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Told ya I’d be back again for another round of women’s empowerment songs!

*DISCLAIMER* Again, songs are very much up to the interpretation of the listener and these are just my opinions on what these songs are about and what they mean to me.

  • “Run the World”–Beyoncé.

This message is pretty clear. “Who run the world? Girls.” So not really, the majority of politicians and people in places of power in the world are ruled by men. However who remembers that famous quote: “Behind every successful man is a woman” so there’s the meaning. Women throughout history have many times had influence in politics, even though they may or may not have had the direct ability. But this empowering song by Beyoncé reminds us that women have so much power because HELLO women are HALF of the whole world! Her lyrics:

“Boy I know you love it
How we’re smart enough to make these millions

Strong enough to bear the children

Then get back to business”

Show just how incredibly strong women are, doing two jobs at once. Bey shows how much women do in their lives and calling for everyone to honor it.

  • “Shake it Off”–Taylor Swift.

Love her or hate her, Taylor Swift has been a big influence in music for years now. She has been inspiring to young girls including me for a while. This is a good song that addresses people judging her so much for doing normal human-things that can easily be applied to things that are being said about other women such as:

“I stay out too late, got nothing in my brain
That’s what people say, that’s what people say
I go on too many dates, but I can’t make them stay
At least that’s what people say, that’s what people say”

However, she reminds you that “players, haters, heartbreakers, and fakers” are going to keep doing their thing so you too should keep doing your thing and just “shake it off.”

I really appreciated this song because I really think there’s nothing else dedicated completely to just saying ‘don’t let hurtful or embarrassing things get to you!’ That’s so important to both women and I think, but looking at women who get catcalled, stared at, told to smile, or have their bodies or personality criticized on a daily basis, “shake it off!” is a great motivator to be confident in yourself.

  • “Just a Girl”–No Doubt.

This song is a great satire of what it’s like to be a girl. Gwen Stefani sings about how society treats women as if they’re little girls, trying to protect them and therefore not letting them think for themselves:

“Well don’t let me out of your sight
Oh, I’m just a girl, all pretty and petite                                                                                                                         So don’t let me have any rights”

“‘Cause I’m just a girl                                                                                                                                                     I’d rather not be
‘Cause they won’t let me drive
Late at night
Oh I’m just a girl
Guess I’m some kind of freak
‘Cause they all sit and stare
With their eyes”

  • “Love Myself”–Hailee Steinfeld.

“Gonna love myself, no, I don’t need anybody else
(I love me)
Can’t help myself, no, I don’t need anybody else
Anytime that I like
(I love me)
I’ll take it nice and slow
Feeling good on my own without you, yeah
Got me speaking in tongues
The beautiful, it comes without you, yeah”

These lyrics are really suggestive, and they get more suggestive than that. But in an interview with Hailee, she said that while the lyrics are suggestive, you can interpret the music however you want. All in all, it’s about self-empowerment; if you take the lyrics to mean what they suggest, it’s another layer of woman-empowerment because of the negative stigma around “loving yourself” for women.

  • “Wide Awake”–Katy Perry.

This is weird for me to write because Katy Perry has had some trouble with finding out what feminism actually is. At first she said she wasn’t because she liked men (feminism does too…feminism benefits men too) and then she changed her mind and said, “well feminism means that I like myself as a woman and I like men too”…not quite there. BUT Katy Perry is still a strong and influential woman with great lyrics (that really seem feminist a lot of the time so ok….Katy…). Wide Awake is one of my favorite songs by Katy.

“I wish I knew then
What I know now
Wouldn’t dive in
Wouldn’t bow down
Gravity hurts
You made it so sweet
‘Til I woke up on
On the concrete”

As songs usually are, this one is about a relationship that was toxic, and Katy has realized that she was “bowing down” to someone who wasn’t right for her, she loved him, but it hurt when she “woke up on the concrete.” My favorite part of this song is the music video (please watch) because she and a little girl make their way through a labyrinth, fighting all the evils on their own, and when she finally escapes, her “Prince Charming” is there awaiting to save her and marry her like in most fairy tales. However Katy punches him in the face because A. It’s not like he did anything to help her, and B. She saved herself and he is there acting like she didn’t just come out of a freaking scary labyrinth, also C. He might’ve been an A hole