Fun feminist songs
October 9, 2019 2:16 PM   Subscribe

Hi there internet friends! I've really been craving some poppy, fun, feminist songs. Please share!

My song preferences are pretty boring and I love a good beat and lots of energy and pop, but I'm happy to listen to anything as long as the lyrics are really empowering.

Taylor Swift - The Man
Lizzo - Juice
Lizzo - Truth Hurts
Meghan Trainor - Dear Future Husband

I know that some of these may be controversial (for ex: Dear Future Husband has gender roles) but I'm really a sucker for anything that's basically I'm a woman and damn I'm alpha. Because... I'm both those things. :)

Many thanks in advance!
posted by hotchocolate to Media & Arts (51 answers total) 53 users marked this as a favorite
- Meghan Trainor has some really great other songs including All About the Bass and NO
- Along the same lines Elle King's Ex's and Oh's is excellent and the video is funny.
- Carrie Underwood's Before He Cheats is more a revenge song but I like it.
- Taylor Swift We are never getting back together
- Missy Elliot Get Ur Freak On
- Roxanne Shanté and Roxanne's Revenge is more rap than pop but it's really one of the originals, imo
posted by jessamyn at 2:31 PM on October 9, 2019 [3 favorites]

Britney Spears, Womanizer
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:39 PM on October 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Little Mix's video for Power (ft. Stormzy) has an energy that might fit.
posted by Lexica at 2:40 PM on October 9, 2019

Kesha - Woman!
posted by too bad you're not me at 2:43 PM on October 9, 2019 [4 favorites]

I like CLC's "No.". It's partly in (slightly mangled [1]) English, partly in Korean, but this video has bilingual subtitled lyrics.

[1] I say this with affection; I'm Korean-American.
posted by yhlee at 2:51 PM on October 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

Little Mix - Joan of Arc for sure!
posted by insectosaurus at 3:16 PM on October 9, 2019

Destiny's Child, Independent Women, Pt. 1
Yaeji, raingurl
Sia, The Greatest
posted by topophilia at 3:26 PM on October 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Kacey Musgraves, Follow Your Arrow.
posted by ActionPopulated at 3:51 PM on October 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

I love the soundtrack to Six for its empowering message and poppy beats. The musical’s premise is that Henry VIII’s six wives finally get the chance to tell their stories and be fully formed humans instead of being defined by the dingus they married.
posted by slmorri at 3:55 PM on October 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

The Ting Tings - That's Not My Name
A lot of Beyonce's ouevre, of course, but two faves for this are Single Ladies and Freedom
Icona Pop - I Love It
Miley Cyrus - We Can't Stop
Hailey Steinfeld - I Love Myself
Janelle Monae - Pynk
Nicki Minaj - Anaconda
posted by lunasol at 3:56 PM on October 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

Rilo Kiley -- Silver Lining
posted by massofintuition at 4:09 PM on October 9, 2019

Hard Out Here, Lily Allen, so badass (explicit)
posted by j810c at 4:20 PM on October 9, 2019 [3 favorites]

Not a pop song, but lots of fun: Sister Suffragette from Mary Poppins
posted by elphaba at 4:35 PM on October 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

"Grrrls Like Us" by Leggy

There are plenty of fish in the sea
But girls like us don’t grow on trees

I ain’t a prophet but we gotta keep our eyes on the prize
My magic 8 ball said that things are gonna turn out alright
The future’s shining like a jar of fucking fireflies
Don’t waste another minute thinking bout that girl with your guy

posted by ejs at 4:39 PM on October 9, 2019

Eurythmics Missionary Man
posted by mightshould at 4:58 PM on October 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Oh, and Sisters are Doin it for Themselves
posted by mightshould at 5:07 PM on October 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

The oh-so-90s Bitch by Meredith Brooks.

Peter Gabriel and Youssou N'Dour's Shaking The Tree. (Linking to a live version with PG as it's more fun.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:42 PM on October 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

Sara Baralleis “If I Dare”
Madam Ghandi’s Top Knot Turnup
posted by childofTethys at 5:50 PM on October 9, 2019

Maybe "I'm the Toughest Girl Alive" and other Candye Kane songs?
posted by huimangm at 5:54 PM on October 9, 2019

Please enjoy all the delightful songs of my friends The Doubleclicks. Maybe start with Super Beatrice, Juneau, and Sensitive Badass. Wonder, if you want to cry a little.

