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Gender conflict and domestic violence in country western music

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  1. Introduction
  2. Gender conflict
  3. Domestic violence
  4. Country western music
  5. Conclusion

A woman is abused by her domestic partner every nine seconds in the United States, according to the Family Violence Prevention Fund1. Even though domestic abuse is thus extremely common and frequent, it is rarely alluded to in music, with the notable exception of the country western genre. Country seems more prone to addressing topics such as love, distress in relationships, and violence between domestic partners, than other musical genres. Additionally, women in country music are habitually presented as more wholesome and less sexualized than women in other modern musical genres such as rock or R'n'B/hip hop. If women in country music seem to be more respected, why does violence towards them still pervade country more than any other musical genre? I will argue that the very nature of country music, and the audience it caters to, make it one of the genres that most reflect the mores of its era. The treatment of domestic violence within country music thus parallels the evolution of society, which partly explains the commonness of domestic violence-related themes in popular country music. Indeed, Martha Mockus writes that ?country music functions as a particularly rich set of genres for examining women's participation in popular music and their struggles against the social and sexual constraints of American society?.

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