Dolly Parton has seen a lot in her time in Hollywood and as an entertainer and businesswoman.
The iconic singer is once again opening up about her experiences with harassment and how she never felt it wise to hold her tongue in situations involving unwanted advances.
“I’ve been fortunate, more fortunate than most women have,” Parton, 73, told Elle in a November cover interview published on Thursday. “I’ve certainly been harassed in my life. I’ve certainly had to put up with a lot of BS. I was always strong enough to walk away from it and not to have to fall under it.”
“I’ve been fortunate being from a strong family of men, and women, and not being afraid to stand on my own or to say, ‘Go to hell,’ if that’s where you needed to go,” Parton added.
The Grammy-winning artist made it a point to note that she only ever wanted to prove to herself that she could own and operate with the boys’ clubs and said her creation of businesses such as her Dollywood amusement park and production company were to inspire other women – which to Parton is what feminism is about.
“If I’m not a good example of a woman in power, I don’t know who is. I’m out there just promoting mankind, but I am most definitely going to get behind those gals,” she said.
Parton told the magazine that her foray into the world of business was quickly rebuffed by folks who were “surprised by her seriousness as a businesswoman” due to her eclectic appearance and vibrant getups.
“I never felt that I had to cower or to feel like, because I was a girl, I had to do it any different,” she said. “I just believed in myself. Still do. I never thought of it [as being] about being a woman or a man. I thought of it as being an artist, and a writer, and a person of a strong will.
“I not only didn’t tone it down, I figured if my work was truly good enough, people would eventually recognize that,” Parton added. “It was about me knowing who I was, being happy with me, and feeling comfortable in the way I presented myself. If I was happy, I could make other people happy.”
The “9 to5” songstress and eventual actress in the film of the same name, said the 1980 movie in which she starred alongside Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin did wonders for shedding light on the inequalities women faced on a regular basis. Parton said the film warranted a larger impact, but credited the project for opening people’s eyes to the issues discussed.
“I think that brought so much stuff to the forefront that people had not been willing to look at, even though they knew it was happening,” said Parton of the satirical flick. “At that time, we really hoped that it would make a bigger difference than it actually did. Although I do feel like it did open a lot of doors and a lot of eyes to a lot of problems that we’d been having since time began.”
The actresses had a reunion of sorts at the 2017 Emmy awards. Parton also starred in “Steel Magnolias” in 1989.
Still, the “Jolene” crooner believes there is much work to be done within the #MeToo movement and has faith that the current crop of women at the forefront of change will continue to fight while ushering in a new group of young girls and women who also want to put their hats into the ring to combat the concerns that persist.
“We still have a lot of the same problems. I think that we just have to keep working at it,” said Parton. “I think the new #MeToo movement and all that stuff has thrown more light onto it. I think women are in a better place now than they’ve ever been before.”