Realities Of The Southern Woman

1109 Words5 Pages
Scarlett O’Hara is the epitome of a Southern woman, or that is the argument of most Southern Belles here in the South. However, this is where the Southern Confusion Syndrome begins to take hold of Southern women. The confusion about what is a “true representation” of Southern women arises in the first sight of Scarlett O’Hara. The beautiful actress propped up under the gigantic tree on the lovely Twelve Oaks Plantation, with every potential suitor at the cookout surrounding her. This southern romanticism with Scarlett fashions part of the Southern Confusion Syndrome. Her epic beauty, fiery attitude, and determination, continues to guide people into this cliché of the Southern woman. The reality of this situation is that Scarlett O’Hara embodies only one type of Southern woman. Gender-analysis literature argues that many different components aid in the making of a Southern woman. Gender roles between women and men go hand-in-hand, especially in the South. It is impossible to understand the roles of feminine women in the South in its entirety, without first exploring the very distinct group that defined women’s roles. Men defined women during this period. After the Civil War, men found new ways to define their own masculinity and they placed women in the private sphere of society. Men defined masculinity through notions of independence and honor. Feminine ways, viewed to be weak and controlled, and in a man’s world, those were not acceptable characteristics for manhood. The characteristics of manhood were as follows: gain respect, earn honor, act aggressively, be competitive, exude physical courage, express passionate emotions when acceptable, and lastly; control your environment. Through these ideas of masculinity, women’s roles were born. Men generated a hierarchal society that put them in charge, and they sought to preserve their status quo. Patricia Foster,

More about Realities Of The Southern Woman

Open Document