CMT honors Women’s History Month with a list of 10 songs that broke barriers. There are groundbreaking songs from Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire, Mickey Guyton, Kacey Musgraves, and Dolly Parton.
In honor of Women’s History Month, CMT chose 10 songs by female country artists that “Broke Barriers.” Each one speaks to serious issues like gender inequality, workplace and racial discrimination, or overall equal rights. Here’s the list:
1. “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”, Kitty Wells, 1952. A response to a Hank Thompson song about cheating women. Hey, what if the man was to blame?
2. “Rated X”, Loretta Lynn, 1972. This song challenged the unfair double-standard that divorced women were easy. Sounds crazy, but that was the reality.
3. “The Pill”, Loretta Lynn, 1975. Birth control was a very controversial topic back then. (Still is?) Her fans loved the song and made it a hit.
4. “Is There Life Out There”, Reba McEntire, 1992. It’s about a housewife and mother trying to summon up the courage to follow her dreams. It was not something that society encouraged at the time.
5. “Black Like Me”, Mickey Guyton, 2020. It’s about her lifelong struggle to fit in and be accepted.
6. “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?”, Mickey Guyton, 2020. CMT said it best: “A scathing listing of the ways society often builds up young girls just to tear them down.”
7. “Not Ready To Make Nice”, The Chicks, 2006. They survived the cancel culture with defiance and attitude . . . and influenced the next wave of female country stars.
8. “Follow Your Arrow”, Kacey Musgraves, 2013. One of the first country songs to say that same-sex relationships are okay, and there is no shame.
9. “Harper Valley P.T.A.”, Jeannie C. Riley, 1968. This song addressed the hypocrisy of people who point fingers while ignoring their own vices. Sadly, that message is timeless.
10. “9 to 5”, Dolly Parton, 1980. An early take on the suffocating reality of workplace discrimination . . . and the desire to break through the glass ceiling.
(You can hit up CMT.com for full writeups on each song.)