Date: Tue, 10 Sep 1996 21:05:10 -0400

From: Ron Butters RonButters[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM

Subject: oh those ignorant southerners . . .

I find this in my e-mail:

Saying I thought ["barefoot and pregnant"] originated in the South was too

generic. I had

in mind, but did not say, that I thought it was southern Appalachain in

origin. It certainly is associated with lower socioeconomic classes. I

assumed it migrated into the Upper Midwest and Northeast during the

movements associated with World War 11, which brought a lot of "Southern"

culture north. These opinions are based on a superficial knowledge and open

to correction.

Speaking as one who lived the first 27 years of his life in the midwest and

the next 27 in North Carolina, I fail to understand why one should assume

that because a phrase conveys a sense of male oppression of women then that

phrase is most likely to have originated in "Southern" or "Appalachian"

culture. And speaking as one who has had a good deal of social interaction

with both the "lower socioeconomic classes" and the nonlower "socioeconomic

classes," I fail to understand why it is valid to assume that male oppression

of females must "certainly" originate in the "lower" orders, among all those

blue collars, dirt farmers, and black laborers.

Regardless of where it started, there is more than enough patriarchal

attitude in the midwest to create a phrase such as "barefoot and pregnant."

And there is "certainly" enough patriarchal attitude among the NONlower

classes to have created a phrase such as "barefoot and pregnant." Just visit

a few fraternity houses on some college campuses. Or country-club men's

locker rooms.

Both regional bigotry and classist (or is it racist?) assumption-making are

every bit as ignorant and harmful as the sexist sentiments betrayed by a

phrase such as "barefoot and pregnant."