My current passion in life is telling everyone to listen to The Highwomen's debut album. The title track is hauntingly feminist and is still making me cry many listens in, the song "Redesigning Women" is an anthem, "If She Ever Leaves Me" is gay, pretty much every song on the album is a winner.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:24 PM on October 9, 2019 [4 favorites]

Liz Phair, 6’1”.
posted by chuke at 6:40 PM on October 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Beyoncé - Run the World (Girls)
Lizzo - Like A Girl
Kim Boekbinder - Head Bitch in Charge
Superchick - One Girl Revolution
Rina Sawayama - Take Me As I Am
Ingrid Michaelson - Hell No
Katy Perry - Roar
Dua Lipa - New Rules
Demi Lovato - Confident
Hailee Steinfeld - Love Myself
Jessie J - Masterpiece
Little Jackie - The World Should Revolve Around Me
Alicia Keys - Girl On Fire
Mary J. Blige - Just Fine
Kelly Clarkson - Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)
Christina Aguilera - Fighter
Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj - Bang Bang
Meghan Trainor - Walkashame
posted by somedaycatlady at 6:54 PM on October 9, 2019 [3 favorites]

Uhm...9 to 5 by Dolly Parton
Also, cuz I'm old(ish) Let the River Run from Working Girl
And while I'm not that old I do love You Don't Own Me by Lesley Gore
posted by brookeb at 7:00 PM on October 9, 2019 [11 favorites]

"50 Foot Queenie" by PJ Harvey has major Big Alpha Woman Energy:

Hey I'm one big queen
No one can stop me
Red light, red green
Sat back and watching
I'm your new one
Second to no one
No sweat, I'm clean
Nothing can touch me

Tell you my name
50 foot queenie
Force ten hurricane
Biggest woman
I could have ten sons
Ten gods, ten queens
Ten foot and rising

Hey I'm the king of the world
You oughta hear my song!
You come on and measure me
I'm twenty inches long!

posted by ejs at 7:11 PM on October 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

WTF. Like a boss. Lesley Gore. Thank you for sharing.
posted by nanook at 7:13 PM on October 9, 2019

Harper valley pta
posted by brujita at 7:18 PM on October 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

Chumawamba's stitch?. Or, The Trifles?

I'm tempted to suggest Camille, though it's hard to pick a song. I think of it as feminist mostly 'cause a lot of her stuff is about the world and doesn't mention men or relationships at all. The bar is low. (But, the brilliantly satirical fuck you track on her English album is surprisingly fun, and, assuming you read it the same way I do, an indication of her world view.)
posted by eotvos at 7:50 PM on October 9, 2019

The Regrettes!

A Living Human Girl
I’ve got …. pimples on my face and grease in my hair
prickly legs go ahead and stare,
an ass full of stretch marks and little boobs
a nice full belly that’s filled with food
sometimes I’m girly and sometimes I’m not!
So let’s take a listen, hit me with your best shot!

You’re talkin to me like i’m dumb, well i’ve got news i’ve got a lot to say,
and there’s nothing you can do to take that away
You’re talkin to me like i’m hurt, at least i’m not six feet in the dirt,
and i’ll still kick your ass even in my skirt
You’re talkin to me like a child, but i’m not a helpless baby,
not waitin on you to come save me

Be soft, be shy, read a book and learn to cook
Be nice, be dumb, clean the floors and wash your pores
Be light, be small, wear a dress below your knees not less
Be insecure, be a wife, cater to a man for the rest of your life.

I heard that that girl Lydia is such a fucking bitch,
I heard that she’s a feminist so she must not shave her pits
I heard that that girl Lydia is nothin but trouble,
so if she comes your way you better book it on the double

Go Love You
You think you’re such a man but you’re just a little boy
I’m a grown ass woman and not your little toy
I won’t slow it down and try to explain
How emotions work and why you’re the one to blame
Ohh I think it’s time you know oh oh why I let it go
You keep pulling me down now
Twistin me round round
You think it’s pretty funny huh
Aha ha ha
Your head is so big
Oh you’re gonna float away
I can pop it for you but you might just feel a little pain

Poor Boy
tellin you to close your eyes, keep your
secrets in your thighs
1 in 3 & 1 in 5, guess i'm lucky i'm still
alive, people come and try to stain your
life, silence is the perfect noise
for the one they like to call poor boy

poor boy, what ya gonna do? these girls are
comin for you
poor boy, what ya gonna do? us girls are
comin for you

posted by Gorgik at 8:40 PM on October 9, 2019


Crimson Wave
Gonna call in sick to work, I don’t care, my boss is a jerk
Can’t believe all the pain I’m in, get me white wine and vicodin
Call my girls see if they wanna go, take their minds off dumb aunt flo
Sew a scarlet letter on my bathing suit, ‘cause I’ve got sharks in hot pursuit

Hey Girl
Who do you think you are
Yelling at me from your car

Well come on back here then
I’m ready to jump in
I was on my way to work
You’re just a sweaty jerk

Men Explain Things to Me
Explain it to me
Explain it to me
Explain it to me again

Though I know all about
The words you're spitting out
The floor is yours without a doubt

posted by Gorgik at 8:54 PM on October 9, 2019

Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Want to Have Fun
Lesley Gore - You Don't Own Me
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:55 PM on October 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Charly Bliss

Chatroom (CW: the video is pretty disturbing, but the song is super-catchy)
I was fazed in the spotlight, his word against mine
Everybody knows you're the second comin'
Love like a brother, poised as an other
I wanna see you stripped down, naked
I wanna see you stripped down, naked

posted by Gorgik at 8:57 PM on October 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

She Doesn't Need to Fall Nthing the awesome Youssou N'Dour
posted by effluvia at 9:06 PM on October 9, 2019

Sleater Kinney! (natch)

Ballad of a Ladyman
Eye cream and thigh cream
How 'bout a get high cream?
Nothing I do smoothes out the feelings of being used
Ballad of a Ladyman

Male Model
Should I try to play just like him?
(Kick it out, could you show me your riffs?)
You always measure me by him
(Don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to something big)
I'm so sick of tests
Go ahead and flunk my ass

posted by Gorgik at 9:14 PM on October 9, 2019

Emily Wolfe

Holy Roller
I know that every woman has her day
She gotta praise a man to make her way
It's no good, it's no good, it's no good
Don't want to play this game
I know that every man will make his case
He can't be losing in a dissonant race
They get paid, they get paid, they get paid
To keep me in their cage

posted by Gorgik at 9:24 PM on October 9, 2019

I have a Spotify playlist titled misandry🙅🏻‍♀️men🤷‍♂️do🧐BETTER💥 and all the songs are of that persuasion and or feminist. I am an angry, pop-loving feminist, so!
posted by yueliang at 11:06 PM on October 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

LE TIGRE (such an obvious answer for me that I’ve scrolled through the list twice and am still sure I’ve just somehow missed them in an earlier response).
posted by scyllary at 11:36 PM on October 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Angel With An Atittude by the Ditty Bops.
posted by yankeefog at 1:43 AM on October 10, 2019

The awesome Black Tie by the also awesome Grace Petrie. It's a fun and bouncy anthem of encouragement to anyone who struggles (or struggled) to fit into standard gender roles as a teenager (or really just struggles to fit in at all) with bonus amazing chorus rhyme:

"And the images that fucked ya
Were a patriarchal structure
And you never will surrender
To a narrow view of gender"

"No you won't grow out of it
You will find the clothes that fit"
posted by *becca* at 4:12 AM on October 10, 2019

I'm Gonna Be an Engineer

Eppie Morrie - a Border Ballad where Eppie is kidnapped and force married, but is too tough for her assailant to rape, so he gives up and she gets to go home in the morning. It was a lesbian favourite in the mid part of last century as even the most canonical versions provide her with a potential female love interest as well as a male alternative, but as the refrain goes "There's not a man in all Scotland a-wedded with I'll be..." it's not likely that she chooses Young Breadalbane over the maid of Scallater.
posted by Jane the Brown at 5:38 AM on October 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thanks for posting this - looking forward to exploring the other suggestions. Here are a few:

Lily Allen's Fuck You.

Bikini Kill's Rebel Girl:
That girl thinks she's the queen of the neighborhood
I got news for you, she is!

All of Janelle Monae.

Dar Williams - When I Was a Boy:
I was a kid that you would like, just a small boy on her bike
Riding topless, yeah, I never cared who saw
My neighbor came outside to say, "get your shirt"
I said "no way, it's the last time I'm not breaking any law"
And now I'm in a clothing store, and the sign says less is more
More that's tight means more to see, more for them, not more for me
That can't help me climb a tree in ten seconds flat

Lesley Gore, You Don't Own Me

X-Ray Spex, Oh Bondage, Up Yours

Nina Simone, I Got Life

Bomba Estereo, Soy Yo



I ran across this which is shockingly good (IMO) for a listicle.
posted by bunderful at 6:00 AM on October 10, 2019 [3 favorites]

Metric's Glass Ceiling.
posted by El_Marto at 6:04 AM on October 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm a grown woman, I can do whatever I want. (Grown Woman - Beyonce)
posted by gursky at 8:10 AM on October 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

Anything by Team Dresch, but especially Freewheel.
posted by TheCoug at 8:29 AM on October 10, 2019

Storm Large 8 Miles Wide [SuperNSFW]
posted by QuakerMel at 9:03 AM on October 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

These songs from old musicals might qualify. They have fun and energy and were pop once:

'Anything You Can Do' from Annie Get Your Gun
'Without You' from My Fair Lady
'Some People' from Gypsy
'Many a New Day' from Oklahoma
posted by JonJacky at 12:06 PM on October 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

79 Cents (The Meow Song) - Eilen Jewell
posted by acridrabbit at 12:23 PM on October 10, 2019

Keri Hilson, "Pretty Girl Rock"

There's also an "Angry Feminist" playlist on Spotify that has a lot of the songs mentioned here, plus a lot more.
posted by Fuego at 2:07 PM on October 10, 2019

Peaking Lights - New Grrls
posted by Leontine at 2:37 PM on October 10, 2019

How is Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive not on this list yet?
posted by bardophile at 1:54 AM on October 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

Django Jane--Janelle Monae
Seconding Kacey Musgraves and The Highwomen.
In that vein, try He Thinks He'll Keep Her--Mary Chapin Carpenter and Dumb Blonde--Dolly Parton.
Can't go wrong with UNITY--Queen Latifah.

If you're looking for women encouraging you to power through your problems and get across the finish line without an explicitly feminist perspective, try:
After The Storm--Kali Uchis
Thank U, Next--Arianna Grande
posted by zeusianfog at 2:47 PM on October 11, 2019

Some more Kpop reccos

Uh Oh (G)-Idle

Adios Everglow
posted by forforf at 3:06 PM on October 11, 2019

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