Southern Woman

It has been somewhat difficult to find a middle ground between my strong, feminist convictions and the softer, more malleable womanhood around which I was raised and silently taught to replicate. I place emphasis on the word “silently.” That is to say, I have never felt pressure to conform to the extreme “Southern Belle” stereotype. But the little things that define the concept of southern femininity have surprised me: the words we say and when we say them, our habitual, polite gestures, our general etiquette. This poem focuses on illuminating these subtleties: how they are silently taught to young girls, why I believe they can be destructive, and—most importantly—how to resist them.

 

Adrianne’s fun fact about herself is usually that she’s from Arkansas, so take that for what it’s worth. Please send all inquiries about helping to fund her wildly unhealthy sweet tea habit to adrianne.owings@yale.edu.

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