Dolly Parton’s Sister ‘Ashamed’ of Her, Urges Singer to Defend Women and Not Just in a Little Song
The singer’s younger sister got upset after the country music legend refused to be labeled as feminist and be a militant in the #MeToo movement, and she criticized her for not using her platform to help the cause.
69-year-old Stella Parton was interviewed in a podcast by CountryLine, and she addressed her thoughts about her famous sister’s position on the current state of affairs for women regarding equality and sexual harassment.
Stella believes that Dolly should be as outspoken with this issue as she is with everything else, but it is easy to see that the two don’t share the same views on this difficult subject.
“I’m ashamed of my sister for keeping her mouth shut. She can run it when it is about something else, but speak up about injustice, Dolly Parton. Speak up. And speak out. Defend women, and don’t just do it in a little song. Speak up.”
-Stella Parton, CountryLine, March 2019.
“This is the first time I’ve really publicly called my sister out. But it’s high time that some of these older women speak up and speak out. They’ve all gone through all kinds of abuse in this industry so: speak up!” Stella said to her sister.
This is a reaction to Dolly’s denial of her former co-star Jane Fonda, who said that 40 years after their feminist film “9 to 5” was released workplace harassment hasn’t gone anywhere and has only gotten worse.
As Dolly told The Guardian, she doesn’t think this is the case. While admitting that “it’s always been bad,” Dolly thinks that we hear about many more cases now because of the exposition the issue has received since #MeToo started.
While Dolly seems to follow her own brand of feminism, and she has acknowledged the importance of the movement in other occasions, the star said she is not going to become an activist.
“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” Dolly said when asked about it as she introduced the “9 to 5” musical in London.
Last year, when Dolly first talked about the upcoming “9 to 5” film sequel, she seemed to be more in tune with Fonda, as she agreed that workplace harassment and inequality were still unsolved issues.
“This would be addressing the same issues, and they need to be addressed again and some more, in different ways,” she told EW.
But in Stella’s opinion, Dolly hasn’t been supportive enough with the women’s cause, and she thinks her sister is “betraying her celebrity status” by not assuming a more involved role in speaking against the abuses committed in the industry.
“I believe we finally have a chance here. We have an open window. Don’t let it be closed by keeping your mouth shut,” Stella urged her sister.
Stella is not only an active fighter against gender-based abuse, currently teaching domestic violence awareness courses to young women in Kentucky, but she also pursued a singing career and knows the industry from within.
Stella wants no feud with her sister, to whom she has said to “have always been close,” and after calling her out in public she took to Twitter to explain what prompted her to ultimately break her silence.
“It is not an easy decision I have made but I find it is my purpose. I kept quiet for a very long time. Partially because of my sister, I did not speak up, so I would not be a distraction to her career. I have decided not to be quiet any longer!” she wrote.
Despite having never achieved the megastar status Dolly has, Stella has built a very impressive career on her own. She has recorded many albums, has made it to the top ten with her songs and has succeeded in her musical theatre career.
Although rumors of a rivalry between the sisters have always surrounded them, in 2016 Stella said her relationship with Dolly was great and that they always supported each other. Let’s hope none of that changes now.
“All families bicker, it’s normal to disagree and argue with your siblings. But we weren’t raised to hate each other," Stella told Express.