15 Awesome Songs Celebrating Female Independence

July 2, 2012

All the women who independent. Throw your hands up at me! You know, you remember that monster hit? And if you don’t…well, I don’t really know what to say about that. Anyway, there are plenty of other female independent anthems in the songbooks but below are just 15 guaranteed to get your body moving, your toes tapping and you singing along. Trust me, by the end you might even feel the need to burn your bra, and if that’s the case- then do you, boo. Enjoy!

1) Christina Aguilera featuring Lil Kim – Can’t Hold Us Down

Preach Christina, preach! Take them to church. I don’t know what it was about this Christina Aguilera era but the Stripped album was filled with many take charge and in your face hits. She got a little Dirrty, became a Fighter and let everyone know that they were Beautiful. However, every line of Can’t Hold Us Down is filled with female empowerment. ” So, what am I not supposed to have an opinion? Should I be quiet just because I’m a woman? Call me a bitch ’cause I speak what’s on my mind. Guess it’s easier for you to swallow if I sat and smiled.”

If you look back in history, it’s a common double standard of society. The guy gets all the glory, the more he can score. While the girl can do the same and yet you call her a whore. I don’t understand why it’s okay. The guy can get away with it, the girl gets named.

2) Kelis featuring Too Short – Bossy

To be honest, I just really like saying “I’m bossy” over and over again. Kudos to you, Kelis, kudos. Kelis is another female artist known for putting her emotions in a song. And, not necessarily the Taylor Swift way. Anyone remember the anger-fueled anthem, “Caught Out There?” Anyway, in this song, she declares that even if you don’t like her, you will have to respect her because of the kind of woman that she is.

You don’t have to love me. You don’t even have to like me. But you will respect me. You know why? Cuz I’m a boss!

3) Beyoncé – Run The World (Girls)

I have to admit when I first heard this all I could think was she sampled Major Lazer “Pon de Floor” and was like two years behind when that song was originally hot. Then in the last 8 months, I’ve been having a serious Beyoncé moment and going through her whole catalogue. A serious Beyoncé moment, you guys. I just want to create wind everywhere I walk now. This song perfectly exemplifies the fact that women run the world, or at least should. Plus, the video is so visually appealing with all that divalicious fierceness.

My persuasion can build a nation. Endless power, with our love we can devour. You’ll do anything for me. Who run the world? Girls!

4) Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing)

Oh, Lauryn. Lauryn, Lauryn, Lauryn. Bow down to the Q.U.E.E.N. Even though, this song was written about both men and women, you have to admit that the message she was sending to females was exactly what many needed at this time. Plus, it was nice to see a female MC who could spit hot fire, sing and not have to be overtly sexual.

Let me break it down for you again. You know I only say it  cause I’m truly genuine. Don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem. Baby girl, respect is just the minimum.

5) India.Arie- Video

India Arie was one of the first artists to usher in the neo-soul era in the early aughts. This song and video was a revelation among the scantily clad video “models” that were prevalent in the hip-hop and pop videos of the time. Here was a dark-skinned woman with locks proudly declaring herself a queen who was comfortable with herself. This was and still is an amazing sentiment.

I’m not the average girl from your video and I ain’t built like a supermodel. But I learned to love myself unconditionally, Because I am a queen. 

6) No Doubt – Just A Girl

I’m a sucker for No Doubt and Gwen Stefani from the 90’s era. I ate up everything Gwen did, sang, wore, etc. Tragic Kingdom was and still remains one of my favorite albums to this day. The fact that she was the only female in a band of men was one of the things I was drawn to. While other rock stars might be talking about the success, the groupies and what not. Gwen talked about her experience as a woman who was becoming a rock star and it resonated with millions.

I’m just a girl, living in captivity. Your rule of thumb makes me worry some. I’m just girl, what’s my destiny? What I’ve succumbed to is making me numb.

7) P!nk – There You Go

Pink, never the shy wallflower, bursted onto the music scene with this debut. Before Missundaztood, Pink was being groomed to be the new, white R & B queen and I still love the hell out of this song. She was always a bad-ass running around driving motorcycles into her ex’s window. With abs of steel, Pink always looked like she could kick anyone’s ass and who doesn’t love that in a pink-haired pop superhero?

Please don’t come around talking bout how you changed. How you said good-bye to what’s-her-name. All it sounds like to me is new game. And I was right when I thought I’d be much better off without you. Had to get myself from round you, cuz my life was all about you.

