Each week one of our staff members will compile a feminist summer playlist just for you Fembot readers. Get to know us better as we show you what feminist tunes we’ll be listening to this summer- and make sure to add your favorite feminist songs on the comments below.
Summer is a time where misogyny runs prevalent with patriarchal ideals of women having “bikini bodies” and the over-sexualization of female bodies. That’s why I’ve compiled some of my favorite summer tunes, ranging from various hip-hop to alternative, to help you get pumped and fight patriarchal values as the awesome feminist I know you are.
1. Sex Yeah– Marina and the Diamonds
Why it’s a feminist song: This catchy song by Marina and the Diamonds is all awesomeness-calling out so many aspects that go along with sex in our modern society, including our patriarchal society and its strictness in terms of not only biological sex but also the act of sexualization itself. She talks about how our sex, according to society, tells us who we are and who we ought to be, and how really messed up that actually is when you think about it. She also sings about how female sexuality is still considered taboo, and how it is something most of us are still scared and ashamed of, believing it to be inappropriate and unnecessary.
If you’re like me, and are completely over gender roles and being over-sexualized by the male gaze, then this is a great song to sing in the car to. I personally love listening to this song driving to the beach, making me feel empowered and in control of my sexuality and my life.
Favorite Line: “If sex in society (didn’t tell a girl who she would be)”/ “If sex in our society (didn’t tell a guy who he should be)”
2. Just a Girl– No Doubt
Why it’s a feminist song: Gwen Stefani tells off anyone who holds sexist stereotypes against women, blasting them as super uncool. She’s pretty sarcastic at some parts, such as when she says, “oh little old me, don’t let me out of your sight,” mocking anyone who thinks women constantly need a man with them. In high school, I would blast this song whenever anyone doubted my abilities simply because I’m a girl. I might be a total girly-girl but I still think I’m pretty badass and know how to take care of myself. This is another super empowering song to listen to while working out or coasting on the highway.
Favorite Line: “Oh I’m just a girl, lucky me! Tweedle-Dum is my comparison! Ohhhhh, I’ve had it up to here.”
3. Rebel Girl– Bikini Kill
Why it’s a feminist song: Bikini Kill was vital to the Riot Grrl movement-Although there are many criticisms against the Riot Grrrl movement, I firmly believe Kathleen Hanna and Bikini Kill made a huge step forward, not only in feminism, but in punk rock. Punk rock is often thought of as an aggressive, non-female friendly genre, but Hanna made it accessible and safe for girls to be part of a radical movement in music history. This discusses how one “rebel girl” is a huge badass and how she is leading the revolution. Again, this is a super empowering song that is thrashy and angry while still being super fun to rock out to. I recently discovered how fun it is to drive and blast this song while singing at the top of your lungs.
Favorite Line: “That girl thinks she’s the queen of the neighborhood. I’ve got news for you, SHE IS!”
4. Abraham’s Daughter– Arcade Fire
Why it’s a feminist song: When we think of the Bible, we very rarely think of minor female characters other than Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Eve, the woman who screwed over humanity (although this is debatable and I believe Eve was framed). This alternative song by Arcade Fire is amazing because it points out how Abraham’s daughter has no name and yet defended Isaac even when she was told to remain silent because she believed there was no reason for Abraham to kill Isaac. This song was originally released on “The Hunger Games” soundtrack, making it another song to make you feel badass and ready to take on the world.
Favorite Line: “Abraham’s daughter raised her bow. ‘How darest, you, child defy your father?’ ‘You better let young Isaac go.’”
5. Feelin’ Myself– Nicki Minaj ft. Beyonce
Why it’s a feminist song: I love Nicki Minaj and I think she has grown tremendously as an artist over the years. I also really love Beyonce, especially after her song ‘Flawless’. I believe this song is a pretty feminist song, because 1. it is performed by two self-proclaimed feminists, and 2. because it discusses feeling yourself! Not only physically, but just knowing yourself and who you are no matter what.
Favorite Line: “I’m still gettin’ plaques, from my records that’s urban. Ain’t gotta rely on top 40. I am a rap legend, just go ask the kings of rap. Who is the queen and things of that. Nature, look at my finger, that is a glacier, hits like a lazer.”
6. Black Sheep- Gin Wigmore
Why it’s a feminist song: This song is about remaining true to yourself despite what anyone else thinks. I believe this song is really important because of the line, “I’m not here to please,” which will likely remind you that you’re your own person and you don’t owe anyone anything. I love this song because it’s about owning everything about yourself and letting yourself free, allowing yourself to be who you really are.
Favorite Line: “I’m a bad woman to keep. Make me mad, I’m not here to please.”
7. Bad Girls– M.I.A.
Why it’s a feminist song: This song, a lot like “Black Sheep” is just about being you and not caring what anyone else in the world thinks. Just owning everything you do and being unapologetic about it, and being, well a “bad girl”.
Favorite Line: “Looking in the mirror swagger going swell, leaving boys behind kisses leave ‘em just to kill.”
8. I Don’t Give a …– Peaches
Why it’s a feminist song: This song samples Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” with a thrashy angry song over it. And it is amazing. This song is just really awesome and I think everyone needs a song like this to let loose to every once in a while.
Favorite Line: “You know what? I wanna tell you something. I DON’T GIVE A F***.”
9. Flicker– Lorde (Kanye West Rework)
Why it’s a feminist song: While the original version of this song is a little too cheery for my taste, I absolutely love what Lorde has created and what Kanye added to. This song was written for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 1” soundtrack. This song is everything I would want it to be and more. It is mysterious, haunting, catchy, and bold. Lorde’s lyrics discuss a princess who has her life taken away from her, and fights back. She is fearless and strong while still having an alluring nature about her.
Favorite Line: “But I’ve got my fingers laced together and I’ve made a little prison and I’m locking up anyone who ever laid a finger on me.”
10. I Wanna Get Better– Bleachers
Why it’s a feminist song: Now while this song isn’t exactly a “feminist” song, I think it’s a really important song and that’s why I included it on this playlist. This song speaks to me on a really personal level, and just discusses getting better and overcoming your demons.
Favorite Line: “Now I’m standing at the overpass screaming at myself, ‘Hey! I wanna get better.’”
11. Raise Your Weapon– Deadmau5
Why it’s a feminist song: I find this song extremely empowering. It makes me feel like I can do anything I set my mind to. It makes me feel like I am a strong woman who really can and will change the world in my own, beautiful way.
Favorite Line: “One word and it’s over.”
12. Wannabe- The Spice Girls
Why it’s a feminist song: When you feel like you need to own your sexuality and everything else in your life, and you also want to just dance with your best friends, this is the perfect song to jam out to. Nothing is more satisfying than blasting this song and dancing around, letting yourself be you.
Favorite Line: “Yo, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want.”
13. I’m Legit– Nicki Minaj ft. Ciara
Why it’s a feminist song: This song is about embracing you and every single part of you. Although I do not recommend playing this song at work as there is some cursing and sexual references, it is an awesome song. I think this is a fun song to rap along to while just embracing yourself and how totally kick-ass and perfect you are.
Favorite Line: “I’m the s*** with no makeup, don’t have to curl my hair up, all this booty here mine, I’m a dolla worth a dime.”
14. Uptown Funk- Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars
Why it’s a feminist song: This song isn’t exactly a feminist song, I just really like it and think everyone deserves to love this song and dance to it while having fun and looking as dumb as they want while not caring.
Favorite Line: The entire song.