I spent a lot of time not liking country music. I grew up in small town New Mexico not far from a reservation, listening to old country on my Grandma’s car radio. We lived in an area where current pop hits didn’t reach us until they’d been widely known everywhere else for at least six months. So the first 5 years of my life were spent bopping along to classic western tunes that tended to be all about men and their woes. It all seemed the same: a long, drawn out, sad story of a man losing everything, a man being the hero or a man validating a woman’s worth. But where were the women? Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, sure there were a few female role models in western music, but not to the extent that I was drawn to become a huge fan of the genre. When I moved to Texas, I thought I’d make the conscious choice to avoid country music at all costs, because I didn’t want to succumb to the washed out and tired ideals of the old time country I was used to.
Years later, as country music grew in popularity, so did the female representation within it. Women were no longer objects or possessions in choruses, rather they were individuals with dreams, hopes and aspirations beyond the farmhouse fence. As heavy hitters like Reba McEntire, Faith Hill, Trisha Yearwood and Martina McBride emerged, so did a following of powerful, tough, spirited and soulful female music fans who just so happened to be from below the Mason-Dixon Line.
Whether you like country music or not, I think there’s really something to be said about the sass, attitude and no-apologies stance that a lot of country music now makes for females. In a genre dominated by men, it’s easy to think that country music is all about sweet little Southern belles who grow up on a ranch, get married, have kids, go to church and make dinner on Sundays. But I’m here to tell you that there is truly nothing like a girl from the South. That said, enjoy this playlist of country music for tough chicks like yourself. Because you can absolutely drink sweet tea from a jar, say “Bless your heart!” and also be a total badass.