Real Men Kill and a Lady Never Talks Back: Gender Goes to War in Country Music

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Pruitt, Lesley (2007) Real Men Kill and a Lady Never Talks Back: Gender Goes to War in Country Music. International Journal on World Peace, 24 (4). pp. 85-106. ISSN 0742-3640


Music can be a powerful medium for social change when artists use their songs to promote peace. But, this study shows that women anti-war celebrities are limited in their ability to affect social change by dominant gendered discourses connected to country music in the United States. The anti-war statements by men in the genre do not suffer the same kind of backlash women receive. This difference is examined using comparative discourse analysis for the Dixie Chicks, an all-female band, and Willie Nelson, a male singer-songwriter. This comparison demonstrates how the statements of country music artists who protest war are received differently based on their gender, and reveals how country music reflects public discourse and reinforces limited ideas of peace through promoting traditional views of gender.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1606 Political Science
Historical > FOR Classification > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society
Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > FOR Classification > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords ResPubID22517. peace, anti-war, protest songs, social change, gender, Dixie Chicks, Willie Nelson, country music, country musicians
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