By Allison Stubblebine for Billboard
Feminist anthems call in all shapes and sizes, from the riot grrrl hard-hitters to pop radio chart-toppers. The lyrics don’t have to read like Judith Butler, but it doesn’t hurt when they do get into the nitty gritty of womanhood.
In celebration of empowering women, Billboard has put together 25 feminist anthems.
Below are just the top ten including Madame Gandhi’s “The Future is Female”
“Bad Girls” – M.I.A.
M.I.A.‘s hypnotic slogan, “Live fast, die young/ Bad girls do it well,” came as a form of support for the Women To Drive movement in Saudi Arabia. Until just recently in Sept. of 2017, women were forbidden to drive motorized vehicles. “Bad Girls” and its car stunt-filled visuals predate the law change by five years.
“Hijabi (Wrap My Hijab) – Mona Haydar
Mona Haydar started her music career strong with this debut track. Hailing from Flint, MI, Haydar points out that it isn’t her responsibility as a Muslim to educate the ignorant on her beliefs, “Not your exotic vacation/ I’m bored with your fascination/ I need that PayPal, PayPal, PayPal/ If you want education.”
“Thunder Thighs” – Miss Eaves
Off the 2017 album Feminasty, “Thunder Thighs” was easily the body-posi banger of the summer. It’s impossible not to feel great when Miss Eaves declares chub as beautiful, as she raps, “Chub Rub/ The day is just heating up…/ So what?/ These boy shorts are inching up/ Thick thighs, sundress, I’m looking good.”
“Amigas Cheetahs” – The Cheetah Girls
Disney Channel was quite ahead of itself when it aired the girl-power-packed film The Cheetah Girls. The finale to the film’s sequel, The Cheetah Girls 2, upped the ante when the band enlisted the woman who was pitted against them for the entire movie to join them onstage to sing — in both English and Spanish — about sticking up for one another.
“Typical Girls” – The Slits
British rock band The Slits were way too cool when they offered their feminist bangers to the male-dominated punk world. The song narrates ultra-lame things that typical girls are expected to do, before asking, “Who invented the typical girl?/ Who’s bringing out the new improved model?/ And there’s another marketing ploy/ Typical girl gets the typical boy.”
“Independent Woman” – Destiny’s Child
“Charlie, how your Angels get down like that?” All the honeys who are making money have to admit this song is a timeless feminist hit. Destiny’s Child had a common theme of buying their own things for themselves, and not needing to wait on a man to come around to do the same things (hello, “Bills Bills Bills”).
“Quiet” – MILCK
MILCK saw viral fame after her feminist battle cry at the Women’s March on Washington acquired millions of views in a short time. After an emotional start to the song, “Put on your face/ Know your place/ Shut up and smile/ I could do that” MILCK breaks out into the sweeping chorus, garnering strength with “I can’t keep quiet, oh/ A one woman riot.”
“Cinderella” – Play
Swedish girl group Play was singing feminist anthems left and right in their heyday. At the same time they threw down the damsel-in-distress trope in this hit, the group also released “Us Against the World,” another track about backing each other up and taking on the world together.
“Woman” – Kesha
Aside from all the other reasons to be absolutely stoked on Kesha’s most recent album Rainbow, which marked her long-awaited return to music making, “Woman” is the icing on the cake, ‘cause she “run this shit, baby.”
“The Future is Female” – Madame Gandhi (TT the Artist Club Remix featuring UNIIQU3)
This super recent track is packed with cold hard facts, like “We have to value girls more than their looks/ The biggest threat is a girl with a book.” Plus, the artist’s main goal in performing is to “make gender equality culturally even more relevant,” and that’s about as feminist as a goal can get.