March 19, 2015 News Opinion

Written by:

Lauren Patrick is a native Southerner and the editor of Pretty Southern.com. She’s a member of the Atlanta Blogger Network and Atlanta Food Blogger Society. #LovetheSouth #GoDawgs Follow Lauren on Twitter

Dear residents & lovers of Charleston:

We here at PrettySouthern.com aim to be a voice of the South, a place where your opinions can be heard. In 2010, Pretty Southern entered the blogosphere and social media. I, Lauren Morgan Patrick – with the help of my husband, friends, and fellow writers – launched this website as a home to tell stories, your stories, about the South. Being Southerners, born and raised in the South, hearing Southerners share their stories and love of this land is essential to our existence.

Before March 18, 2015, our most popular post Words Only Southerners Say helped us to reach more than 100,000 people every year who want to relish in those glorious Southern phrases distinctly our own. In the past 24 hours, we’ve heard from more than 43,000 Southerners who all have opinions they wanted to share about the city of Charleston.

A dear friend of Pretty Southern, whom most of y’all know by now, lived in Charleston for the past six months and decided that this city, your city, is not for her. After hearing her sentiments, I asked her if she would be willing to share her thoughts on Pretty Southern. It wasn’t about click bait, or yellow journalism; this was an opportunity for her to tell her story. We’ve all had different experiences unique to our own paths in life. Her experience in Charleston was her own.

Our Pretty Southern blogger had the gumption to share her thoughts, then was vilified for them.

No Trespassing Charleston

My husband snapped this pic on a trip to Charleston. It’s so true.

As a woman, especially a Southern girl who was raised on “yes ma’am”, “yes sir”, “please”, and “thank you”, I was appalled at some of the comments posted to this blog. From the 43,000+ hits and 400 comments – which have all now been taken down – I think I read every swear word in the English language. There were F-bombs. There was the n-word. The trolls crawled out from the depths of the internet to sling some of the most profane, misogynistic, and violent insults I’ve ever read. And these folks claimed to be Southerners.

We Southerners are supposed to take pride in our manners. Thomas Jefferson, a Virginian and Southerner, espoused the right to have an opinion, then the right to disagree with it. What disappointed me the most was the lack of respect shown by all parties. We could have done better, and y’all – the collective, commenting masses – could have done better too.

To protect the institution of Pretty Southern, albeit a “puny blog” as someone called it, I took down that editorial. Pretty Southern is my labor of love, my digital home. I invited a guest into my home to share her opinion with our Southern readers and things got completely out of control.

Tomorrow morning, Friday, March 20, at 8:10 a.m. EST, I will be live on air with Charleston’s The Mix 96 FM. Please submit your questions you would like for me to address in the comments section below.

If you have an interest in contributing to Pretty Southern, we would love to have you. We reserve the right to edit your material, but this is a place for y’all to be heard to. As a disclaimer, no other media outlet was responsible for taking down this post. It was in response to the uncontrollable rascals sharing their rather violent two-cents.

Thanks for reading, and (seriously) bless your heart.

July 4th outfit
Lauren Morgan Patrick is the editor of Pretty Southern.com, a native Southerner, UGA graduate, and Georgia Bulldogs fan. Y’all can find her writing, wining, and dining in Atlanta. Keep up with her & Pretty Southern on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
 
 

88 Responses to “Letter From The Editor to All of Charleston”

  1. Scrubpuppy

    Oh whatever, blame the commenters. They’re all racists and women haters because they disagreed with someone blatantly and happily bashing their home, and then have the nerve to take it down. Put the article back up. Let people judge for themselves. You can even turn the comments off.

    Reply
  2. Heather

    Is there a way I can get a copy of the “Southern Charm-less” article? I didn’t get a chance to read it before it was censored and I was very interested in the writer’s take.

    Reply
  3. Steve

    It’s a shame the discourse sunk to such a low. Feel free to disagree with a person’s thoughts but keep it about ideas and not the person. While I disagreed with some of what the author wrote it will be a sad day when we can’t express what we feel freely.

