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Southern Society and Sexism

The southern United States is often used as a scapegoat for many of the nation’s social injustices–we have the lowest teacher salaries, many civil rights issues, and a bad track record in electing politicians who are proactive in social reform. We are often painted as the most bigoted, backwards region in the world.

I love my home in Mississippi. I love the food, the music (blues, not country, of course), and the soul. That having been said, we have some major cultural problems going on. I see manifestations of racism almost every day (even though I also see racial reconciliation).

One of the biggest problems I have with the culture I’ve grown up in, however, is the emphasis on marriage and other “proper” behavior for young women. It’s not that marriage is bad, it’s just that it shouldn’t be expected of women, as it almost always is here.

Oh, and before I get any angry comments from northerners about the sexism that exists there too, I’ll make clear that I know that the south is not the only place where gender stereotypes hurt young girls. I’m simply writing from my perspective, which happens to be that of a southerner who recognizes cultural phenomena which seems to be more emphasized here.

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