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8 country music feminist anthems you need

You’re probably still coming down from the 50th Academy of Country Music Awards—it’s okay, a lot of people are. In a true half-century celebration, the ACMs went big, throwing the annual party in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The night was huge for women, with three of the seven Milestone awards going to women (Reba McEntire, Miranda Lambert, and Taylor Swift) and Miranda Lambert taking home the most awards for the night, even if she was overlooked for a fourth nomination for Entertainer of the Year.

But at the end of the day, country music is no stranger to a little girl power. Feminism runs deep in the roots of country music, back from Dolly to a couple girls in a country song. Here, my top eight feminist anthems in the world of country music:

Dolly Parton, “Just Because I’m a Woman”

Calm down, Internet. Feminism isn’t a 21st-century convention. Dolly Parton proves that with her boldly titled “Just Because I’m a Woman.” In short, the synopsis is: “Sorry I’m independent. We’re practically the same, so don’t shade my lady existence.” Dolly was 100 percent shameless in throwing down truth bombs, and proved that country music was anything but just a man’s game. The words of her song ring just as true and relevant today, so you can only imagine the stir they caused back in 1968 when Dolly laid down the law: You say the rules are different for women, and that’s not fair.

Best line: “My mistakes are no worse than yours, just because I’m a woman.”

Jeannie C. Riley, “Harper Valley P.T.A.”

Harper Valley P.T.A.

Jeannie C. Riley is the mom you want on your side if you’re walking down the street after dropping your kid off at school and you’re getting catcalled, because she has ALL THE GOSSIP. In response to a letter from the P.T.A. about her clothing and lifestyle, the song’s protagonist goes to school and gets real on everyone. Outfitted in her miniskirt, she goes down the line throwing shade at every member of the P.T.A., proving that instead of focusing on her wardrobe, it may benefit them to focus on their own lives. Zing.

Best line: “And then you have the nerve to tell me that you think that as a mother I’m not fit? / Well this is just another Peyton Place and you’re all Harper Valley hypocrites.”

Dixie Chicks, “Sin Wagon”

If Nashville ever wanted a live-wire act to shake up the country music landscape, they got it in the Dixie Chicks. Clearly unafraid to make a political statement, the Dixie Chicks became even more polarizing after lead singer Natalie Maines’ comments about President George W. Bush. But leading up to that, the Chicks released “Sin Wagon”—an anthem that ditches the pearls and heels for a can of “t- ounce nutrition.” Also, we got introduced to mattress dancin’, and that’s super-important.

Best line: “On a mission to make somethin’ happen / Feel like Delilah lookin’ for Samson / Do a little mattress dancin’ / That’s right, I said mattress dancin’.”

Miranda Lambert, “Kerosene”

Before Miranda Lambert became the country music force that she is today, she shook up the scene with the release of “Kerosene,” which simply follows her emptying out the world’s suspiciously never-ending kerosene supply from her lover’s house all the way to the bed he’s in with his mistress, conveniently situated in the middle of the street she’s walking down. “Kerosene” laid a foundation for Miranda Lambert that perfectly encompasses who she is as a music artist and a woman: a force to be reckoned with.

Best line: “Forget your high society / I’m soakin’ it in kerosene.”

Reba McEntire, “Is There Life Out There?”

Is There Life Out There?

Reba is a legend for a lot of reasons—partially because the woman has been hanging out in the country music scene for five decades, and partially because she just released a new album and slayed on the ACM Awards before taking home a Milestone Award. But most of all, Reba is a queen of country music because her music videos essentially double as mini-feature-length films. Songs like “Fancy” and “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” are outstanding, but the story behind “Is There Life Out There?” has a hard-working mother returning to school to get her degree. Also Huey Lewis in her husband. In 1991, this was super-groundbreaking (both going back to school and Huey Lewis).

Best line: “She’s done what she should / Should she do what she dares?”

Maddie & Tae, “Girl in a Country Song”

Feminism in country music often takes a subtle approach, in the form of a story or an angry woman looking for revenge, so it’s nice to see two 19-year-old newbies come on to the scene and question the norm. In a time of “bro country,” Maddie & Tae turn country music conventions on their head. They place men in cutoffs, tied shirts, and cowboy boots while they run the show from the back of a pickup. Mind you, that’s all while tearing down every stereotype that country music has placed upon women in country music. Cheers to you, Madd & Tae … you know, when you’re legally able to drink. Oh, and runner-up for best line? “Shakin’ my money maker ain’t ever made me a dime / And there ain’t no sugar in this shaker of mine.” SLAY.

Best line: “Being the girl in a country song, how in the world did it go so wrong? / Like all we’re good for is lookin’ good for you and your friends on the weekend, nothin’ more.”

Kellie Pickler, “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful?”

If one thing is true about life, it’s that there’s power in numbers. If there’s another thing that might be true, it’s that there’s even more power when you put all that power on roller skates. That’s what Kellie Pickler does in her video for “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful?” The song focuses in on women of all ages, reminding them that beauty is, indeed, deeper than the skin. There’s, like, just a couple seconds of equating innocence to virginity, but the main message is be yourself, and that pretty much always wins out, right?

Best line: “Now I know you’d give anything just to fit in / But your worth ain’t on a price tag / It comes from within”

Kacey Musgraves, “Follow Your Arrow”

Any list of country songs addressing social issues that doesn’t include “Follow Your Arrow” simply isn’t trying hard enough. The completely unapologetic Kacey Musgraves has wedged her way into the male-dominated genre with some of the most original songwriting that country music has seen in nearly a decade. Of course, she’s ruffling some feathers along the way, and most of them can be seen on her spaghetti Western inspired wardrobe. Blunt and proud, she addresses sex, alcohol, weight gain/loss, and sexuality all in one song.

Best line: “Make lots of noise, kiss lots of boys / Or kiss lots of girls if that’s something you’re into.”

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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