    Reply
  4. CharlestonNative

    Disagreeing is one thing. Blatantly insulting and saying that someone’s home is horrible is another. As someone who lived in the authors lovely home of Atlanta for two years, I can say that I had never before thought about sharing the horrible things that I experienced in such a rude way as what I read this morning after waking up: but maybe I should write for your blog and share my experiences of being offered hard drugs in broad daylight, being stuck in traffic for hours on end, the rude wait staff at establishments and constant crime riddling the city… the list could go on.

    Southerners – especially Charlestonians – are proud. We love our home, and we respect those who show up who may not always like it. If so, you’re welcome to share opinions respectfully – not lambasting and saying how horrible our home is.

    So next time – before you invite a contributor to “be honest” and “share her experience”, remember the old southern adage all of us were taught…

    “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”

    Reply
  5. Charmed

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and in this case, it was an unpopular one. That being said, the reactions spoke for themselves, and were disappointing to hear. I believe that while Charleston may not be for everyone, I find myself to be incredibly lucky to live here.

    I am discouraged to hear that someone could have such an unfortunate experience in the city that I love and I only hope for the best for Jenn. As a native Southerner I’ve always been taught to be kind and gracious to everyone I meet, even if we don’t always agree on the same things. At the end of the day, I find myself blessed to be surrounded by some of the most talented and wonderful people I have ever met, and it just happens to be here in the beautiful city of Charleston! The author does not share those sentiments, and that’s alright.

    I respect what you do here and appreciate the contributions your blog has made to Southern culture. I hope more people can take the time to be understanding, and pass along some Southern hospitality.

    Reply
    • Frances

      In her defense, as most people neglected to read, it said Charleston was not for her. It was an opinion that people here for some reason can’t be mature enough to just disagree with and move on. It happens with a small community.

      Reply
      • JD

        She said Charleston “is not for her” (which is fine) but then proceeded to bash the city ad nauseum…THAT’S what everyone took exception to.

        Reply
  6. JD

    Many of the comments were not “civil” or “polite”, but then, neither was the post they were commenting on. She bashed a city & its people for not living up to her (pretty unreasonable) expectations of what that city should be, based on comparison to a completely different city almost 10x the size of Charleston…then proceeded to get her panties in a knot when she got called out on it. She wasn’t just “sharing her thoughts” or explaining how Charleston “is not for her”…she was condescending, dismissive, and yes, rude. While I certainly wouldn’t condone the bullying in some of the comments, by & large, I’d say she got the response she deserved.

    I’d say bless HER heart (and yours too) if she can’t understand why her “commentary” got folks riled up. My home may not be to your taste, and if you want to leave, that’s your prerogative, but there’s no need to spit on the porch on your way out the door.

    Reply
  7. CharlestonAlive

    That’s a very nice letter. There were certainly some vulgar things thrown your way and that’s inexcusable. Your “about us” page uses the phrases news and journalism quite a bit. Further, the author was presented as a correspondent, not a “friend.” However, another page on your website says, “A sponsored post will look like an original Pretty Southern feature story plus link back to your business/brand’s website and social media pages.” (Pay us and we’ll make your ad look like news) Are you a news blog or just a site without any standards? Journalists have the AP Statement of Ethical Principles and the American Society of Newspaper Editors Statement of Principles. Clearly, the facts presented in the story did not comply with those standards or receive any fact checking. Even if it was labelled as an opinion, it still deserves accuracy and factual basis. Obviously, not every website or blog complies with that standard or should they comply because they don’t claim to print news. Seeing as how most Charlestonians have never heard of prettysouthern.com, it was unclear whether your blog portends to be journalism or not. If it is, I don’t think you should publish stories without any fact checking or allow the author to make extremely biased and unsupported opinions. That’s like the Drudge Report standard of journalistic ethics. So, if you go on the radio, I would love to hear what standard of ethics applies to your website. Do you want people to take you seriously, or do you just print puff pieces submitted by 3rd parties without any editorial oversight?

    Reply
      • James

        Good insights. This may have been a publicity stunt to get radio air time to promote the website at her “friend’s” expense. A friend and editor would know the response that would occur and protect her friend and the community of Charleston. Her air time to defend her friend cAme so quickly. I think it was staged to promote the website and their hometown Atlanta.

