Music can move us, send messages, declare greatness, and share hope. Lyrics speak to us and lift us. Some music inspires us, and some tell it like it is. The honest and rawness that comes from music help inspire greatness and hard work. Many artists give voices to those who don’t have one by using their platform and creating music that speaks to many people. Today we are taking a look at 10 songs that should be declared female anthems.
1. Can’t Hold Us Down by Christina Aguilera Ft. Lil Kim
First up on this list of female anthems, this song is the epitome of feminism. Christina touches on all the double standards in our society, and she is not afraid to address the issues. Aguilera opens the song with a strong point, declaring that she is not supposed to have an opinion because she is a woman, and if she fires back, men become upset and start false rumors. Another line in the song is how men can have many conquests and get praised, but if a woman were to do that, she gets called out of her name. It is essential to pay attention to the song’s lyrics as Aguilera explains that these double standards go back into history and that men believe we are meant to be seen and not heard. Not only do Aguilera and Lil Kim shed light on double standards, sexism, and slut-shaming, they also declare that regardless of these ongoing issues, it will not hold us down. This song was released in 2002 but is still so relevant today in 2021. It is baffling that women still have to fight so hard to be heard, and we are still being named and dealing with these typical double standards, whether in relationships or at work. If you put a song in your playlist to empower you and inspire you to keep trucking along regardless of what you are dealing with, this song is it! Check out the video here.
2. Roar by Katy Perry
Roar is all about overcoming being held back and held down. Perry starts the song off by saying that she used to bite her tongue and agreed with everything instead of speaking her mind. She felt she had to be a certain way and maintain a sense of agreeability. As women, we often feel we are not heard; we fear speaking our minds because of backlash or fallout we may endure. Sometimes we feel that others we are with or surrounded by pushing us down and pigeon hold us. Perry talks about getting back up and not only getting up but coming back with a vengeance. My sister and a fan of Roar, Brenda Ornellas, believes the song should be declared a female anthem. Ornellas says, “Women should never feel silenced in any situation. I always held in what I wanted to say, but this song makes me feel like I can say whatever is on my mind.” A song that inspires you to be brave and speak your mind or find inner strength is the definition of a female anthem. Check out Katy Perry’s song Roar here.
3. The Man by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift is known for her female anthems. The Man by Taylor swift talks about the double standards women face in the workplace and world. Much like Christina Aguilera’s Can’t Hold Us Down song, Swift touches on how women are viewed as undeserving of their roles and positions in their work and personal lives. Swift sings about how she is tired of running as fast as she can to work her way up in the industry but feels Swift would have arrived there faster if she was a male. She also says that all the things she does have her named and looked at in a bad light, but males are given the highest praise when a male does it. Swift also declares that males are not told they don’t deserve things, but women are often given doubt for their success and how they arrived at that success. The song shows that women are viewed differently and spoken down to for their achievements and hard work. The double standards are not a new thing, but it certainly is nice to see someone address the double standards and issues of present-day society. Check out The Man by Taylor Swift.
4. Good As Hell by Lizzo
Good as Hell was released several years ago, but it gained popularity over the past couple of years, and rightfully so. The is one of the female anthems that screams female empowerment. Lizzo tells women they need to keep going and realize they are worth so much, and she sings, “if he don’t love you anymore, just walk your fine ass out the door.” She is telling women not to stand there and deal with all the crap anymore and keep going. It will be alright, and you can come back from the hardships, including but not limited to a bad relationship. Lizzo exudes confidence in her lyrics and how she carries herself, especially in the video released for the song. Check out the song and video here.
5. Salute by Little Mix
Little Mix is famous for putting out female anthems. Their song Salute is a call to action for females worldwide to come together and unite for the greater good. The cause; female empowerment and a rise against the suppression of the female voice. Little Mix sings about being strong, beautiful, and valuable as a human being in general. Women are more than just their looks; we are not just pretty things. We have a brain, thoughts, opinions, and we are more than what society tries to box us up to be. We have interests and worth, and that is what we are coming together to show the world. Women are strong creatures emotionally and physically, and to say we are any less is a huge problem. Little Mix sings, “You think we’re just pretty things, you couldn’t be more wrong. Knock us, but we keep moving on. Can’t stop a hurricane, ladies. It’s time to awake.” Salute is all about coming together no matter your style and differences. Women need to support each other, especially against those who say we are not equal and cannot do something just because we are female. Check out the video Salute here.
