A soundtrack for Crone Island (work edition)
May 27, 2018 9:13 PM   Subscribe

Looking for songs that will express my frustration at the patriarchy, but about work, not love. Think the work version of Carly Simon’s ‘You’re So Vain’.

There are tonnes of sarcastic, snippy songs out there by women about men but they seem to be mostly love songs. Please suggest some songs which express frustration, eye-rolling, anger and general fuck you-ness - but from a work (or at least non-romance) perspective.

For context, I am looking to create a playlist that will channel my feelings about:
- Undercooked young men – well-groomed, confident, superficial and self-promoting - being hired for very senior positions.
- Overcooked old men only wanting to tap other men on the shoulder for opportunities
- All the above men expecting women to do all the hard work for them
- Lack of direction or communication because all the above men are self-interested with no sense of working to a common goal.

"We're all in this together" songs also appreciated. Does not have to be written or sung by women - but bonus points for anything by older women (or from the POV of older women)
posted by andraste to Media & Arts (41 answers total) 52 users marked this as a favorite
the first song that pops into my head for this is The Eurythmics, Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves. can’t link because I’m on mobile, but even the video is pretty girl-power awesome!
posted by carlypennylane at 9:18 PM on May 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

Well of course 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton
posted by WalkerWestridge at 9:19 PM on May 27, 2018 [35 favorites]

Not work related but calls out trust fund guys Cake's Rock and Roll Lifestyle

Manic Monday
posted by fluttering hellfire at 9:21 PM on May 27, 2018

The Cardigans—Been It. Perhaps the purest expression of outrage against emotional labor ever.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 9:37 PM on May 27, 2018

Another obvious one ready for a movie montage of a woman dealing with idiots at work, Donna Summer, She Works Hard For the Money
posted by athirstforsalt at 9:39 PM on May 27, 2018 [4 favorites]

Awhile back I made a playlist of songs critical of the music industry, or specific managers/executives/etc. Some might be what you're looking for (sorry for the lack of context, this is just a quick scan of my playlist)

Aimee Mann - Calling it Quits
Sara Bareilles - King of Anything
Lisa Loeb - I Do
Sleater-Kinney - The Professional
Ani DiFranco – Napoleon
Ani DiFranco - The Million You Never Made
Lady Gaga – Paper Gangsta
Kathleen Edwards - One More Song The Radio Won't Like
Heart - Barracuda
Joni Mitchell - Free Man in Paris
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:50 PM on May 27, 2018 [6 favorites]

Also, genre is probably wrong, but when I was suing my shitty former boss for unpaid back wages (!!), I listened to Union Maid every morning first thing and it definitely helped.
posted by athirstforsalt at 9:52 PM on May 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

Le Tigre - TGIF
posted by wreckingball at 10:03 PM on May 27, 2018 [4 favorites]

OK so I need to rave about this band more than I do:
Camp Cope, from Melbourne, specifically The Opener, which is all about their career as a band and dudes telling them how to run their career and critiquing their sound (annotated lyrics @ Genius).
posted by Pink Frost at 10:17 PM on May 27, 2018 [5 favorites]

I am really liking "High Horse" by Kacey Musgraves lately. Unspecific as to what context she knows a guy who thinks he's John Wayne, but we all know someone like that, shooting down everybody.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:19 PM on May 27, 2018

Thank God I'm Pretty

Which is something I like to listen to if I ever feel momentarily sad about getting older and not-as-pretty as I used to be. Cheers me right up!

"Thank God I'm pretty
Every skill I ever have will be in question... "
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:37 PM on May 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

Peggy Seeger - I’m Gonna be an Engineer

Sister Seven’s “Fallen Angel” is a favorite angry feminist song of mine.
posted by olinerd at 10:50 PM on May 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

Also please feel free to create a sharable Spotify playlist with your faves! I’d listen!
posted by olinerd at 10:51 PM on May 27, 2018 [8 favorites]

Natalie Merchant - Texas

It's tangentially about work, as in I work so hard, I deserve ALL the privilege because I'm a golden child and my daddy loves me. I've read somewhere it's really about GW Bush.
posted by ipsative at 11:26 PM on May 27, 2018

Not written or performed by women, but:
Workplace frustrations: check
Patriarchy: check

Happy Hour (the Housemartins)
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:55 AM on May 28, 2018 [2 favorites]

One more-- "That's Not My Name", the Ting-Tings
posted by athirstforsalt at 1:20 AM on May 28, 2018 [5 favorites]

