Even the casual listener already knows that country radio is heavily male-dominated, and the gap between what male and female artists can sing about has narrowed considerably. But Dolly Parton’s “Just Because I’m a Woman” made a bold statement about that as early as half a century ago.
Parton was only twenty years old when she first arrived in Nashville, yet she showed her feisty refusal to be confined by the assumptions men might make about her. “Just Because I’m a Woman” – released as the title track of her second album – called out the industry’s double standard, pointing out how women are often judged differently.
The song enjoyed modest success on the country chart, peaking at No. 17. Still, Parton felt that radio stations held back airplay as they deemed it too “women’s-libby.”
The Story Behind The Song
Dolly Parton revealed that “Just Because I’m a Woman” actually came from a real-life dispute with her husband, Carl Dean. The two tied the knot at a church in Ringgold, Georgia on May 30, 1966 – and they have been together ever since.
But it wasn’t always wine and roses. Parton recalled that eight months after their marriage, Dean suddenly asked her if she had been with anyone else before they got together. Of course, Parton didn’t want to begin their marriage with a lie, so she told him she had been. Sadly, this upset Dean.
“He was just crushed by that, and I was kind of an outcast for a little while there,” Parton revealed.
So she went on writing: “My mistakes are no worse than yours, just because I’m a woman.” And the song about double standards came to life.
Tune in and listen to Dolly Parton’s “Just Because I’m a Woman” by playing the video below.