Loretta Lynn Faced and Beat An Antithetical America: A Legacy To Redeem!

By Donald A. Collins | 5 October 2022
Church and State

(Credit: YouTube / screengrab)

Ok, I use here a hoity toity word (which means pompous, something Lynn was surely NOT)–“antithetical” which means here the opposite of the then conventional wisdom of that time and to a too far extent NOW.

Years ago, in the 1960’s, as an executive for a charitable foundation, I got my trustees to fund a radio program created by Kathi Karen Goldmark that got popular music stars to talk about the importance of getting contraceptives to young people.

These stars did great radio spots which played all over the USA.

One group of contraceptive boosters was the Doobie Brothers, who are still playing.

Read their web site story here.

In embracing contraceptive use, they were male exceptions to the male dominance practices of the time.

However, in these radio programs, which were modestly funded but very impactful, the most successful star talking about young people using contraception was Loretta Lynn, who just died at 90 (at 91 my abyss awaits but which I so far avoid, sadly without any need for contraceptives).

Lynn’s clearly of my generation and I felt deeply moved reading these two obituaries below the first in the NY Times you may find as I did so uplifting (no not as noted above).

Read the Times here.

Her theme of female equality with men was in this song. “In “Hey Loretta,” a wry 1973 hit about walking out on rural drudgery written by the cartoonist Shel Silverstein, she sang, “You can feed the chickens and you can milk the cow/This woman’s liberation, honey, is gonna start right now.” Silverstein also wrote the beleaguered housewife’s lament “One’s on the Way,” a No. 1 country hit for Ms. Lynn in 1971.

The Washington Post obituary showed how Lynn was so humorously, insightful, and instructive about equality of the sexes.

This article about one of Lynn’s last public appearances in 2019 tells how that inequality for women lingers today:

Despite all the evidence that there is a massive audience out there, female country singers still face an uphill battle. In recent years, studies show that only about 10 percent of songs played on country radio are by women. At a concert several years ago, Morris told the audience that a programmer advised her against releasing a ballad as a single because “no one wants to hear a bunch of sad women on the radio.”

In that radio program’s commentary, which Lynn allowed Kathi Kamen Goldmark to use, she cautioned her female listeners not to be “grandmothers at thirty” as she was!

My friend Kathi, a singer herself, was a strong feminist who helped women authors and led a volunteer rock band called the Rock Bottom Remainders which featured famous writers and amateur musicians such as Steven King at the year’s biggest book convention.

Read here.

At the end of her life, Lynn was no doubt fully aware of the threatened secular liberty of us all by the unacceptable religious activism of the US Supreme Court with its Dobbs decision attacking abortion rights and threatening many others.

To lose one of the three main tripods holding up our democracy seriously endangers its continuation.

Inflation is coming down, and immigration reform requires bipartisan attention, not the niggling do nothing obstructionism of the Trump GOP.

So, Loretta Lynn all her life sang us all the songs of equality, freedom, and truth.

But the Trump GOP has tried and largely failed with any but its manic base its disguised MAGA repression which is despotism now funded by dangerous ideologues like Leonard Leo.

In addition to their abject racism, Trump and his cronies always have backed male dominated sexism which Lynn spent her life fighting.

The upcoming midterms offer us all a profoundly important time to vote for preserving our democracy.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote”, “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?” and “Will Choice and Democracy Win?”.

Remembering Loretta Lynn, trailblazing country music star dies at 90

Celebrating the life and legacy of Loretta Lynn l GMA

Leonard Leo, The Most Powerful Person In America You’ve Never Heard Of

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