TW for domestic violence, stalking, abortion

Rayna Jaymes, feminist icon: How TV’s progressive “Nashville” bucks the music industry’s bro-country rules

With domestic violence and abortion subplots, the third season of “Nashville” has been its fiercest yet

"Even with the massive popularity of artists like Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, the past few years have not been kind to the women of country music. Outside of Lambert and Underwood, it’s harder to find a female country artist at the top of the charts than it was twenty years ago, when Faith Hill and Shania Twain sold millions of records and thrust the genre into the mainstream.

Worse, the portrayal of women has devolved into an environment that is sexist at its worst, cringeworthy at best. The popularity of “bro-country,” a term coined by music critic Jody Rosen to describe country music’s prevailing (and hyper-masculine) sound, has introduced a host of harmful stereotypes of women, depicting them as decorative objects that exist for the pleasures of men, visual or otherwise. (See Maddie & Tae’s “Girl in a Country Song” for a tongue-in-cheek send-up of the subgenre.) As a result, there just isn’t room for feminist classics like Loretta Lynn’s pro-birth control anthem “The Pill” or songs that tackle issues like domestic violence, like Martina McBride’s “Independence Day,” on the charts.

In Rayna Jaymes, Britton is, to some extent, carrying on the legacy of Tami Taylor, the fierce family woman she played in the cult classic “Friday Night Lights.” Tami Taylor was the epitome of a strong southern woman, and so is Rayna Jaymes. Jaymes is as fiercely devoted to her family as her career, never afraid to speak her mind, and hopelessly headstrong. Rayna Jaymes is the most progressive woman in country music, real or fictional. 

 In the current season of “Nashville,” Rayna has called off a wedding to a man she didn’t love, run a record label and fiercely protected her children from a predatory record executive. And throughout the show’s three seasons, “Nashville” creator Callie Khouri has been entirely unafraid to tackle heavy issues, many of which have been largely ignored in the real world. Domestic violence, abortion, mental illness, and homosexuality have all featured prominently in story arcs, and discussed with a level of thoughtfulness and nuance that just doesn’t exist in the real world of mainstream country music.

In the current season of “Nashville,” the character Sadie Stone (played by Tony-winning actress Laura Benanti) is both Rayna’s musical protege and a victim of domestic violence and stalking. Benanti’s character is intimidated and physically assaulted by an abusive ex-boyfriend who has staked a claim to her up-and-coming career, and isn’t afraid to use force and intimidation to coerce Stone into signing over a share of profits from her future career. When Rayna is alerted to the abuse, she promptly urges Sadie to reclaim her power. In a particularly powerful scene in last week’s episode, Rayna uses her position as head of the record label to offer Sadie’s abusive ex a settlement, which will in turn mean that he is no longer allowed to contact her. The move is an unlikely power play in real life, but demonstrates her character’s commitment to fiercely protecting all of the women in her life.”

Read the full piece here

50 - Catfished

I’m a 32 year old white cop who fell in love with a protestor. She’s a beautiful 21 year old black woman. I was standing on the sidelines behind her and when she went to give her number to a fellow protestor I felt like it wasn’t fair. Why won’t more beautiful black women want us white men? I understand I’m an officer but even so. I was able to find her on twitter and I made an account pretending to be a hispanic male…we’re due to meet in a couple days and while i feel guilty for lying about my race I feel like it’s justified.


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This is an acoustic cover of the song “Budapest” by George Ezra.

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