A Playlist for the Million Women March

A Playlist for the Million Women March

Whether you are driving, taking a bus or what-have-you, it is important to have some empowering and feminist songs to jam out to along the way.

Buying your metro pass for the Million Women March on Washington? Or perhaps finding a sitter or coordinating a carpool for when you and your friends make the drive to your state's women’s rights march? Boy, do I have a playlist for you (or should I say girl).

Whether you are driving, taking a bus or what-have-you, it is important to have some empowering and feminist songs to jam out to along the way.

While making this list I was browsing through my iTunes and just started adding tracks to a playlist like a mad woman. Then I realized something, a lot of my tracks were more geared towards the “I don’t need a man” independent woman vibe versus just celebrating being a woman.

So, with some soul searching as well as searching my music library and other resources, I found some songs that celebrate all shades of womanhood. (Brace yourselves because I am going seriously old school with some of these).

1. "Girl On Fire" by Alicia Keys

“Looks like a girl, but she’s a flame. So bright she can burn your eyes, better look the other way. You can try, but you’ll never forget her name, she’s on top of the world”

This song is an anthem for strong women. Reminiscent of Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games”, Keys’ time stopping vocals present this powerful and potentially dangerous vision of a woman completely in control of her fiery environment.

2. "Brave" by Sara Bareilles

“You can be amazing. You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug. You can be the outcast or be the backlash of somebody's lack of love. Or you can start speaking up.”

While Bareilles’ song speaks to underdogs from all walks of life, the upbeat and empowering lyrics speak a great deal to feminism. The song is especially pertinent with this march. Her lyrics emphasize the importance of standing up for oneself, “I wonder what would happen when you say what you want to say and let the words fall out, honestly, I want to see you be brave,” sings Bareilles. She belts out the importance of being your own advocate, which is exactly the reason we march.

3. "I Was Here" by Beyoncé

“I was here, I lived, I loved, I was here. I did, I've done, everything that I wanted and it was more than I thought it would be. I will leave my mark, soul, everyone will know, I was here.”

Whether you worship Queen Bey, appreciate a few of her songs or dislike the hype that follows her, there is no arguing that in the future Beyoncé will be mentioned in history books. She stands for black women and all women. Perhaps this song was not intended to be feminist, but the quote “well behaved women seldom make history,” coined by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, comes to mind. And that is why we march, we march to change the tradition of sexism and as women to make our marks on this country.

4. "Stand By You" by Rachel Platten

“I’m gonna stand by you even if we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through hell with you. Love you’re not alone because I’m gonna stand by you.”

Not specifically a feminist jam, but for the purposes of this march, I felt this song was very appropriate. The idea that women should not be comparing ourselves to each other, but instead building each other up. We have strength in numbers and it is amazing knowing how many women are willing and able to literally stand up for our rights.

5. "Can’t Hold Us Down” by Christina Aguilera

“The guy gets all the glory the more he can score while the girl can do the same yet you call her a whore I don't understand why it's OK, the guy can get a way with it the girl gets named. All my ladies come together and make a change and start a new beginning for us, everybody sang.”

For obvious reasons.

6."Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfieldfield

“I break tradition sometimes my tries are outside the lines. We've been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can't live that way.”

Sexism is a lot about conditioning, our society has a great deal of sexist ideals deeply ingrained and this song highlights the importance of being unique and not fitting into neat little boxes.

7. "Man! I Feel Like A Woman” by Shania Twain

“I want to be free--yeah, to feel the way I feel. Man! I feel like a woman! The girls need a break—tonight we're gonna take the chance to get out on the town. We don't need romance--we only want to dance. We're gonna let our hair hang down.”

Initially, I thought of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” to add to the list, but I was not a fan of how that song portrays women as not willing to work hard. Instead, I found Twain’s song to be just as upbeat while poking fun at double standards and simultaneously celebrating femininity.

8. "If I Were A Boy” by Beyoncé

“If I were a boy even just for a day I’d roll outta bed in the morning and throw on what I wanted and go. Drink beer with the guys and chase after girls. I’d kick it with who I wanted and I’d never get confronted for it 'cause they’d stick up for me.”

While a truly feminist playlist should celebrate women for being women and not in terms of how they relate to men, romantic relationships are also part of being a woman as much as they would be for men. Beyoncé’s jab at men and how much easier their lives must be, is powerful because it addresses the double standards women face that men just do not. They do not always have to worry about their appearance or who they call friends.

