She Said: Feminist Anthems

Sarah Irby, Editor in Chief~

We’ve had plenty of songs throughout the years that we can dub “women’s anthems,” but here lately I have been super impressed with all of the “fire” women positive songs that female artists are putting out. They’re truly feeling themselves, and they’re letting men know what’s up. Women rise when we need to, and it’s clear with all the sexual harassment allegations coming to light, that now is the perfect time. Let’s take a look at a few of my recent favorite empowering songs.

“Woman” by Kesha has to be at the top. Her most recent album is filled to the brim with empowerment and feminist anthems. She’s making a ferocious comeback after the emotional legal battles with her producer, Dr. Luke, who she accused of sexual assault and harassment. If you haven’t heard this song, you should. It’s all about what it means to be a strong, independent woman who “don’t need no man.” The song doesn’t actually bash men either, which is a good thing. It’s just a fun, empowering song that makes you feel proud to be a woman.

My other favorite definitely has to be Anne-Marie’s “Friends.” Boy, oh boy, is this song relevant to so many women. Guys get so wounded about supposedly being “friend-zoned” that they have made it a huge issue rather than just accepting when a woman isn’t into them. Boo-hoo. Sorry my friendship isn’t enough and you feel like I owe you more than that; we could be nothing at all. Anne-Marie’s song goes through dealing with all the persistence of a male friend who just can’t take the hint. Just the normal harassment in the everyday life of a woman. “Haven’t I made it obvious? Haven’t I made it clear? Want me to spell it out for you? F-R-I-E-N-D-S.” Yas, girl, yas.

Female Anthem
Illustration by Genevieve Griffin

We all know Meghan Trainor is the princess of empowering girl songs, like “No” and “Me Too,” but now she has a new one titled “No Excuses.” This song is basically about the disrespect women are treated with by certain men, and how we aren’t going to take it (“You must’ve confused me with someone else,” “There ain’t no excuses,” “Your mama raised you better than that”). The song is just as sassy and catchy as all of her other songs, but it still rings true on a serious topic. The most important line, perhaps, is “I don’t disrespect you, don’t disrespect me.” It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about interactions specifically between men and women or interactions between everyone and everything – this is advice we could all stand to take.

Of course there are a plethora of other fantastic (newish) songs you can listen to if you’re in an empowering mood. Let’s list some more: Dua Lipa’s “New Rules,” Bea Miller’s “S.L.U.T.,” Demi Lovato’s “Sorry, Not Sorry” and “Confident,” Daya’s “Sit Still, Look Pretty,” Alessia Cara’s “Scars to Your Beautiful,” Hailee Steinfeld’s “Love Myself” and Beyonce’s “Flawless,” which is intersected with the speech “We Should All Be Feminists,” by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. These are just a few songs I think are significant and pretty relevant to life as a woman. Moral of the story – no matter what, never stop feeling yourself.

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