7 Women’s Rights Songs
As we all know by now, feminism is the radical idea that women are human beings. But sometimes radical ideas are the best ones, so let’s hear what some of these crazy people have to say:
Leslie Gore – You Don’t Own Me
I recorded “You don’t own me” in 1964 and it’s hard for me to believe, but we’re still fighting for the same things we were then. – Leslie Gore
The song is considered to be one of the artistic inspirations behind the second wave of feminism. The fact that women are not toys was probably new to some men at the time, but Leslie Gore sang the defiant lyrics with a calm voice and strong conviction. She passed away a month ago, RIP.
Yuna – Rescue
Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna wrote Rescue about a strong, independent woman overcoming her problems. She wanted to send an empowering message to people regardless of gender, race and religion, but the message is especially important coming from an independent Muslim woman – usually seen as oppressed, helpless and in need of rescuing.
Her faith doesn’t automatically make her oppressed and her hijab is a sign of strength – especially in today’s music industry, which evaluates women based on their ability to dance around half-naked to autotuned party songs written by others, instead of their talent and creativity. Yuna became successful without all the butt-shaking, with her own songs, ideas and personality.
DAM and Amal Murkus – If I Could Go Back In Time
Mourning a life never fully lived, If I Could Go Back In Time tells a woman’s story backwards – from her murder to her birth. Just like the way we hear about these stories in the news, the song starts with the killing. But then it retraces the steps that led to it until the last verse reveals the victim’s only crime:
Their expressions filled with anger as if someone announced a crime
”Congratulations, it’s a girl”
You can read the full article about this amazing song by Palestinian hip-hop stars DAM here.
Nellie McKay – Mother of Pearl
In Mother of Pearl, singer-songwriter and comedienne Nellie McKay sarcastically tells the world what’s wrong with all those feminists. But she’s not angry about all the ignorance and hate:
I really don’t care what people say. It’s amazing that feminism continues to exist at all, considering how much counter-feminism is out there. So, I’m glad if people can listen to some music and maybe fix some prejudices of their own, just by thinking. – Nellie McKay
No Doubt – Just a Girl
Before Gwen Stefani started yeehawing in golden cages with rappers, she wrote about the lie that women are weak and need to be protected and guided by men all the time.
Don’t you think I know exactly where I stand?
This world is forcing me to hold your hand.
Aus-Rotten – The Second Rape
So who will address the elephant in the room? An anarcho-punk band, of course. In this song, a rapist’s defense lawyer and a survivor tell the story of too many women through the court testimony of one.
When sexism is embedded in our judicial system
It’s no surprise why the courts won’t listen
And the role of attacker and survivor become distorted
So the majority of rapes are never reported
Bikini Kill – Dont Need You
It would be very strange to make a list like this and not include Bikini Kill. So, last but not least: here’s one of Bikini Kill’s female independence anthems, Don’t Need You.
What we do need is to stop degrading each other, more support and more R-E-S-P-E-C-T.