experience at the bookstore.  I will now list and try to define some of these (outrageous) expected behaviors of Suthen women.  

-You love football.  You really really love it.  Georgia is the only football team there is, and you despise any other football team in the SEC.  You say clever things like "I hate orange" and "Gators wear jean shorts".  Any football team outside of the SEC is alright.  Not as good as Georgia, but you don't have to hate them.  And you should probably know something about their quarterback.  And if a man asks you if you like football, just say yes.  The following silence or smartass remark is not worth your honesty.  
-Your husband/boyfriend/male counterpart is HILARIOUS.  Anything he says is funny.  Well, any joke he makes is funny.  Said jokes can be recognized in the way they are delivered: 
#1  The male will say something sarcastic about any one of the following:
-The weather
-Another football team
-Any combination of the previous
#2  The male will then look at you with a huge, stupid grin on his face.  At this point, you 
are expected to laugh.*
The laugh can be fake.  I, personally, have a pretty good fake laugh, but Chelsea's is definitely the best.  Very convincing.  The male may know that you are laughing only to appease him, but that is ok, as long as you make an effort.
-Regardless of how your male treats you in public, you are to smile and accept it.  You can even say something like "You know men!" or "boys will be boys...."  I usually want to slap these women, and then slap their males for treating them so poorly.  I've seen men yell at women, "playfully" hit them, talk down to them and they just smile and take it.  Like a true Southern gentlewoman.
-There is a special breed of Southern women that are mostly exempt from these rules.  The loud, brassy Southern woman.  She is loud and opinionated and vocal and will tease her husband in public.  This role must be established early in life to be accepted as an adult.  You mostly can't become this woman; you are either born this way or perfect it in your youth.  Southern men don't take too kindly to women forming opinions and just springing them on them later in life.  No, sir.  HOWEVER, no matter how brusque these women are, they are never to do anything to embarrass the male in public.  There are severe consequences for that.  

There are several other misogynistic things I could list such as not having opinions of your own, being financially dependent on your male, etc etc.  I have had to witness many of these things over my years in the heart of the Bulldawg nation and have suffered through them with a big fake smile plastered across my cute lil face.  I hope one day to stand up to this.  For now, I'll continue wearing my red and black with pride and agreeing that this is going to be one hell of a football season.  It always is.  

*There is an exception to this rule.  Depending on the public relationship you have established with your male, it can be acceptable to, following step #1, slap him across the arm while saying "You smartass, let's go".  

1 comment:

Shelley Nicole said...

Of course I only skimmed, but this sounds like a list of stereotypes about certain groups of people- which you claim to be completely against. I, however, think the whole thing (that I skimmed) is pretty darn hilarious and quite educational, so thank you for that-

I definitely live on the west coast and have observed and probably embraced west coast culture, but I wouldn't want to stereotype any of it, of course...that would be against my Bonnie's code of ethics, which I honestly try to figure out and obey by- because for some reason she crept her little self into my heart. But even though I love her so tenderly and enormously, I actually only skim her blog.