Feminism and Dolly in 2019

Are you listening to this?

It’s incredible, and about so much more than Dolly Parton.

Don’t get me wrong: I love Dolly.

After more than six decades in the spotlight, Dolly Parton has become a cultural touchstone to multiple generations.

Her fans cross demographic lines from crusty octogenarians to ebullient drag performers to emerging fourth wave feminists.

Image result for dolly parton young
Young Dolly, image via Pinterest

This nine part podcast digs deep, and the first episode centers around feminism and Dolly.

Not giving away much here, but at one point, Dolly was asked point blank if she was a feminist, to which she replied “No.”

As someone who often wears a “Wild Feminist” shirt – among other apparel – I briefly felt like Dolly let me down.

The producers seemed to agree.

But here’s where this podcast is so brilliant: the disappointment with that answer was then discussed in a meaningful way, and in the end the thesis is that Dolly is a feminist without calling herself one.

My favorite quote from the episode: “There are feminists in theory. And there are feminists in practice.”

I can’t wait for the rest.