National Women’s Month bops

From Salt-n-Pepa to Ariana Grande, celebrate the entire month with a playlist fit for all women

Quiet – MILCK

While this song was written by Chinese-American singer Connie K. Lim and A.G. Gonzalez in 2015, it became well-known after Lim organized its a capella performance as MILCK at the 2017 Women’s March in Washington, D.C. It was inspired by Lim’s experiences with depression, violence and eating disorders as a teen, and was popularized with #ICANTKEEPQUIET on Twitter, where Lim shared the sheet music for free for anyone who wanted to organize their own performances of the song.

Q.U.E.E.N. – Janelle Monáe

This R&B funk hit by Janelle Monáe is performed in a question-and-answer format that explores her thoughts about sexuality, gender and other oppressed peoples. Q.U.E.E.N. stands for “Queer, Untouchables, Emigrants, Excommunicated, and Negroid,” according to Monáe in her 2013 Fuse HQ interview. Not only does this song empower women, but it includes multiple minority and oppressed groups and how those different identities flirt with intersectionality.

Bad Girls – M.I.A.

The music video for this song was shot in Morocco in solidarity with the Saudi Arabian movement which campaigned for the rights of Middle Eastern women to drive motor vehicles. It revolves around girls who break rules and live rebelliously with no attempt to even disguise that they are breaking norms.

Ain’t Nuthin’ But a She Thing – Salt-n-Pepa

In a genre that tends to be dominated by men, Salt-n-Pepa became a classic 90’s hip-hop duo that spat feminist lyrics about positive sexuality, racism and respect. As a reference to “Ain’t Nuthin’ But a G Thang” by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg which mentions drugs and sex, Salt-n-Pepa turns their lyrics to comment on the discrepancies between how men and women are treated.

You Don’t Own Me – Lesley Gore

Recorded by 17 year-old Gore in 1963, this song became an inspiration for the second wave of the Feminist movement. Gore expressly and defiantly tells a lover that he does not own the speaker and cannot tell her to display her in any way.

Hijabi (Wrap My Hijab) -Mona Haydar

Haydar, a Syrian-American artist, uses her rap to expose misconceptions that people have about hijabi women. Specifically, she counters perceptions that pregnancy or the hijab holds her back, as neither the hijab nor pregnancy mean she is disempowered or subject to societal servitude.

***Flawless – Beyoncé

In 2013 Beyoncé released this song online, consisting of two parts: “Bow Down” and “Flawless,” bisected by a sample of Nigerian author Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie’s speech entitled “We Should All Be Feminists.”

God is a Woman – Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande’s music video for this song is rife with references to biblical power – but also Grande’s power found in her femininity by representing it through various depictions of herself as a god, as Thor, as the center of the actual galaxy, and as God in Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam.”

Girls like Girls – Haley Kiyoko

In her interview with Us Weekly, Kiyoko remarked that “there is no anthem for a girl stealing another guy’s girl” while there are always song about men stealing other guy’s girls. The song was lauded as a lesbian anthem for representing lesbians and women who love women for representing LGBT+ women without overtly sexualising them for the male gaze.

Just a Girl – No Doubt

Released in 1995 by New Wave/Ska-punk rock band No Doubt, Gwen Stefani and Tom Dumont wrote this sarcastic song about Stefani’s life experiences as a woman who would be considered vulnerable, growing up with strict parents who treated her as a young child.

~ Compiled and written by Sabrina Rivera, Staff Writer~

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