8) Alicia Keys – A Woman’s Worth

Alicia Keys burst onto the music scene with a beautiful voice and some serious piano playing skills. Her R & B songs were filled with so much truth told from the perspective of a young, urban woman. Here, Alicia lays out how important it is for a man to know a woman’s worth but more importantly for a woman to hold herself up as someone filled with worth and dignity. Remember, a man can only treat you the way you allow him to.

Wanna please, wanna keep, wanna treat your woman right. Not just dough but to show that she is worth your time. You will lose if you choose to refuse to put her first. She will and she can find a man who knows her worth.

9) Shania Twain – Man, I Feel Like A Woman

Shania mixed pop with country and brought it to the masses. She was sexy and in control of her image and body. She showed that it was perfectly normal to embrace your femininity and the many complex sides of what makes us the fabulous creatures that we are. Cheeky, seductive and playful, this song could get stuck in your head for hours…and you didn’t really mind.

Oh yeah. The best thing about being a woman Is the prerogative to  have a little fun.

10) Madonna – Human Nature

All pop stars after Madonna have been taking notes on this trailblazer. Love her or hate her, you can’t deny the impact she has had on pop culture. This woman has shown the importance of image and reinvention. Madonna has found a way through so many of her songs and videos to give a collective F-you to the powers that be. God forbid, a woman talks about her sexuality and what excites her. God forbid, a woman has feelings and actually expresses them.

Express yourself, Don’t repress yourself. And I’m not sorry [I’m not sorry] It’s human nature [it’s human nature] And I’m not sorry [I’m not sorry] I’m not your bitch don’t hang your shit on me [It’s human nature]

11) Queen Latifah – UNITY

Leave it to Dana Owens, who reinvented herself as rapper Queen Latifah, to usher in an era of female empowerment hip-hop and the urban culture. To call yourself Queen, so that everyone would have to address you with respect is something to be admired. In the song Unity, Queen Latifah took major issue with the fact that men were calling women out of their names and addressing them as bitches and hoes. Fast forward to present day and Nicki Minaj singing, “You’s a stupid hoe, You’s a stupid hoe.” Queen Latifah must be shaking her head somewhere.

Instinct leads me to another flow. Every time I hear a brother call a girl a bitch or a hoe. Trying to make a sister feel low. You know all of that gots to go.

12) Janet Jackson – Control

If you had a father like Joe Jackson, trust me, you would be declaring your independence too and trying to be in control as soon as possible. The baby of the Jackson bunch, Janet had a lot to prove to the world. And, it’s typically, when you’re trying to prove something that you give it your all. This is the perfect song to blast when you want to dance and shake your independent derrière. It’s a great reminder that you are the only one who can be in control of your life.

Note: Scroll to 3:14 to start the song.

When I was seventeen, I did what people told me. Did what my father said and let my mother mold me. But that was a long ago. I’m in Control.

13) Whitney Houston – I’m Every Woman

The late Whitney Houston was the voice of a generation and in this Chaka Khan remake she breaks it down as only Nippy could. It’s a pretty brilliant concept to proclaim to anyone and everyone that “I’m every woman.” When this comes on at a wedding, you know, you and the rest of the ladies sing this just a little bit louder than normal.

Whatever you want, whatever you need. Anything you want done,  baby. I’ll do it naturally. ‘Cause I’m every woman.

14) Britney Spears – Stronger

Back when Britney Spears was THE female pop star, she could do basically no wrong. Except, maybe wear a matching denim suit with her signifiant other. But, we were all young and in love once. Yes, it’s a pop-infused female anthem and I refuse to think there’s something wrong with that. Look, I never said this song was very deep but it certainly was catchy as all hell. Plus, we have to give her props for how she worked that chair in the video.

Stronger than yesterday. Now it’s nothing but my way. My loneliness ain’t killing me no more. I’m stronger. 

15) RuPaul – Supermodel (You Better Work)

And, now for a song on the list not technically from a female but the fiercest drag queen in the existence of all drag queens. Leave it to RuPaul to leave us with an anthem to get our sashay, shante on. Anyone who doesn’t automatically feel better after hearing this needs to get their fabulosity checked. STAT. This is the perfect anthem to blast while getting ready to take over the world.

You better work. [Cover girl] Work it girl. [Give a twirl] Do your thing on the runway… Work, turn to the left. Work, now turn to the right. Work, sashay, shante.

Well, there you go. 15 Awesome Songs celebrating and embracing female independence and power. Of course, there are many, many more. Feel free to leave your thoughts and favorite songs in the comments.

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      Lea May 17, 2015

      Great list!

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