        Reply
  8. Biondicone

    I commend you Lauren. Unfortunately, society has lost morals and feel derogatory statements need to have vulgarity included. I totally agree with you to delete the article. There is no need to have it up only to promote the slanderous vulgarity. People are entitled to their opinions, but in a respectful way.

    Reply
  9. Jason Dominy

    “Don’t Let The Bastards, Grind You Down.”
    People love opinions, except when it’s not theirs, or is in opposition of theirs. You be you.

    Reply
  10. Eli Irvin

    I’m a life long southerner. I grew up in farm country in Southwest Georgia and used to go muddin with my buddies in high school. I love fried chicken more than anyone else I know. I still make iced tea the old fashioned way and keep it in the fridge at all times. My door is always open and my friends are always welcome.

    That being said, since moving to Charleston 2 years ago from Savannah, I’ve gotten a wide variety of reactions to my not being “a local”. I find that the author of the blog was pretty spot on. Also, those commenting on the blog are the embodiment of the feelings of the “life long residents” which I suspect lurk just below the surface and are made easier to share when you have the faceless platform of the internet to hide behind.

    I find it difficult to see how anyone can be so proud of a place which has people that would lob “F-bombs” and spew vitriol from the depths of whatever it comes. I guess this is what contributes to South Carolina being 5th in domestic violence and dead last in education, nationally.

    Also, when I comment on something, I sign my name. My momma taught me to hold my own, stand up for what I believe in and admit when I was wrong.

    Reply
    • A

      I’m pretty sure nasty internet commenters are plentiful in every state across the country and every country in the world. It’s an unfortunate reality of the internet that you open yourself up to hateful comments when you post something on a website that allows comments. It’s laughable to act like Charleston or SC is unique in that some immature online commenters dropped some F bombs. And as someone who was not born in Charleston, I can honestly say I never experienced any negative reactions to not being a native. Are people a little overly proud of being a native? Sure. But I’ve lived in the midwest, mid atlantic and northeast as well and you experience that everywhere to an extent.

      Reply
    • Nancy

      I have to disagree with you. I moved here two years ago and I have had nothing short of an amazing experience. It might not live up to Savannah but it is certainly more welcoming and has more to do than Charlotte and Norfolk. Every weekend is filled with amazing restaurants, boating trips, food festivals, local theater performances, or hanging out with our friends who we met here. I didn’t grow up here but I have found a home in this city. Her article was classless act. She went on the offensive, attacking every person in this city. There was a thousand better ways to discuss her personal dislike for the city. I don’t expect everyone to love this city, I know plenty who haven’t. The city didn’t have a large enough music shows, its too hot, they prefer larger cities, they city didn’t mesh with them, etc. Not a single nasty comment or personal attack. I don’t agree with the vulgar attacks but her article wasn’t much better than their comments. From the tone of her article, she is an extremely judgmental and belittling person.

      Reply
    • Robin

      I noticed an fbomb from the author of the blog in one of her comments. I also am not a lifer from Chas….I am from Aiken and now count Columbia as my home. I do think the condescending tone of the author received the appropriate reaction from South Carolinians. I do not hide behind the Internet. did some handle their reaction to the blog too strongly? Yes. Was the blog waaaay out of bounds and nasty? Yes. ~robin Quattlebaum

      Reply
    • Lareine

      You may write a response eloquently and fell you’re being even-planed but you’re bashing too. You’re generalizing about South Carolinians. So, go ahead and make your momma proud and admit you’re wrong. Regardless of opinion, no need for backhanded statements.

      Reply
  11. Gillian

    I completely agree with the free expression of opinions and ideas, but your writer did say some pretty nasty things about charleston, like that she wished that South Carolina had successfully seceded from the union, which I think definitely opened it up for some equally as nasty opinions. Not to say she asked for it, but she definitely offered the invitation.

    Reply
  12. Ainsley

    Of course I will always abide by, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. I understand why you removed the rude posts from your site. I can only imagine how upsetting it must have been. But on that note, why allow this woman’s opinion that obviously was just as upsetting to your readers as were their comments to you, remain available for all to see? Her opinion is her opinion and the commenters opinion is theirs. Either both should be displayed or neither.

    Reply
  13. A

    I think if this was truly an issue with the reaction from the commenters, the article would have stayed up and comments would have been turned off. I don’t doubt that the article attracted some horrific comments- it’s the internet and unfortunately people use the medium to their advantage to say horrible things when they disagree. But it seems like the true reason the article was pulled is because it received negative attention and this blog wants to distance itself from that (and avoid pissing off its target audience). I’ve lived in Charleston since I was a child and while I love the city, I know it’s not for everyone nor is it perfect. I have a feeling a lot of the hostility generated by the article wasn’t because someone wasn’t in love with Charleston, it was because of how the author presented her opinion. However, I now don’t get to make my own conclusion because this site did the cowardly thing and pulled the article down.

    Reply
  14. Ainsley

    Pardon my oversight on the mention you removed the editorial from your site. I was thinking about how many of the rude commenters were actually “true southerners”. Just because one resides in the south doesn’t make them a southerner. But we don’t need anymore reasons to divide people into different classes. Please extend my heartfelt apologies to this woman on behalf of all southerners, born or transplanted.

    Reply
    • Eli Irvin

      I echo Ainsley.

      I don’t have a tremendous amount of traffic, but I am in the process of resurrecting my own blog and would be absolutely happy to give her essay a home.

      Reply
      • Heather

        If that happens please let me know. I’m dying to read this piece. As a city girl myself whose lived in Charleston for the past 5 years I have a feeling (based on the comments alone) that this article reflects a lot of my similar concerns.

        Reply
      • Nancy

        You claim to promote Southern values but you want to support a woman who told an entire city that she wishes they were not part of the United States and successfully seceded the union. That is nothing short of insulting and rude. A good portion of the city serves the military or has served the military. She doesn’t believe they should be part of the United States. How can you call yourself a southerner and support her?

        Reply
      • DTF

        Eli, I musst comment on something you said about south Carolina’s national education ranking. The organization that compiles and prints the rankings has certain criteria markers that determine those rankings. One of the weightiest fact about their system is who is being tested to determine their status among the 50 states. Almost all states issue the standardized tests only to the students in the college preparatory and honors classes, whereas in SC, we feel that all students deserve the opportunity to take the test. The lower achieving students have a right to this opportunity, and they are given that right in our state. The result, however, is obvious – our pool of students taking the national test changes the base result, and lowers our national ranking. A more accurate assessment of success and ranking is to look at how many of our seniors go on to either 2 year or 4 year c colleges. To further that, assess how many graduate. I hope that explains our situation and helps you understand why we look terrible ON THE SURFACE. I have learned to ignore the national rankings because they really have no meaning in our case.

        Reply
        • Sarah K.

          As someone who has worked in education in multiple states, I have to ask WHERE you came up with the idea that other states only test their honors students. That’s completely untrue. Whatever your source is for this information is absolutely incorrect.

          Reply
  15. sarah

    Just like Brooke Ryan from “2 Girls & A Guy” stated, “If you call someone’s baby ugly, they’re gonna get defensive…” I’m not sure what you expected. Some people have a more expansive vocabulary than others and can say what they need to without 4-letter words. Some are more articulate & can express themselves without insulting another person… Either way, the sentiment was the same.

    Reply
  16. Harry Sosa

    I do not sanction threats, bully statements, etc from cyber trolls. If you going to post things on facebook then you should expect those behaviors and have a plan of attack for them. You should not have taken it down. She had every right to write what she wrote but she should also expect others like myself to disagree and comment on such matters.

    Reply
  17. David Ducttape Miller

    it’s interesting that you found the comments to be offensive but not the piece by your dear friend. It was a poorly throughout, nonfacual and insulting post. Hopefully the article was up long enough to warn other plain looking, middle aged women that aren’t especially outgoing or approachable that Charleston; which is full of young, beautiful, and friendly people, may not be the place for them.

    Reply
  18. kyle

    by removing that post you have shown your lack of journalistic integrity and courage. I will not be tuning in to you on the radio and I hope you are continually ridiculed for such. Coward.

    Reply
  19. Charlestonite

    You forget one main point. Her article was extremely disrespectful, insulting, and her opinions lacked any basis. That is why you had 40,000 views. It is very clear this young lady came to Charleston with the expectation of how charming it would be and that she would meet a man. She became jilted when those expectations did not materialize and she left. Then she wrote a rant about how boring Charleston is and how terrible the men and the food are. The editor chose to slap the rant up on the internet. And don’t claim you “invited her into your home to share her opinion”; you’re an editor of a publication and you need to take responsibility for what you chose to publish. That’s a big copout. It’s fine to chastise the commentators who went too far. But you don’t “protect your institution” by blaming the readers who reacted to the insulting article and then pulling it off the website. You retract the story because its filled with inaccuracies and you apologize. Or you can correct the story. Or, if you stand by the story and the author, then stand by them. But again, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, if you can spin it in a positive direction. Blaming Charlestonians is not that direction. Try a mean culpa.

    Reply
  20. SCGamecock

    Did you even read her piece? Your tone and response make it sound like you didn’t at all. The trolls are the trolls, that’s expected. The piece was extremely accusatory and scolding, and not at all just a “Charleston isn’t for me” write up.

    Reply
  21. Mike Allen

    Ok kids….I’ve lived in both places…Atlanta (My childhood home) and Charleston (My adult home)…Here is the deal…Each has its beauties…Each has it’s charms and if you don’t like either…We’re actually happy to show you the door. If you don’t like Charleston…It’s frankly because you have a pine cone some where you don’t want it…It is a soft, kinda happy city that doesn’t take itself seriously unless you are from there or are one of the special people. Lived there 12 years…and I love the place…If you don’t…You like order over chaos and well…You are a nuudge…Look it up. If you like or love it…You know it’s the craziest place in the Continental US and also the loveliest.

    Reply
  22. Isthisreallife?

    One of the first tenets of Southern manners is “If you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all” What she said about Charleston went beyond her opinion, she flat out insulted the city and anyone who chooses to love it. You can’t move to a city, live there six months, date guys exclusively from Tinder and then declare that place hell on Earth based on the people you have met.

    Reply
  23. missjiveturkey

    I do not condone vulgar language or cyber-bullying, but what type of response were you expecting to get from your dear friend’s article? Did you not read it before it was posted? Did you think that her “final goodbye” in her edit/response to the comments was mature? Did you find her childish comparison of apples-to-oranges blog post and it’s subsequent “good-riddance” edit that she posted accordant with your site’s mores and etiquette?

    You are the Editor. Just because a friend writes an article does not mean that it is a good match for your blog. Good editors recognize flaws in content. I have to say that you fell short of your duties on this one.

    Reply
  24. James

    If you asked your friend to write the letter and edited it you share responsibility for the posting. I see that you also live in Atlanta and promote a blog. Please tell me that this was not a publicity stunt to get radio air time tomorrow to promote your blog and city. An editor has total responsibility to edit inflammatory articles and not print them. You did the right thing to pull the article. However you really should have never published it. Anyone would have known the response would be very bad

    Reply
  25. Murray

    I don’t think caving to bullying was the right way to go on this issue. I’d love to get a copy of the article, as I didn’t get a chance to read it before it was taken down. I’m from South Carolina, but I have moved away, as I never found the south to be a place for me either. I’m sure I’d likely agree with the author on many points, even without having read the article, so I hope she knows that not everyone is chasing after her ready to vilify her for her own rightful opinions.

    Reply
  26. Suzie

    Please post the article again. I’m originally from Charlotte and I’ve lived in Charleston for one year. I’ve been able to objectively look at the city and I am willing to accept that there are positives as well as negatives. I, for one, would like to read a different take on Charleston, especially considering that all people here normally write about is how great it is.

    Reply
  27. Maddie

    “Had the gumption to share her thoughts, then was vilified for them”?? She made judgements, not thoughts or even opinions, but judgements, in an extremely rude and aggressive tone and got back exactly what she gave out. I understand defending your blog but condoning such a hack piece on a city that is the icon of the South-which your blog is based and built upon- is unacceptable. As a blogger, which in this day and age holds the same weight as journalists, you need to be aware of your tone, and aware of your audience. It wasn’t that she showed a dislike of Charleston, although even then I’m sure there would have been some of those with hate as there always is, but it was the way she presented them. As if her short amount of time living here revealed a complete enough sense of this place to be so absolute in her judgements of Charleston, which is how she wrote her article to sound. I understand not vibing with a city, as I spent a year in a city I hated but I didn’t blame anything other than me and my lack of interests that worked with what the city had to offer. I sure as hell didn’t write an article that was pretty damn viscious in its condemnation of a city and it’s inhabitants. Don’t expect anything other than toxic when what was posted was the toxic thing in the first place.

    Reply
    • NB

      “…a city that is the icon of the South”

      AN icon of the South, I’ll give you that, but THE icon of the South? That’s a little presumptuous.

      Reply
  28. Rocky II

    Maybe your friendship with the author is preventing you from seeing that maybe you shouldn’t have published the article in the first place. It’s easier to pull the article and comments down and blame the internet crazies than it is to (1) tell your friend she wrote a messed up article that blamed a lot of her personal problems on strangers she had never met, and (2) accept that you had no business publishing something like that in the first place. Then move on. Your public blog is the precise opposite of your private home; and please don’t defend some offensive rant with Jefferson’s treatises on religious liberty. Two. Different. Things. That being said, you have a big spotlight on you and you should make the most of it. You need to get in gear and realize you have an opportunity (if you can convince people that you have higher editorial standards than that article) A whole new market for your blog is watching you. Why don’t you use your radio time to announce your new prettysouthern correspondents in Charleston and how you are going to begin covering the going-ons in the city. Talk about Spoleto (https://spoletousa.org/) and how you’re coming to see some shows and write about those. If they ask you about the blog post, “Hey, I think the article shows how someone can have a bad time anywhere, even in as beautiful a place as Charleston.” And take down this wilting daisy of a letter of non-apology and put up a Charleston and a Savannah bucket list instead. Now is the time to grow your website.

    Reply
    • James

      I think that the whole thing may have been staged as a publicity stunt to get some radio time for promotion. I think that as well as defending her friend who she put in harms way they both owe the city of chArleston an apology. This is the only way I would ever look at the blog again. It would not be good publicity for this blog or editor if word ever made it to Conde Naste and other reputable experts who differ in opinion about charleston

      Reply
  29. Robert Pfaff

    Our problem with the article were the lazy and gross inaccuracies. I was born and raised in Charleston, then lived in Atlanta for 20 years, before returning to Charleston five years ago. I don’t know who she was hanging out with here, but I know we that don’t look, think or behave as she asserts. The stuff she said was bitter, hurtful and simply untrue – that’s what made us so upset.

    Reply
  30. JC Wine

    I really did not have a problem with the content of the article, just in how poorly it was written. Bashing a place with such stated blinders and limited vision by the author, combined with bad writing is just, well bad.

    You asked for constructive criticism and contributions and that is mine.
    Maybe the author should have heeded the Southern virtue of grace and used a softer stroke of the brush on the piece.

    Subtlety and wit are distinctly Southern, not subcultures.

    Reply
  31. Hometown girl

    If you are truely a southerner at heart then you should know ” If you’re going to be stupid, you have to be tough.” Why on earth would you print something so disrespectful to a place you love? What kind of a friend does that make you? Did you really think people would not get upset or have rude comments? You allowed someone to offend the people who love Charleston and would defend it no matter what. Just because you can does not allways mean you should. You should have used some common sense in your judgment. Put the post back up. You put it out there thinking it was ok so now have the guts to follow through.

    Reply
  32. Sam Dunham

    “As a man, especially a Southern guy who was raised on “yes ma’am”, “yes sir”, “please”, and “thank you”, I was appalled at the tone of the blog.”

    Even more than that, I’m dumbfounded by the naivete of the author and the editor of this site. If you throw out a piece with the condescending tone of that piece, that serves no purpose but to denigrate something that many others hold dear, ESPECIALLY the place these people call home, why would you NOT expect to get vitriolic responses?

    Furthermore, if the editor thought the piece had any true value, and had any courage at all, she would have left it up. I’m basically disappointed in this site all the way around.

    Reply
  33. Cj

    The article may have offended many people who are from Charleston, however many people who have moved to charleston from other cities DO agree with her. It’s not rocket science, a lot of the locals aren’t fond puff outsiders & are more than happy to let you know it. I LOVED Charleston & would visit twice a year. It was my dream to move to your beautiful city. Living here was a different story. It was awful how catty & judgemental people could be. It is perfectly fine for someone not to love living here. If you don’t like where I’m from, I have no anger or qualms about it. Everyone is entitled to their opinion & she was attacked for hers. It was ignorant & proves her point.

    Reply
  34. Meg

    Let’s not forget that this “nice southern lady” opened her “article” by comparing Charleston to “a girl who you think is sweet and nice but turns out to be a real ‘See You Next Tuesday.'” I did a double-take when I ready this line, wondering if it was a man writing it. Nope, not only did this writer bash a city she has no understanding of, she made a clichéd comparison using her own gender.

    Lauren, I understand what you’re trying to do here with this letter, but take a step back and COME ON. Your writer ripped a city to shreds in the worst of ways — ignorantly, shallowly, and inaccurately — and people got pissed. She had her opinion, you posted it on the internet, and it spread like wildfire because it was infuriating. I have no idea what else you would expect and you’re kidding yourself with this victimized reaction.

    Reply
  35. Robin

    Not only did the writer bash Charleston…She bashed the entire state of South Carolina. She blamed SC and Chas. because she didn’t research thoroughly before she moved.

    I also saw several curse words flowing from her comments…including the fbomb

    Reply
  36. JI Boy

    Your “pretty southern blogger”(Northern transplant southern blogger?) bashed an entire city based on her six month stay in Mt. Plastic, of all places, then suggests the entire state should secede from the US because it offends her so. When she gets blasted by .01% of the population she somehow stereotyped into one exact persona, you proceed to write a letter to “all of Charleston” further condemning Charleston. You are a joke. She is a joke. And your blog is a joke. You got your hits, though(that’s really what it was all about, don’t even).

    Reply
  37. JC Wine

    I was born in Atlanta, raised in North Carolina, boarding school in Virginia, and finally College of Charleston, where I lived for 20 years afterwards.

    Charleston is a tough nut to crack and while I never achieved it, the chase sure was fun! Along the journey I met some awesome people who I will call friends for life.

    It is what you make it, wherever you are.

    Reply
  38. Michelle

    Lauren- have you considered that your offense over vulgar language and vicious comments isn’t going to bring forth much sympathy when you published an editorial piece that compared Charleston with a “See You Next Tuesday”? Do you know what that phrase means? How do you plan to have a dialogue about this on Charleston radio and expect any different when you haven’t even acknowledged your own writers offensive and aggressive take on our home?

    Reply
  39. Wendy

    i agree with freedom of speech and everyone’s right to his own opinion. I am also disappointed in the people who commented in a malicious and immature manner. I can, however, understand what elicited those emotions. First, it has been shown time and time again that people will say more on social media than in any other venue. That being said, I agreed with nothing the article said, and I don’t understand why you would want to post such a polarizing, unfair and hateful article. There was nothing entertaining or useful in the article. This is my home. This is where I have chosen to live and raise my children with my husband…my former military husband (she had some really nice things to say about our military men, huh?)…and yes, I am one of those wives and moms she spoke so highly of. She was insulting to the community and its people. I think isn’t could could have expressed her opinions without being so hateful. I am sorry that she’s had such a negative experience here. I am sorry that some people lashed out at her in the way they did. I do, however, believe that many of them responded with the same tone and negativity that she presented in her article.

    Reply
  40. marie

    Really, with that picture (on top of the multitude of other under-handed insults)? Well aren’t you just the classy one…

    Reply
  41. rlh

    As a Charlestonian, I too was horrified by the comments on the blog post, but sadly not at all surprised by it. There is a cultlike mentality in Charleston that it is the center of the solar system. I am mortified to even be from this city right now after having seen those comments.

    Reply
  42. Louise

    Misogynistic insults? Did I or did I not read the phrase “See You Next Tuesday” in her post? I was appalled at her opinion piece, not because of her distaste of Charleston but because of her stereotyping and insulting of its people. She doesn’t like the city? Who cares, no biggie. People come and go all the time. She’s going to publicly call the residents names before she goes because of her limited experience? Well, that’s going to incur some feedback. I do not condone cyberbullying, but I also don’t think she should get a pass for her rude public statements.

