2020 is shaping up to be a huge year for women in music. Billie Eilish won all the top 4 awards (and 5 of the 6 for which she was nominated) at this year’s Grammy’s. Taylor Swift is bringing down the patriarchy in her single and video The Man. In addition to her video, Taylor Swift, along with Lana Del Rey and Diana Ross, are headlining the UK’s Glastonbury Festival. Stateside, Lizzo is headlining a night at Bonnaroo. Beyond festival season, Adele’s next album is rumored — by Adele, herself — to be released in September (are we getting 32?).
But women in music continue to have major struggles. After six years, Kesha is still facing issues with her former producer, and alleged abuser and rapist, Dr. Luke. Many other music festivals are still largely headlined by men, including this year’s Coachella, Boston Calling and Governor’s Ball. One of our writers recently received a promo email from a ticket company with the subject line “Celebrate the Women in Your Life with Live Music.” The artists promoted with concert links? All men.
To look to the positive and celebrate girl power, our writers have curated a playlist of our favorite feminist songs to jam to as part of our Lova List series — empowering tracks from our favorite female artists as well as a few from men who support women.
And keep scrolling to find a link to our full feminist songs playlist at the end!
Still Learning by Halsey
Of Halsey’s latest album, Manic, “Still Learning” is an incredibly realistic feminist song. While most feminist songs feature confident roaring lyrics and some of Halsey’s other songs off Manic serve as “fuck you’s” to Halsey’s exes, “Still Learning” is Halsey’s way of admitting that even badass boss women have a vulnerable side. Even though Halsey is a highly successful woman, she’s still working on her self-love journey — and that’s definitely something we can get behind. – Bailey Shea
In My Feelings by Lana Del Rey
The ultimate bad bitch breakup song, Lana Del Rey’s “In My Feelings” off her 2017 album Lust for LIfe explores the singer’s feelings after a breakup. While she starts out filled with regret that she’s stuck in a series of bad relationships, Lana quickly recognizes her power. Next time you’re feeling down on yourself, turn on this song, look at yourself in the mirror, and ask yourself “Who’s doper than this bitch? Who’s freer than me?,” and feel instantly better about yourself. – Bailey Shea
Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered by Ella Fitzgerald
Originally from a mid-20th century Broadway show, “Bewitched, Bothered, & Bewildered” has been covered a good handful of times since. Something about the way Ella Fitzgerald croons the iconic break up tune (and maybe something about how badass one of her album titles, ‘Let No Man Write My Epitaph’, is) makes it particularly cool. The song takes us through Ella’s feelings after a break up: “Wise at last, my eyes at last/ Are cutting you down to your size at last”, “Romance, finis, your chance, finis/ Those ants that invaded my pants, finis”. – Claudia Morano
Junky by Brockhampton
The coolest boy-band in 2020 is Brockhampton. Famous for bringing queer sexuality, inclusivity, and respect for women into the hip-hop, pop-rap scene. In ‘Junky’, popular group member, Matt Champion, raps ‘I hate these shady folk that want a ladylike/ But don’t treat lady right, but they be sayin’ like “just the tip…Where the respect? Is your ass human?/I look you in your eyes, say “fuck you, are you fuckin’ stupid?”/Respect my mother, ‘spect my sister, ‘spect these women, boy’ In this song, the only thing sexier than his voice is his respect for women. – Claudia Morano
Bitch by Meredith Brooks
“Bitch” by Meredith Brooks is a song that expresses the frustration that women feel towards the way that society likes to label us. Rather than allow herself to be defined as one thing or another, she declares boldly to be a bitch, a lover, a wife, a mother, a sinner, and a saint. Her wisdom for us is to embrace the fact that we are multifaceted individuals who cannot be shoved into society’s boxes. – Elizabeth Mason
Straight Outta Vagina by Pussy Riot
Pussy Riot has been shaking up the feminist punk rock scene since 2011. Based in Moscow, the group has built a reputation for their unauthorized, provocative, guerilla protest-performances. “Straight Outta Vagina” was the group’s response to President Trump’s vulgar comments about women’s bodies. They want to remind him – and us – of where we came from, and reinforce that “Vagina is bigger than Trump.” – Elizabeth Mason
Freak Nasty by Megan Thee Stallion
Far from your traditional feminist jam, Megan Thee Stallion’s first hit struck the ears of listeners because of the sexual nature of her lyrics. This is exactly why I think every woman should hear it. This song, and her artistry, are pivotal in the genre of hip hop specifically because, though popular female rappers have existed for a long time, few feel it acceptable to talk about THEIR pleasure, rather than the pleasure they provide, like Meg does. – Tara Jones
Confidently Lost by Sabrina Claudio
Confidently lost is entirely about self love, which can be hard to maintain in a patriarchy always trying to tell you you’re not enough. – Tara Jones
We hope you’ll be shouting the lyrics to these songs all month long. We loved putting this feminist songs playlist together, and want to create more for all you babes!
Have a killer theme or an amazing feminist song that just has to be used in a future playlist, let us know in the comments below and it might make the cut!