Country Music’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriends


Why is it that despite country music’s overall conservatism and exaltation of rural, small-town culture, female country artists routinely write songs that would make a simple country farmer’s eyes bug out?

Why do the men sing about inoffensive, patriotic good times, while the women score hits with lyrics about murdering lovers?

For the LA Review of Books, Alice Bolin writes about this peculiar corner of music where women rage but “no one seems to notice how transgressive they are being.”

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →