Black and white portrait of Dolly Parton with gold text

Dolly Parton: Gender and Country Music

by Leigh H. Edwards Author

Dolly Parton is most known for her blond hair, country twang, and undeniable musical talent. However, underneath all that hairspray there is a multifaceted activist, philanthropist, and gender nonconformist. On first glance, her stage persona appears to be everything that the male gaze strives to impose on women. She is both innocent and hypersexualized. She is the girl next door while simultaneously being a sex icon. By uniting these two opposing images of what a woman should be, she succinctly critiques traditional representations of femininity and the expectations of women musicians in country music as well as society as a whole. In Dolly Parton, Gender, and Country Music discover the brilliant, tattooed, and subversive feminist activist behind the lashes. Author Leigh H. Edwards is Associate Professor of English at Florida State University and the author of multiple books on American music and culture.