9."Roar” by Katy Perry

“You held me down, but I got up (hey!) Already brushing off the dust. You hear my voice, you hear that sound. Like thunder, gonna shake your ground. You held me down, but I got up. Get ready 'cause I've had enough.”

Also, not a song necessarily geared toward feminist ideals, but it speaks to anyone who has struggled, and in that it speaks to women. We have struggled for so long to just be equal and as Perry sings, “you’re gonna hear me roar”.

10. "Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett

“You're living in the past it's a new generation a girl can do what she wants to do and that's what I'm gonna do an' I don't give a damn ' bout my bad reputation.”

This early 80’s hit speaks to the gruff-voiced, leather jacket and ripped jeans punk rock star in all of us. With her atypical feminine gravelly voice she puts the angst of being a teenage girl into a catchy melody.

11. “Dancing With Myself” by The Donnas

“Well there's nothing to lose and there's nothing to prove I'll be dancing with myself.”

Perhaps not a feminist piece originally, sung first by Billy Idol, but this song alludes to the importance of amusing oneself and not always depending on others, especially men, to provide amusement.

12.“Run the World (Girls)” by Beyoncé

“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.”

Yes, this is the third Beyoncé song on this list, but in the discussion of female empowerment in music, she is always a large part of the conversation. This song unsubtly speaks of the world in terms of women being in charge demonstrated through her confident vocals commanding the respect she says women deserve.

13. “Sit Still, Look Pretty” by Daya

“Oh, I don't know what you've been told, but this gal right here's gonna rule the world. Yeah, that is where I'm gonna be because I wanna be no, I don't wanna sit still, look pretty. You get off on your nine to five, dream of picket fences and trophy wives, but no, I'm never gonna be 'cause I don't wanna be.”

This song is a pop ode to the modern woman. Highlighting the idea that women can be pretty and make something out of themselves, the terms are not mutually exclusive.

14. “Miss Independent” by Ne-Yo

“Ooh there's something about kinda woman that can do for herself, I look at her and it makes me proud”

Through this march, women are demonstrating that a feminist can no longer be stereotyped as a masculine woman who does not wear bras or shave. Instead, feminism in the simplest terms demands equality for all. That being said, to be a feminist you do not necessarily have to be a woman. Ne-Yo’s song “Miss Independent” is a man’s reverence for a career-driven woman and it does not get more feminist than that.

15. “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar

“Well you're a real tough cookie with a long history of breaking little hearts like the one in me. Before I put another notch in my lipstick case, you better make sure you put me in my place.”

Around the same time, Joan Jett was showing the world that you did not need to be male to be a rockstar in every sense of the title, Pat Benatar was kicking a** on stage as well. “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” speaks to spunky and fearless ladies in a man’s world who are open about their sexuality.

16.“Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars

“Yeah, I know, I know when I compliment her, she won't believe me and it's so, it's so sad to think that she doesn't see what I see”

Mars’ song is feminist for obvious reasons, it celebrates natural beauty and self-love. This song is very progressive because it does not objectify women, but instead celebrates their uniqueness. Progressive also in that it emphasizes consent, “I would kiss her all day if she’d let me,” Mars’ sings respectfully.

17. “You Don’t Own Me” by Grace ft. G-Eazy

“Don't tell me what to do and don't tell me what to say. Please, when I go out with you don't put me on display.”

The “Fifty Shades Darker” version of a song originally by Lesley Gore. The song lyrically discusses the fight women have had to escape from the oppressions of patriarchy while asking for equality.

18. “Hard Out Here” by Lily Allen

“You'll find me in the studio and not in the kitchen. I won't be braggin' 'bout my cars or talkin' 'bout my chains. Don't need to shake my a** for you 'cause I've got a brain. If I told you 'bout my sex life, you'd call me a slut. When boys be talkin' about their b*tches, no one's makin' a fuss. There's a glass ceilin' to break, uh-huh, there's money to make.”

Allen says it all, from double standards to women not existing simply to pleasure men.

19. “Who You Are” by Jessie J

“Brushing my hair-do I look perfect? I forgot what to do to fit the mold, yeah! The more I try the less it's working, yeah. 'Cause everything inside me screams.”

“Who You Are” from a woman’s mouth speaks on the importance of loving yourself for all your imperfections.

20. “No Scrubs” by TLC

“A scrub is a guy that can't get no love from me, hanging out the passenger side of his best friend's ride trying to holler at me.”

