Among a Southern woman's charms lies razor-sharp wit and a no-nonsense attitude towards men. Think Dolly Parton, Food Network's Paula Deen and Gone With The Wind authoress Margaret Mitchell, who took a "man's job" in the 1920s writing a column for the Atlanta Journal.
Author and NPR contributor Lauretta Hannon calls these iconic ladies "Cracker Queens," the term she's developed for fierce, loyal, thick-skinned Southern women. Hannon's memoir The Cracker Queen: A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life features touching and humorous tales of her Southern roots and dysfunctional family members. Her PBR-drinking, hell-raising female relatives show us that a Cracker Queen in love is both tough and tender—but don't you dare call her a Southern Belle.
YourTango: What is a Cracker Queen? How do we know one when we meet one?
Lauretta Hannon: A Cracker Queen is a strong, authentic, fabulous woman. She has a raucous sense of humor and can open up a can of whup-ass as needed. She has known loss and hurt; these things have made her beautiful, resourceful, and above all, real.
A Cracker Queen radiates joy, playfulness, and love. She might be flashy and loud, but she will never play games with her lover or spouse and demands the same in return. In other words, she won't put up with any crap. Attempting to hold a Cracker Queen down is like milking a rattlesnake: It's best not to try it. But to win her love is to have paradise on earth.
You will know her by her sequined tube top, her trademark cackle and her mesmerizing charm.
What are the linchpins of a Cracker Queen?