Non-elite white women are practically invisible in the story of the Old South. For many people, the trashy Slattery family in Gone With the Wind is the only representation of poor whites they will ever encounter. However, poor white women played an active role in southern society, contributing labor to the family farm and trying to keep their families together after the men left to fight in the Civil War. Despite a lack of conformity to the traditional image of southern lady, these women maintained their own standards of femininity even in harsh conditions.
For further reading on the stereotypes of poor whites, please visit:
For further reading on the different classes of women the antebellum South, please visit:
For further reading on desertion during the Civil War, please visit: