|Title:||You Ain’t Woman Enough: Country Music and the Women’s Liberation Movement|
United States Studies Centre
|Abstract:||Country music is perceived and presented as an intrinsically conservative genre, built around the cultural paradigms that defined mid-20th Century American conservatism. Often centred around ideals of domesticity, labour and religion, the genre has found a geographic hub within America’s largely conservative Southern states. The logical assumption to follow this would be to assume that the women of country music follow a similar conservative political path. However, when compared to the Women’s Liberation Movement, a largely leftist political movement, we can see that ultimately this is not true. Though the women’s liberation movement was centred around the urban Northeast, when observing the lyrics, interviews and public perceptions of prominent women in country music we can see considerable similarities between their actions and the motivations of the movement. By observing the work of Kitty Wells, we can see an often-contradictory understanding of the role of the housewife, as she appears prominently as a pioneer within the genre and her family’s primary breadwinner. Tammy Wynette’s music, though thematically very different, features considerable similarities to the form of activism known as consciousness raising, and Loretta Lynn consistently presents lyrics and themes that subvert what is expected of her as a Southern woman. Ultimately, an observation of these women’s careers shows us two things; firstly, their success points to a Southern market in which the ideals of the women’s liberation movement are valued. Secondly, their collective works are indicative of a less conventional approach to Southern conservatism; one which is able to reconcile feminist ideals into a historically conservative context.|
|Department/Unit/Centre:||United States Studies Centre|
|Type of Work:||Thesis, Honours|
|Appears in Collections:||Honours Theses|
|Flynn O%27Connor - You Ain%27t Woman Enough - American Studies Honours Thesis.pdf||Thesis||915.21 kB||Adobe PDF|
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