Dolly Parton Felt ‘Proud’ To Write a Song About the 19th Amendment, ‘A Woman’s Right’

Dolly Parton famously stays out of politics. But when she was asked to write a song about one of the amendments, she happily signed on to write “A Woman’s Right.” Here are Parton’s thoughts concerning the 19th amendment, feminism, and quietly “celebrating women for years.”

Dolly Parton accepts the Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award onstage during the 11th Annual ACM Honors at the Ryman Auditorium on August 23, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Dolly Parton | Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for ACM

Dolly Parton on feminism

Parton, who many argue clearly embodies feminism, is often asked her opinion on the movement and whether she identifies as a feminist.

“I don’t like labels,” she wrote in her 2020 book, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics. “Does being feminine make me a feminist? I don’t think so.”

The Queen of Country doesn’t call herself a feminist. But Parton “lives it,” feminism.

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“I really just live who I am,” she wrote. “I’m a woman and proud of it. And I believe every woman should have the right to be anything she can be capable of.”

You’ll never see Parton at a #MeToo march. And she feels that should be fine.

“I didn’t think I had to march in the streets to prove anything,” she wrote. “I would write it in my songs and live it as a woman in business. I never felt like I had to do it any differently than that. Everybody has the right to do things their own way.”

Dolly Parton on the 19th amendment

In her book, Parton shared her thoughts on the 19th amendment.

“In 2020, we celebrated the one hundredth anniversary of women getting the right to vote in America. I’ve been celebrating women for years, sometimes in the privacy of my own yard at home,” she writes below a photo of her standing on one leg with her arms outstretched toward the camera (as if she were about to give the photographer a hug), smiling, in her backyard.

‘A Woman’s Right’

“I got approached to do this song for an album they were making about the constitutional amendments,” explained Parton. “I said, ‘Let me write about a woman’s right to vote, but in my own way.’ I wrote it tongue-in-cheek and clever, but still making a point.”

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Parton was sure to write a bit about how Tennessee was the deciding state to get the vote across, which gave her “a little extra pride.”

“It has some really fun lines, and I was proud to be part of that project,” she wrote.

We’ve carried signs, we’ve cussed at times
Marched up and down the streets
We had to fight for women’s rights
Wore blisters on our feet
We got tired of seein’ all our dreams go up in smoke
Burdens more than we could tote
Having lies crammed down our throats
But that ol’ dam finally broke
When women finally got the right to vote

“A Woman’s Right,” by Dolly Parton