Dolly Parton has championed the idea of women empowering other women long before the term “feminism” became a buzzword, but as Parton’s fans know, she’s been hesitant to call herself one.
In an interview with “Time 100 Talks: Finding Hope” — for the magazine’s special series — the “9 to 5” songstress explained her position, noting that it’s “kind of a tricky question” when asked by TIME Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal what her stance was.
“I suppose I am a feminist if I believe that women should be able to do anything they want to,” Parton said. “And when I say a feminist, I just mean I don’t have to, for myself, get out and carry signs … I just really feel I can live my femininity and actually show that you can be a woman and you can still do whatever you want to do.”
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The nine-time Grammy winner said she understands that she has a fan base that consists of those who identify as feminists and those who don’t and in her mind, she isn’t “ashamed” of the title.
“It’s just that there’s a group of people that kind of fit into that category more than me,” she added. “I just always say I don’t really go for titles or this or that. But I’m all for all our gals. I think everybody has the right to be who they are.”
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In February 2019, Parton, 74, told the Guardian that she often shunned the label and simply saw herself as a businesswoman.
“I don’t think … I mean, I must be if being a feminist means I’m all for women, yes. But I don’t feel I have to march, hold up a sign or label myself,” she explained at the time. “I think the way I have conducted my life and my business and myself speaks for itself. I don’t think of it as being feminist.”
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“It’s not a label I have to put on myself. I’m just all for gals.”
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