Every girl can relate to run-ins with the eyeroll inspiring cat callers of the world and in this sassy and catchy tune TLC breaks it down as to why they are not worthy of your time.

Whether they are wearing Fedoras, rocking blunt bangs, some sort of purple zebra stripped jumpsuit or more likely bundled up for the D.C winter that is what feminism looks like. And the voices echoing through the streets all over the United States on Jan. 21, 2017, that is what feminism sounds like.

So, to fuel your trip to the march here is some feminism for the ears, here are my top 20 jams to listen to while on your way to protest for equality.

Cover Image Credit: metro.co

Popular Right Now

The End Of The Semester As Told By Todd Chrisley

Because we're all a little dramatic like Todd sometimes.

The last 3-4 weeks of every college student’s semester are always crazy hectic. We have last minute assignments, group projects, and exams all squeezed into the last few weeks before break.

Sometimes we all need a little humor, and sometimes we are all a little dramatic, so why not experience the last few weeks of the semester as told by the king of drama himself, Todd Chrisley of Chrisley Knows Best.

1. Sitting in class listening to your professor explain upcoming assignments/exams.

2. When your group project members refuse to do anything until the night before it's due or just show up the day of to present.

3. When you and your roommate try to cook with whatever few ingredients you have left in stock.

Because we definitely want to avoid going to the grocery store at the end of the semester if we can.

4. When your parents get tired of you calling them about every little inconvenience in your life.

5. Sitting down to work on assignments.

6. Your thoughts when the professor is telling you what they want from you out of an assignment.

7. When you've had about 30 mental breakdowns in 2 days.

8. Trying to search out the class for the right group members.

9. The last few days of classes where everyone and everything is getting on your nerves.

10. When your friend suggests going out but you're just done with the world.

11. This. On the daily.

12. When all you want to do is snuggle up and watch Christmas movies.

13. Studying and realizing you know nothing.

14. When your finals are over and it's finally time to go home for break.

You're finally back to your old self.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The Breath of Solitude

A Poem With A Prologue // Polar Viewpoints.



She smacks your parted lips,

sucking the dry,

open cracks to a seal.

Pumping energy into your chest

and sending a continuous shiver

from lung to navel.

You can't help but cough,

as your lungs tighten and twist.

Ringing the frosty sensation out –

slipping through your parted lips.

The same parted lips that

allowed her deliberate fingers

to crawl inside

where she can escape her own dimension

of solitude.

The Breath of Solitude

All I know

is solitude.

We chat

every day

in conversations that circulate

behind the backs

of the present.

Solitude grinds my coffee beans,

as we sit

with our legs crossed,

waiting for dawn

to explode over our opaque landscape.

Solitude runs my bath,


as the Sun crashes

against the diminishing horizon.

But none of this is reality.

I am above

the dimension of reality.

Not theoretically,

but physically.

I am only a tool

to be used in the dimension

of your reality.

Drifting in and out,

twirling through your negative space.

My only purpose

is found through your breath;

but what do I do

when you stop breathing?

I wait for your fingers,

less deliberate than mine,

but filled with that

that I lack.

I cannot see the blood

that sloshes through the veins

in your innocent hands.

The blood that energizes

those fingers

upon which I wait.

But I know

the blood is there.

It isn't

what you do.

It isn't

the way you move.

Simply put,

it is

the way

that you exist.

The sheer fact

that you have a bursting burgundy waterfall


not only through your fingers,

but engulfing all of you

in its rich,



The only waterfall

that I encompass

is the waterfall

that you imagine.

I have no blood;

I have no way to exist.

And so I

wait for your fingers,

less deliberate than mine,

but filled with that

that I lack.

I wait for your fingers

to filter the heat

to a state of regulation,

a state of production,

a state in which I can exist.

The peach fuzz

that sleeps on the bridge of your nose

begins to rise

when your fingers initiate the flame.

The temperature reacts,

as would my heartbeat,

if I had a bursting burgundy waterfall,

or some type of life source

inhabiting my chest cavity.

As the heat

starts to melt

my metaphorical skin,

I become reality.

I don't have a face to smile,

or eyes to produce tears.

But I have thoughts.

I have words to say,

I have feelings to express.

I still can only drift,

in and out,

twirling through your negative space,

but now spiraling

into your positive space,

as well.


Related Content

Facebook Comments