Welcome back to the south, friends, where our chicken is fried and biscuits come with gravy. Y’all pull up a rocker and grab a glass of tea. Why don’t we chat a spell about Southern Belles?
Tell me, do you think of Scarlett O’Hara? A delicate young lady with a feminine southern drawl? Bless your little heart, we probably all do. We imagine hoop skirts, wide-rimmed hats, and parasol umbrellas.
More than that, we envision a flirtatious, yet chaste, beauty, who has been taught that hospitality can win the day – and the man. Even though, the man she will always love best is Daddy. (wink) Mama has taught her that a wide front porch is the ideal setting for entertaining guests, and manners – ladies never sweat or cuss, thank you very much! – are of utmost importance.
As time passed, things changed. Fiddle-dee-dee!! Hoop skirts were replaced with feminine skirts. Wide hats replaced with regular salon visits. Women began to venture outside their homes to work. In short, Scarlett O’Hara was replaced by Julia Sugarbaker and friends.
These changes, or advancements, came about by both force and choice. Many women had to seek employment in order to care for their families. Many more chose to seek a life outside of the traditional roles laid before them.
Gone with the wind.. are the days where a smart girl lets a man take credit for doing exactly what she wants him to do.
Todays Belle prefers to take credit for doing exactly what she wants to do. Todays Belle is often the sole provider for her family. She is educated. She is industrious. She is determined and persistent. She knows her own mind. And she is speaking it. Loudly and clearly.
Let’s meet a few, shall we?
If you haven’t already, meet Wendy Davis. Mrs. Davis is a Harvard educated lawyer and Democrat from Forth Worth, Texas.
I’m rising on the floor today to humbly give voice to thousands of Texans who have been ignored. These voices have been silenced by a governor who made blind partisanship and personal political ambition the official business of our great state.
With those opening words, she solidified her place on the national stage. She became a hero for women when she donned her pink tennis shoes and staged an 11- hour filibuster against an abortion bill she labeled “draconian”. The bill would have banned all abortions after 20 weeks and closed all but five abortion clinics in the state.
Hats off to this Belle for showing them what a filibuster really is…No food, drink, sitting, leaning, or breaks of any kind. Yes, friends, an honest to God filibuster! We have become accustomed to the “threat” of filibuster by our do-nothing Congress. Because a do-nothing Congress can’t be expected to actually do anything, right? And while her friends from across the aisle think she owes them something, the rest of us think she has a bright future ahead of her.
Wendy Davis isn’t the only Belle of the ball. I’m not sure how many of you know of Alison Grimes. This attorney and Democrat currently holds the position of Secretary of State of Kentucky. She is also seeking to replace Mitch McConnell in the United States Senate. With her sweet smile and gentle voice, she has laid down the gauntlet:
Now this part’s for you Senator. Your campaign wants to play silly games about where I am and where I stand. Well I’m right here in Kentucky, Senator, where I’ll be holding you accountable for voting to double Medicare premiums on Kentucky seniors, including our retired coal miners, for being against requiring the Department of Defense to buy equipment that’s made in America first, for failing to stand up for women when you voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and the Violence Against Women Act, and for opposing raising the minimum wage over and over again while you became a multimillionaire in public office.
Well, I do declare…these ladies aren’t sitting on their porches gossiping about the town cad, are they? A younger generation of southern women are eager to help change the tone in government and further our nation’s progress. Take a peek at this:
Southern Belles are raising hell…
along with millions of other women, all over the country. The largest and most reliable voting block in the country has something to say.
Are you listening?
Kirsten Gillibrand is tackling sexual assault in the military. Elizabeth Warren is sick of banks being catered to, while students pay the price. Not one to abandon veterans, is Tammy Duckworth. Interior Secretary, Sally Jewell, doesn’t want climate change deniers in her department.
It is past time for women to take their rightful place, side by side with men, in the rooms where the fates of peoples, where their children’s and grandchildren’s fates, are decided. – Hillary Clinton
Women, the Belles included, are no longer content to be seen as pretty shells with a uterus. So, you should be listening.