6. Sorry Not Sorry by Demi Lovato
Sorry Not Sorry could be deemed more than just one of these female anthems; it also screams confidence after a hard relationship or break-up. A lot of times, we are tough on ourselves, sometimes more than others can be. Demi refuses to apologize for how amazing they are and Demi celebrates their confidence in such a fearless way. Lovato sings, “Feeling inspired ’cause the tables have turned. Yeah, I’m on fire, and I know that it burns.” Lovato clearly feels confident and knows that their success and looking amazing will only hurt those who wish to see them in pain or hurt. The best part of this song is that Demi is so confident about who they are and what they are worth. It is a song that uplifts us and makes us feel like we are badasses. Ladies, there is nothing wrong with owning your amazingness and demanding to be treated properly by others. If you do not advocate for yourself, nobody will. Check out the Sorry Not Sorry video here.
7. You Don’t Own Me by Lesley Gore & SayGrace Ft. G-Eazy’s New You Don’t Own Me Version
Lesley Gore’s You Don’t Own Me came out in 1963. The song was all about self-possession, which we love more and more these days. These lyrics say that a man does not own you, cannot tell you what to wear, how to talk, or what to do. Self-possession means just that; you own yourself. You should be an individual and not be held down by someone else who thinks you should be a certain way, mainly because society says that is how you should be. Recently, Gore’s song was sung by SayGrace ft. G-Eazy. While the original chorus remained in the song, G-Eazy raps about women’s independence, working hard, and not looking for handouts. He says, “She’s that baddest I would love to flaunt. Take her shoppin; you know Yves Saint Laurent. But nope, she ain’t with it, though. All because she got her own dough.” Finally, G-Eazy states that his woman said she won’t ever be owned. What a powerful declaration for women everywhere. We will not be owned, we will be ourselves, and we know our value. Check out Lesley Gore’s song here and check out SayGrace Ft. G-Eazy here.
8. Just a Girl by No Doubt
No Doubt’s lead singer Gwen Stefani created one of the most iconic female anthems back in 1994. Stefani sang all about being a girl who is forced into a particular look and role. She sings, “Oh, I’m just a girl, all pretty and petite. So don’t let me have any rights.” Stefani exclaims how she is sick of how she is treated because of her gender, and she is fed up with how society views being a girl, a woman, or a female in general. Furthermore, she explains how she is in captivity and will not be allowed to grow and be anything other than what they have predestined for her. While you can argue that the lyric says girl and girl may refer to age, not gender. The sentiment goes hand in hand. Not being allowed to grow to your full potential because of your age and gender is unacceptable. Stefani was singing of setbacks, and it is not something we take lightly. Finally, when you hear this song, you immediately feel empowered to speak up and say, “Hey, I am more than just a girl; I have a lot to offer the world, and yeah, I am a badass and know it!” Check out No Doubt’s Just a Girl video here.
9. Fall In Line by Christina Aguilera & Demi Lovato
In this song, Aguilera tells the little girls to listen to her carefully, and while she knows what she is about to say could have her in serious trouble, she instead educates the girls instead of having them suffer the same fate many of us do. Aguilera declares that as a female, you do not owe anyone your body and soul. These have to be the most powerful lyrics written to address how we females think and feel about how we are treated; Aguilera sings, “Maybe it’s never gonna change, but I got a mind to show my strength. And I got a right to speak my mind. And I’m gonna pay for this. They’re gonna burn me at the stake. But I got a fire in my veins. I wasn’t made to fall in line.” Finally, Aguilera and Lovato let the girls and women know that they are more than flesh and bones. The video is just as powerful as it shows Christina being forced against her will to perform and be a certain way. Aguilera then escapes along with Lovato to the outside world, where they are finally free. It is a powerful video with an even more powerful song. Check out the video here.
10. God Is a Woman by Ariana Grande
This song is different from the other female anthems. Many female anthems on the list praise our individuality, equality, and ability to do anything we want or how messed up society is towards us. One thing women have been told for years to do is to be quiet about sex and their bodies. However, we must own our bodies, what we like and don’t like, and be confident in who we are and what we can do. Ariana sings about how she is so great (most likely in sexual ways, but other ways) that she will have her partner believing God is a woman. She is speaking about how amazing she is (or women in general) and should be praised in a higher standard. We should be held with regard and value, and we should not be thought of as one particular thing. We are sexual beings and for women to be told to cut off those parts of us is a double standard, as it is just fine for men to behave in particular ways according to society, while we are called names and shunned. This song is an anthem for those who want to own their greatness as a female. Check out the video here.
There are so many female anthems out there. In fact, many have existed long before we even realized. From Lesley Gore in 1963 to Gwen Stefani in 1994, up to Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, and Christina Aguilera of our present day. From confidence to overcoming double standards, to praising and loving our own bodies, and simply finding out voices to speak our minds. These songs encourage us and most importantly inspire us to bring up the next generation of empowered females. Which of these female anthems is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!
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I am a writer, artist, mother, and wife. I am from California but currently reside in Arizona. I have a BA in English with a concentration in writing. I have a certificate in SEO through Universal Class. I love music, art, writing, pop culture, gaming, anime, and Disney.