    Reply
  43. Madison

    “We launched PrettySouthern.com in 2011 as a platform for spreading good news about the South.”

    That is a direct quote from your “About” section. Maybe you need to rethink the articles you post if this is your mantra. The “Charm-less” article may have been an opinion piece, but it was scathing, judgmental and poorly written. Regardless of your friendship with the author, as a former journalist you should be able to recognize poor writing when you see it. Congrats on all of the attention your site is getting. Take this as an opportunity to reflect on what you really want your blog to be about. If you call yourself “Pretty Southern,” then allowing articles that defame one of the gems of the south shouldn’t be on your blog.

    Reply
  44. SJ

    There’s a moderator on the comments. If you don’t like something that someone said, don’t post it. Easy as that. Or even turn off the comments if it’s becoming too much. Those wanting to see the article can find it on Google pretty easily. Holy City Sinner and Reddit have copies.

    Reply
    • SJ

      Additionally, I’m not a big fan of Charleston, but I could easily write an article about the pitfalls of Charleston without making hasty generalizations about the entire state. Her article amounted to no more than “Yeah the food is great, but… and yeah the beach is awesome, but… and yeah the downtown area is fun, but…” It was horribly written (horribly edited) and thus horribly received.

      Reply
  45. Craig D

    I am a native of the Charleston area (Hanahan to be exact) and call Charleston’s West of the Ashley home. I read her article and understand every point she made. I also understand that you get out of a city what you put in. She lived in the most homogeneous of all of our towns, Mt. Pleasant… not Charleston proper. Everyone does generally look and act the same in Mt. Pleasant, and guess what, most of them are northern transplants that want our grace and ease and end up trying too hard. Her experience would have been very different if she had lived in anywhere within the City of Charleston.

    I certainly see many of the faults that our city has including a lack of real diversity. Not a black and white diversity mind you, but in other cultures. To be honest, I don’t really want all of those other cultures coming in to split up our homogeny to form Lil’ China or Lil’ Italy, etc… although we definitely have our own Lil’ Mexico off in North Charleston.

    She is correct in her assertion that Charleston is not a great place to live for a 20 something fresh out of college. We do not have major employers in the same manner as other larger cities. This is a city where you need to bring your ideas with you and be more self contained. That’s why many of us can go to the beach on a Tuesday or have an easier nature about us, because we created our own success and are masters to ourselves.

    She didn’t like Charleston because it is not for her, simple as that.

    Congratulations on the newly found success of your blog.

    Craig D.

    Reply
    • BornandBred

      “To be honest, I don’t really want all of those other cultures coming in to split up our homogeny to form Lil’ China or Lil’ Italy, etc… although we definitely have our own Lil’ Mexico off in North Charleston.”

      Hahahahaha!! And ol man Ravenel likes to tip with $5 bills cause he don’t like bills with Lincoln on the front in his wallet anyway…….

      These comments are embarrassing……

      Reply
  46. Lee Scott

    Like most natives, I have a love/hate relationship with Charleston, but the last thing I want is to hear is that it’s just like Atlanta or Boston or wherever. We have is a whole industry of real estate and tourism folks trying to make Charleston seem like some pastel-hued paradise that can blandly accommodate everyone’s retirement/relocation/vacation needs. I’m glad people can still move here and see it as some crazy, weird place where they don’t personally fit in. That means it has retained a little bit of its character.

    Reply
  47. Lola

    I 100% do not believe your sentence about this article not being a way to promote your blog and get “clicks”. I even heard mike on the radio say several times to you “you’re welcome for the traffic” and you responded by saying you had to “take her out for many cocktails to thank her”. I think publishing this article was a low blow to rile Charlstonians up to give your blog a boost. Your intent was for this article to get you recognition. In the end if your blog was really amazing in the first place, you wouldn’t need to stoop to those levels.

    Reply
  48. emily

    I think those behind this blog should just be willing to admit the article was completely tasteless and stop turning it around on those who left comments. Its not about the comments but the article. The bottom line is the writer has no leg to stand on in regards to the content of her story. Opinion or not. You guys are just digging a deeper hole..

    Reply

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