Have been using Empress Of's excellent Go to Hell, about being condescended to by clueless jerks, as a cathartic exercise for, oh, a year.
posted by TinyChicken at 3:01 AM on May 28, 2018

Blood on Your Bootheels by Caroline Rose.
posted by BrashTech at 5:27 AM on May 28, 2018

Building on RobotVoodooPower's list, add Joni Mitchell's Taming The Tiger, and Lead Balloon.
posted by brushtailedphascogale at 5:53 AM on May 28, 2018

Bread and Raises: Songs for Working Women, from Smithsonian Folkways.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:33 AM on May 28, 2018 [4 favorites]

thought of another one - not directly related to the patriarchy/work but a more general rebellion: joseph: white flag
posted by carlypennylane at 7:27 AM on May 28, 2018

Maggie's Farm - Bob Dylan (though I prefer Rage Against the Machine's version)

...Actually, probably anything by Rage Against the Machine will fit. I used to tune my playlist to have "Bulls on Parade" blasting in my ears as I entered the Bear Stearns building to go to my temp job.
posted by feistycakes at 7:55 AM on May 28, 2018

Langue d'Amour, Laurie Anderson
posted by effluvia at 8:02 AM on May 28, 2018

Woman by Kesha. She's not old in age but is a wise crone, imho.
posted by sockermom at 8:40 AM on May 28, 2018 [3 favorites]

Bloodhounds on my Trail by the Black Angels

Death on Two Legs by Queen!
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 9:11 AM on May 28, 2018

> a playlist of songs critical of the music industry, or specific managers/executives/etc. -RobotVoodooPower

Juliana Hatfield's "Sellout" might fit on such a playlist; it documents a mess of frustrations, aimed both supply- and demand-side. I thought that you told me that if I learned how to play the game then I would win / If I learned how to say alright to everything
posted by ifjuly at 9:21 AM on May 28, 2018

Nevermind by IDER
See Her Out by Francis and the Lights
Formation by Beyonce
posted by wowenthusiast at 10:21 AM on May 28, 2018

Swimsuit Issue by Sonic Youth kinda fits
posted by Lapin at 10:44 AM on May 28, 2018

War on Women - Glass City

war on women is my band and we have a lot of songs that would fit your criteria actually
posted by capnsue at 10:46 AM on May 28, 2018 [2 favorites]

Alanis Morrissette's Hands Clean is about an older workplace predator sexually exploiting his protege (and doesn't get enough credit for being quite blunt about an issue we're talking about now).
posted by praemunire at 10:53 AM on May 28, 2018 [4 favorites]

How did I forget? Sister Nancy - Only Woman DJ With Degree
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:54 PM on May 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

Decrease My Waist, Increase My Wage - Anna Wise
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 5:10 AM on May 29, 2018

Fire Drills by Dessa touches on this a bit, specifically in the context of being a touring musician.

Not expressly about work, but definitely has an emotional labor edge: Cheerleader - St. Vincent
posted by helloimjennsco at 8:00 AM on May 29, 2018

More Dessa, an old one: Bullpen
posted by clavicle at 9:19 AM on May 29, 2018

Great suggestions. Here's a spotify playlist with the songs above that are available.
posted by BeHereNow at 12:44 PM on May 29, 2018 [3 favorites]

Paper Planes by M.I.A. And while the lyrics to her Bad Girls don't really fit the bill, the video is amazing, and the women in it are clearly not waiting around for any man children.
posted by mabelstreet at 1:57 PM on May 29, 2018

Response by poster: Thank you everybody for all the great suggestions, and very extra special thanks to BeHereNow for making the playlist! You are all super.
posted by andraste at 12:47 AM on May 30, 2018

Kacey Musgraves, Blowin' Smoke and Good Ol' Boys Club
Free download of Dessa's "Fire Drills."
Jennifer Nettles, Drunk in Heels
Beyonce, "6 Inch"
Cher, Working Girl
posted by nicebookrack at 4:15 AM on May 30, 2018

The Unlovables, Disaster
Mary Chapin Carpenter, He Thinks He'll Keep Her
Dixie Chicks, Not Ready to Make Nice in a meta way
Janelle Monáe, Ghetto Woman
posted by nicebookrack at 4:47 AM on May 30, 2018

In the kinda "we're all in this together" vein, Samantha by the Unlovables is a love song to a female best friendship.
posted by nicebookrack at 4:55 AM on May 30, 2018

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