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The Long Southern StrategyHow Chasing White Voters in the South Changed American Politics$
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Angie Maxwell and Todd Shields

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190265960

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190265960.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 October 2021

The Not-So-New Southern Sexism

The Not-So-New Southern Sexism

(p.131) 4 The Not-So-New Southern Sexism
The Long Southern Strategy

Angie Maxwell

Todd Shields

Oxford University Press

The stereotype of southern white womanhood is anything but new, and manipulating it for political gain became a critical part of the Long Southern Strategy. The stereotype strips women of their power, intelligence, and strength, casting them as delicate and in need of constant protection. Antebellum southern white men manufactured that vulnerability to justify the strict laws segregating the races that would protect white women from predatory black men. This notion of southern white womanhood clashed with Second-Wave Feminism and the ultimately failed effort to secure an Equal Rights Amendment. The feminist loss, however, was a major GOP gain, as the Republican establishment realized that traditional gender roles could be the next way to appeal to southern white voters. In due course, the GOP’s messaging tapped into and perpetuated a Modern Sexism, characterized by a distrust of ambitious women, a demonization of feminism, and a growing resentment toward working women.

Keywords:   southern white womanhood, white privilege, Equal Rights Amendment, traditional gender roles, Modern Sexism, Second-Wave Feminism, anti-feminism

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