It’s International Women’s Day! I decided to celebrate by trying to think of some of the greatest female anthems that we can all listen to tomorrow morning when its Monday and we therefore feel miserable.
A close friend of mine once told me “you get away with your music taste because people think you are being ironic. But you aren’t being ironic.” He’s right! So here is my of female anthems that I love, in a non-ironic way.
Wings by Little Mix
Little Mix were brought to us by Tulisa ‘The Female Boss’ Contostavlos (I think that is spelled right, I just googled to check) so its not surprising they release HIT after feminist HIT. I like Salute, but I like Wings before because they aren’t dressed in leather hotpants in the video for this one so its more family friendly.
Boys shouldn’t be afraid because this isn’t a song about winged sanitary products, its actually about not to listen to people who will bring you down because you have wings, and ‘wings are meant to fly’. Actually, maybe it is about sanitary products?
I will survive by Gloria Gaynor
“Did you think I’d crumble? Do you think I’d lay down and die?”
Course she wouldn’t. She’s Gloria Bloody Gaynor.
The fact this song is a karaoke classic on Hen Dos only reinforced that this is an anthem for women and girls worldwide.
Shake it Off by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift might be having the best year of her life. I think its because she cut her hair. That’s why I cut my hair off at Christmas; I’m still waiting to see if I have the best year of my life but I certainly am enjoying looking more like Taylor.
She has loads of songs you could pick if you need a pick me up, but I like this one because she retaliates at stupid criticisms that female celebrities are more likely to be victims of than men:
“I stay out to late, got nothing in my brain … I go on too many dates, but I can’t make them stay.”
I also really like that she raps in this song because I want to be a rapper and this makes me feel closer to that dream.
Forever by Haim
Oh haiiii haim! Three lasses with long straight hair and guitars. You’re so cool, I wish I had a guitar and even though I just said that I want short hair like Taylor Swfit, I ALSO want long hair just like yo, Haim. Haim and Taylor Swift are best friends; I know because I follow them on Instagram. There is nothing more feminist than celebrating female friendship!
“Go, go, go, go get out of my memory.”
Water me by FKA Twigs
I don’t know a lot about FKA Twigs but I like her songs, and when you look at the lyrics they are pretty challenging. She talks about desire, satisfaction and troubling relationships. I think one of the problems with the media is a lack of representation of real womanhood and what it’s really like to be a woman. FKA Twigs’ songs are very non-glamorised and honest reflection on her own personal experiences, as a woman, and so I wanted her on this list. Maybe its weird but they remind me of Lena Dunham’s series Girls.
“He won’t make love to me now, Not now I’ve set the fee.
He said it’s too much in pounds. I guess I’m stuck with me.”
Scrubs by TLC
I vividly remember my sister explaining the meaning of Scrubs to me as an impressionable young girl. “Its because boys call us pigeons so we call them scrubs.” This is one of those memories that I think about and can’t help but wonder, did that ACTUALLY happen like that?! But anyway, from an early age TLC taught me: boys are gonna try and get you down and you are going to FIGHT BACK. By calling them Scrubs.
I feel a lot of sympathy for TLC when they describe the Scrub “hanging out the passenger’s side of his best friend’s ride trying to holla at me.” I hate it when people holla at me so much that I nearly fell of my bicycle in consternation today when a pedestrian hollared at me. I’m on a bicycle and I look about 15. I’m just trying to cycle down the street so LEAVE ME ALONE!
Bad Girls by MIA
The video of this song was shot in Morocco and is meant to support the campaign for women in Saudi Arabia to have the right to drive. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are legally unable to drive. This is obviously awful. MIA’s video is a bit weird but I like the hook…
“BAD GIRLS DO IT WELL!”
Ego by Beyoncé (ALSO HIGHLY RECOMMENDED the remix with KanYe West)
I ALWAYS listen to this song on the way to work if I need a pick me up!
This may seem a funny song for female empowerment because it begins by talking about a gentlemen with a big ego which apparently Beyoncé finds really attractive. But I love the second verse…
“Some call it arrogance, I call it confidence,
You decide what you find. I’m what I’m working with…
I walk like this because I can back it up. I talk like this because I can back it up.”
Also Beyoncé get a lot of slack with regards to feminism and I do agree she’s a potentially divisive figure (how empowered or emancipated can women be if we have to find our power through being sexual objects?) But this woman has some INCREDIBLE anthems for women: for example (just off the top of my head) Single Ladies, Me Myself and I, Irreplaceable, If I were a boy, Say my name, Independent Women, Survivor, Run the World (Girls) and one of my favourites Why Don’t You Love Me? which ends with the excellent line “Maybe you’re just not the one. Maybe you’re just… DUMB.”
Running up that Hill by Kate Bush
Kate says if she could she’d make a deal with God so we could switch places. This is a really good song to listen to when you need a small positivity boost BECAUSE she says “running up that hill” a lot, which is really encouraging. Kate Bush is powerful. She was the first woman to have a number 1 single with a self-written song. If you listen to this song you can try to be powerful like her.
Bossy by Kelis
Sometimes people call girls bossy when they tell other people what to do. Personally, I was called bossy a lot as a young girl. My parents even bought me a mirror with a picture of ‘little miss bossy’ painted on it. But looking back, I am pretty sure I was only bossy because I knew I was right.
Some feminists are trying to campaign about using this word as generally it is only a word used to describe girls. Well Kelis likes being bossy and she’s not ashamed!!
In the words of Beyonce, “I’m not bossy. I’m the Boss”.
Happy International Women’s Day!!!!
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