Just Because I'm a Woman

Album: Just Because I'm a Woman (1968)
  • Dolly Parton was a strong female voice in the male-dominated world of country music, where she excelled as both a singer and a songwriter. In this song, she demands equal treatment, making it clear that she shouldn't be judged more harshly simply because of her gender. This being the American South in 1968, it was a bold statement.

    Released on Parton's second album, the song was a modest success on the Country chart, reaching #17, but she felt that radio stations withheld airplay because they deemed it too "women's-libby."
  • In the third verse, Parton points out women and men are judged differently based on their sexual experience:

    Now a man will take a good girl
    And he'll ruin her reputation
    But when he wants to marry
    Well, that's a different situation


    This stems from a real-life dispute with her husband, Carl, whom she married in 1966. "When I was first married, Carl and I were very happy," she told Mojo. "Then eight months in he suddenly asked me whether I'd been with anyone else before we got together. I told him I had and he was so upset, he had a hard time getting over it. That's why I wrote it: 'My mistakes are no worse than yours, just because I'm a woman.' Carl hates for me to tell the story, but I say to him, I've got to tell the truth, don't I?"
  • This song gave an early indication of Parton's unique talents; how she could be both a paragon of traditional values and a champion of women's rights. She had a staunch supporter in Porter Wagoner, who brought her in to co-host his TV show in 1967. Parton stayed on the show for seven years, finally heading out on her own in 1974. Her song "I Will Always Love You" was written for Wagoner as a sweet goodbye.
  • Parton considers this one of the defining songs for her career. She titled her 2003 tribute album Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton, and sung this one herself (the others are songs Parton wrote recorded by other artists).

Comments: 1

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaAmen and thank you Dolly.
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