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Lecture 7

Women's Studies 2161A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Working Poor, Snoop Dogg, Heterosexism


Department
Women's Studies
Course Code
Women's Studies 2161A/B
Professor
Prof
Lecture
7

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COUNTRY MUSIC
Feb 24
Exs of transgressive gender performance
Redneck woman-Gretchen Wilson
Dolly Parton Butler-Lite
Country music...cowboy hats, fiddels, banjos
perceived as from the US south and appalachian mountains, but dvlpd world
wide
grew out of minstrel shows and vaudeville
country music listeners-stigmatized in terms of “twang”, and assoc w explicitly
working class, rustic, and southern themes, often implicitly white identities.
“I’m a redneck woman i aint no high class broad” -Gretchen Wilson
the early 200s in Nashville called the Muzik Mafia..rebels w/i national scene.
Gretchen is a Godfather of Music mafia
These ppl claim to be rebelious
Gretchen Wilson was born in mid Illionois (not technically in the south)
grew up in a trailer park
spent formative yrs as a musician in Missouri
now based in Nashville, TN
highly successful commercial music career
To what degree is she “Southern”..?
”Social power is consolidated by borrowing characteristics of race, sexuality,
class and gender, according to the circumstances from the subject positions to
which thet are seen to belong.” (Hubbs)
-Hubbs interpretation on Redeck woman:
“the song is a gender inclusive statement of redneck pride and a call to twenty
first century working consciousness, fine tiunes to distinctions of consumptions
and self destruction”
-produce our own classifying operations-calling yourself a redneck woman will
reinforce the power of that label
Hubbs suggests that it is Gretchen Wilson’s transgression of gender, and
flaunting of her class that allowed her to develop the powerful identity of Redneck
Woman.
Dolly Parton
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hypersexualized country performer. broke out in the 60s. hyper-feminie
performance and transgressing boundaries.
Butler Lite: Judith Butler is a feminist theorist. dvlpd the theory of Performativity:
the theory of gender. Performativit is an “unconscious” process where:
-by the process of learning gender, we learn to create gender thru our beahvior
(so theres no true gender, its something we learn and is a repetitie process)
ex: nail painting as feminine, women smile/laugh
Butler calls this “the anticipation of a gendered essence prodces that which it
posits as outside itself”
Gender is a repetitive process.
Drag: conscious gender parody
unlike performativity, drag IS a conscious act. Butler calls drag a parody of
gender, and explains that the performance of drag plays upon the distinction bw
-the anatomy of the performer
AND
-the gender that is being performed
because drag is conscious
for M to F (classic drag) the subversive disruption is the mismatch bw
Drag plays on the mismatch of
1. anatomical sex
2. 2. gender identity
3. 3. gender performance
For Dolly Parton, the mismatch is more subtle..more subversive.
anatomical sex, gender identity and gender performance all match
and yet
her stage identity id built upon revealing her gender performances as a
conscious parody.
Dolly Parton is a managed identity, manipulation of multiple identities at the same
time.
She plays up on her sexuality which makes it drag.
Wilson vs Dolly Parton
2 diff versions of country girls.
Wilson was trying to break the gender barrier and Dolly is playing up on the
femininity.
Wilson performed more masculine role. creating her own image of country.
she achieved redneck pride in her music video and lyrics, its all to still please the
man..she’s still buying the lingerie and taking it off to please him.
She’s attacking middle class women who drink champagne or shop at VS
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