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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dolly Parton, Feminist icon in wig and corset.....

A while back I came across an article about Dolly Parton and her role in feminist culture, and my initial reaction was whuh?? My Dolly knowledge is limited to a few songs I've heard from her earlier days, her Christmas album made with Kenny Rogers, a Hughes Holiday family staple, and the movie 9-5. But the more I thought about it, her songs are actually very empowering. She's a real strong woman with a voice of an angel, who's not afraid to put on a blonde wig and outlandish costumes and hoist those boobies up there and SING, and I'm a big fan of lipstick feminists, if there is such a term.

Remember 9-5? the movie starring Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Dolly....and Dabney Coleman? Heavens!! them there are some strong women! You can familiarize yourself with the plot a little more here, but basically, three sexy smart ladies who've had it up to here with the sexual advances and misogynistic behavior of their "sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot" of a boss, decide to take matters into their own hands... I watched this movie when I was like six, or something. It came out in 1980, practically when I was born. Definitely plan on watching it again, perhaps paired with Mr. Mom, another early 80's feminist classic. Below is your trailer... having not watched this movie in 15 or so years, what struck me most about it is how much the workplace hasn't changed since 1980.

I've worked for male bosses that would walk past a group of all female(damn-it!) executive assistants and say something like "How are my girls this morning?" At one company birthday party one of the EA's brought in a homemade Mississippi Mud Pie, and the SVP of an unnamed branch of AOL actually said, without blinking, "Suzie Q, if you were my wife I'd never let you out of the kitchen." It was all I could do to not stare in horror..seriously, inappropriate on two counts, way to go... Or one top level executive would call me in repeatedly during morning meetings to switch out his cold coffee with hot coffee. I would saunter in wearing a cute skirt and cardigan and approach the round table with eight or so men who completely ignored my presence. In those moments I wondered why it was so important to me to continute on with secondary education.... why I took a small scholarship, and somehow managed to feed and clothe myself and my autistic son while completing my master's degree at an ivy-league institution... I did all that to be on hot-coffee patrol??

Life isn't always fun, obvs, but what I'm sort of working through in my life is that I have to do things I don't want to do sometimes in order to be able to better provide for myself and my son..and that's what we call "doing life" salary, benefits, taxes, cleaning, shopping, those things that just have to get done and ain't so much fun doing. But there's a fine line between chasing your dreams, and being plain old foolish and selfish, and I'm trying to figure that out as I go along. What I do know, and what I am working on is trying to enjoy each moment to its absolute fullest. To often I view my life as being in this state of stasis...that sounds silly, but it's true. I meander through life as if it's just about to begin, my goal is always just around the corner, when I finally get this thing, then I'll be really happy... I've been thinking that way for God only knows how long. That whole present moment thing is something that I think we all struggle with.

Well here's dazzled and bedecked Dolly again with another gather your strength number... and the video also stars Amy Sedaris from Strangers with Candy... I wanna know what face cream Amy uses so her face isn't affected by those whack-ass expressions she makes. Anywhoo, chin up ladies and enjoy...

1 comment:

Kate said...

Did you know that Dolly Parton once entered a Drag Dolly-impersonators contest in Santa Monica, lost, and didn't tell any of the contestants who she actually was?

Add the ability to laugh at herself as another reason Dolly rocks.

Oooh and the song "Travelin' Through" for which she SHOULD have won an Oscar, if they didn't give it to whoever the hell it was that sang "hard out there for a pimp".