One of the first songs I memorized as a child was “Guys Do It All The Time” by Mindy McCready. The whole song goes through the double standard that is put upon women in relationships. Putting aside the fact that it must have been hilarious to hear a 6-year-old sing “…so I had some beers with the girls last night,” it taught me a crazy important lesson.
Women and men should be able to have the same basic human rights, no matter the circumstances.
1. They will call you out on your double standards.
Starting with “Guys Do It All The Time” and leading up to “Girl In A Country Song,” (which is a new single by Maddie & Tae, that playfully brings to light the not so great aspects of “bro-country”) there’s no trace of a demure, quiet, country queen.
Even Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart” talks about the generational gap of a mother telling her daughter to “Fix your make-up, girl. It’s just a breakup,” and how sometimes girls shouldn’t just have to suck it up and hold in our emotions. These lyrics are brave and raw and prove that a hit song doesn’t always have to do with a truck, bikini tops and cans of Coors.
2. They still play nice with the boys.
The “f-word” can be sometimes scary to people who aren’t educated on the definition. These country queens are definitely not man-haters, but also aren’t afraid to stand up for themselves in the old-boys club that is (sometimes) the music industry.
Just because they put out a song calling out a particular double-standard, doesn’t mean they won’t collaborate on another song with a male country artist. These women know how to play the game as well as anyone.
3. They won’t be boxed in.
One of the most important things I’ve learned about the portrayal of women in the media is that for the most part, we’re often viewed as one thing. Pretty. Smart. Strong. And although we may have all of those qualities, it’s hard to be viewed as a dynamic, complicated being like most women are. This is where I become super proud of country music.
Female country artists are consistently producing amazing, well-rounded and emotional music that attempts to capture all of the emotions of being a woman. Which, is a lot for one song.
I’m extremely thankful I have had strong women as my musical influences. I’m happy that a Mindy McCready song was the first one I memorized – even though I was a long way from having beers with the girls as a 6-year-old.
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