A Letter to My Appalachian Daughters


Appalachian Ink ~ Home of Anna Wess (and Granny)

It ain’t an easy thing to be born a woman, especially not around here. Girls here have expectations, you know. There exists an unwritten understanding of female behavior that’s as long as a Pentecostal’s denim skirt and as crooked as a dog’s leg. It ain’t fair and it ain’t fitting.Artwork by Michael Aaron Williams

Now we’re supposed to look the part, first of all. That’s what they’ll tell you. Stand up straight and speak softly and put on your pretty face. Smile! Boys like happy, pretty, sweet talking girls. Don’t cuss or burp or laugh too loudly. Be nice. If you can’t say something nice, keep your mouth shut. Keep yourself clean and neat and save yourself for marriage, honey. No good man wants somebody else’s trash. Learn how to cook and keep house and tend to babies. And learn it while you’re young.

Now one thing is certain. Ain’t a man…

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