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.
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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

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31 Reasons Why I Would NEVER Watch Season 2 Of '13 Reasons Why'

It does not effectively address mental illness, which is a major factor in suicide.
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When I first started watching "13 Reasons Why" I was excited. I had struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts for a long time and thought this show would be bringing light to those issues. Instead, it triggered my feelings that I had suppressed.

With season two coming out soon, I have made up my mind that I am NEVER watching it, and here is why:

1. This show simplifies suicide as being a result of bullying, sexual assault, etc. when the issue is extremely more complex.

2. It does not effectively address mental illness, which is a major factor in suicide.

3. The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention has guidelines on how to portray suicides in TV shows and movies without causing more suicides.

"13 Reasons Why" disregarded those guidelines by graphically showing Hannah slitting her wrists.

4. It is triggering to those who have tried to commit suicide in the past or that struggle with mental illness.

5. It glorifies suicide.

6. It does not offer healthy coping solutions with trauma and bullying.

The only "solution" offered is suicide, which as mentioned above, is glorified by the show.

7. This show portrays Hannah as dramatic and attention-seeking, which creates the stereotype that people with suicidal thoughts are dramatic and seeking attention.

8. Hannah makes Clay and other people feel guilty for her death, which is inconsiderate and rude and NOT something most people who commit suicide would actually do.

9. This show treats suicide as revenge.

In reality, suicide is the feeling of hopelessness and depression, and it's a personal decision.

10. Hannah blames everyone but herself for her death, but suicide is a choice made by people who commit it.

Yes, sexual assault and bullying can be a factor in suicidal thoughts, but committing suicide is completely in the hands of the individual.

11. Skye justifies self-harm by saying, "It's what you do instead of killing yourself."

12. Hannah's school counselor disregards the clear signs of her being suicidal, which is against the law and not something any professional would do.

13. The show is not realistic.

14. To be honest, I didn't even enjoy the acting.

15. The characters are underdeveloped.

16. "13 Reasons Why" alludes that Clay's love could have saved Hannah, which is also unrealistic.

17. There are unnecessary plot lines that don't even advance the main plot.

18. No one in the show deals with their problems.

They all push them off onto other people (which, by the way, is NOT HEALTHY!!!).

19. There is not at any point in the show encouragement that life after high school is better.

20. I find the show offensive to not only me, but also to everyone who has struggled with suicidal thoughts.

21. The show is gory and violent, and I don't like that kind of thing.

22. By watching the show, you basically get a step-by-step guide on how to commit suicide.

Which, again, is against guidelines set by The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.

23. The show offers no resources for those who have similar issues to Hannah.

24. It is not healthy for me or anyone else to watch "13 Reasons Why."

25. Not only does the show glorify suicide, but it also glorifies self-harm as an alternative to suicide.

26. Other characters don't help Hannah when she reaches out to them, which could discourage viewers from reaching out.

27. Hannah doesn't leave a tape for her parents, and even though the tapes were mostly bad, I still think the show's writers should have included a goodbye to her parents.

28. It simplifies suicide.

29. The show is tactless, in my opinion.

30. I feel like the show writers did not do any research on the topic of suicide or mental illness, and "13 Reasons Why" suffered because of lack of research.

31. I will not be watching season two mostly because I am bitter about the tastelessness.

And I do not want there to be enough views for them to make a season three and impact even more people in a negative way.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
Cover Image Credit: Netflix

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7 Reasons To Get Excited For The Orlando Fringe Festival

Aside from the obvious draw of 100+ shows to choose from, there are so many more reasons to check it out.
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The Orlando Fringe Festival is a two-week performing arts extravaganza featuring all kinds of acts from this city and others. It is also the longest-running theater festival in the United States, so it’s had plenty of time to get great. If you want the basics on how to attend, there is an article in the Orlando Sentinel that breaks it down for first-timers. But as we gear up for what is basically Coachella for theater nerds, here are just a few more things to get jazzed about.

1. You’ll finally be able to support your artist friends.

We all have that friend who is constantly involved in some sort of production. Of course you’d love to go and see them all, but who has the time? At Fringe, there are plenty of chances to see a show, since there are performances at many different times for two weeks. And if you have a lot of friends who are performers in Orlando, then I have good news! They will all be in the same place.

2. Two words: food trucks.

There is pretty much no other time when it is socially acceptable to eat a bunch of fried Oreos than at a carnival or at Fringe. Carnivals seem dangerous though, so you might as well just hang out at Fringe, where it’s safe.

3. There’s something for everyone.

Even if theater isn’t your thing, there are more than just a few alternative options available. You can also find concerts, stand up comedy, storytelling, and a whole lot of things that will make you say, “I didn’t know that was a thing."

4. This year, planning is easy.

In their 27th year, the Orlando Fringe has introduced a new way to plan which shows to see. The Fringe-o-Matic allows you to input the shows you’re interested in and create a personalized schedule so you can make it to (almost) all of them.

5. You’ll never have to travel far.

Most of the shows at Fringe are located in or around Loch Haven Park, and venues include the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, the Orlando Repertory Theatre and the Orlando Museum of Art. These are all within walking distance of each other, and are separated only by a parking lot (which, by the way, is free to use). The only other shows are BYOV, or Bring Your Own Venue, in multiple locations in Orlando.

6. It’s not just local acts.

Maybe if you’re an Orlando native, you’re a little tired of the local scene. This festival includes production companies from lots of other states and countries, so it’s a great opportunity to see fresh faces and shows that are the best of their respective locale.

7. Things will get weird.

Even if you’re a veteran Fringe-goer, you’re definitely in for a quite a few surprises. Last year, I saw a Canadian male burlesque troupe led by a Justin Trudeau impersonator (caution: link NSFW), and it wasn’t even the craziest thing that happened.


The Orlando Fringe Festival runs from May 15th to the 28th, so it’s right around the corner. It’s all happening so fast! But if you’re not hyped yet, maybe you should take a trip to the beer tent.

Cover Image Credit: Orlando Fringe

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