Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Life in a Red State

I won't get too political with this because frankly, politics has a tendency to either bore me to tears or make me unbelievably mad. I consider myself in the "middle of the road." My friends are typically extremely liberal (I did get a degree in a liberal art, after all) while my family tends to be extremely conservative (I live in Alabama, was raised in Mississippi, and the rest of them live in Texas), so it isn't much of a surprise that I've been influenced by both sides. Generally, I consider politics to be a personal thing and therefore, should be kept private.

However, a very good friend and I were having coffee the other day and he brought something up that has stuck with me. This matter involves the role of women in today's society. Let me just state here and for the record that I do not consider myself a feminist or an anti-feminist. I'm just a young woman of the 21st century.

This friend of mine, most definitely a liberal and damn proud of it, brought to my attention the fact that women in the south tend to believe that the man is the head of the household, women should be stay-at-home moms, and most certainly shouldn't hold the position of president. Initially, I totally balked at this idea. In my eyes, southern women have always been strong equals in the relationship. Toting guns and hunting by their husband's side. However, I now realize that this is simply the women in my life. I come from a hearty stock of strong willed females who aren't afraid to make themselves heard.

The more I think about it, the more I've realized that my friend is right. Women in the south get married younger and start families much earlier than in the rest of the nation. Seriously, it's true. Google it. This friend told me a story about hanging out with an ex-girlfriend and all of her conservative friends. They were discussing Hilary Clinton and how inappropriate it was for her to be running for president . . . because she has a vagina!

Granted, I would not have voted for Hilary, but I guarantee you it would not have been because of her hoo-ha. I'm still having such a hard time coming to terms with the fact that females in my own town believe that they have no right to run for office. Or to a fulfilling career outside of the family life.

I'm not saying that being a stay-at-home mom isn't a fulfilling career. I certainly believe it is, and I'm certain that it is hard, back-breaking work. My own mother stayed at home with me while my dad brought home the bacon. I assure you, however, that my mother did most of the work and I certainly didn't make it easy for her.

The trouble I have with all of this, is that these women think it's their place. It is their life's mission to find a husband and pop out some kiddies. What's the deal with that? Just because you have a vagina and the ability to bear children, doesn't mean that you are incapable of other fulfilling things. Read a book, ladies! Get inspired to be more than attracting a husband and bearing babies! Do something for you!

And then there is this issue of the man being the head of the household. I'm sorry, the 1950s called and they would like their mindset back. This is 2013, people. There is no room here for backwards thinking! How many Queens have ruled over England successfully? How many of them have done so more successfully than the Kings? All of them. There are female leaders across the globe. Why are southern women stuck in the past? It's doing absolutely nothing but proving to the rest of the world that we (as in the south, in general) are backwards hicks that should be missing teeth and wearing overalls. Cue the Deliverance music, please.

If you want to kill a stereotype, disprove it. I am a southern woman. I am educated. I am single. I am not desperately seeking a husband. I am not in a rush to pop out babies. I think women make fine leaders. And I believe a successful relationship requires equality and respect.

Now, I will step off of my soap box. =]


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