Telling Our Stories


A person sitting on the ground in front of water.
There is a mystery surrounding Southern women.  Many see us as different from other women somehow; mysterious, romantic, and well.. frivolous.   But in fact, we are not so different.  We drink green tea as well as “sweet tea,” we are as likely to stir-fry as deep-fry chicken and most of us haven’t had peach cobbler in years. We go to college. We have the same career challenges, relationship boggles, and unpredictable children as everyone else.  We get the same diseases.

But the stereotype persists.  And I get it; it’s highly entertaining; it’s funny. But it’s untrue. And dangerous. Read the headlines, people. We’ve got to learn to get along.

As Patricia Neely-Dorsey put it (this blog; 3/10/15) “I believe that we can bridge many gaps of misunderstanding across regional, racial, cultural, generational and economic lines by simply telling/sharing our stories.† I agree, Patricia. Our stories are a powerful agent for understanding and healing. They make us real. So let’s get them out there.

The mission of this blog is to promote understanding of Southern women through their stories.  The first stories were of rural women of my grandmother’s generation.  They were too poor and too tired to write their own stories, so most of what we know about them survives  only in the memories of their grandchildren.  The time to save their stories is running out, and my commitment to them has not diminished.  But writing RealSouthernWomen has given me unexpected opportunities to meet wonderful, stereotype-smashing, real live Southern women with fascinating stories.  Theirs are the authentic voices of today’s Southern woman.  If you listen to them, you will understand who we really are.

The first storyteller is Lissa Brown, a New Jersey native who retired from the fast track in Washington to the mountains of Appalachia. Lissa is a real Southern Woman with a fascinating story to tell. She’ll be “guest-blogging†the next post.





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