I don’t know about you, but I love starting my day with some good old-fashioned patriarchy smashing. I’ve got a playlist named Riot Grrrl that actually just contains music by female artists, from No Doubt to L7 to Hole, that make me feel powerful.
Glass Ceiling – Metric
The glass ceiling is, of course, “an unacknowledged barrier to advancement in a profession, especially affecting women and members of minorities.” Metric tells us that we can & will break that glass ceiling.
“Every speed on our knees is crawling.” (I think I’m going to get this on a t-shirt.)
Diet Pill – L7
I think this song is about a woman who kills her abusive partner with a frying pan, leaves his body in the bed, grabs her kids & runs. While I don’t usually condone murder, I totally get this woman’s situation, and this song makes me feel strong, empowered.
“Calgon can’t take me away
No, Calgon can’t take me away
From the things that I did today.”
Reasons To Be Beautiful – Hole
A lot of people say this song is partly about Courtney Love’s reaction to Kurt Cobain’s suicide, but what I love about music is that it can fit almost any situation in any individual life. You take what you want from it.
“Oh, and everything I am
Miles and miles of perfect skin
I swear I do, I fit right in
My love burns through everything.”
Get Lit – 7 Year Bitch
What a band name! The term “get lit” apparently means getting intoxicated, & I definitely feel like I’m intoxicated with fighting the patriarchy. It can also mean awesome, which this song is.
“Get out of hand
Get under foot
Get to the square root
Put a word to a feelin’
Let ’em know with whom they’re dealin’.”
Asking For It – Hole
There’s no doubt about the meaning of this song. It’s about society’s ridiculous reaction to a woman being raped – what did she expect, wearing that dress/being out that late/being that drunk? She was asking for it! Fuck this shit.
“Was she asking for it?
Was she asking nice?
If she was asking for it
Did she ask you twice?”
Just A Girl – No Doubt
I miss No Doubt. This song is about how women are treated like porcelain dolls by society, how we’re expected to just sit there and look pretty, churn out babies and be looked after by men. I’ve had it up to here with gender roles, too.
“‘Cause I’m just a girl, little ol’ me
Well don’t let me out of your sight
Oh, I’m just a girl, all pretty and petite
So don’t let me have any rights
Oh, I’ve had it up to here!”
So Weird – Veruca Salt
I love Veruca Salt. They’re one of my favourite bands right now. I take this song to be directed at men who act strangely towards women they barely know – cat-calling, wolf whistling, sexting. The song can be taken as quite light-hearted, but actually, this behaviour can freak women out, and be indicative of something more sinister.
“You don’t know me
You don’t own me
You’re just passing through my life
You’re a stranger
With bad behavior
You’re so weird I’m terrified.”
This list is just a small part of my Riot Grrrl playlist, which I listen to on my commute to and from work, gearing me up for a day of breaking glass ceilings & fighting for my rights. The world has turned upside down in recent months, with Trump becoming President of the US & attempting to ban Muslims and get rid of reproductive rights. As individuals, we can only do so much. We can march, we can protest, we can boycott. We can write about it, shout about it, sing about it. Sing loud & remember what you’re fighting for.
Which songs would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments below, & don’t forget to join in with Feminist February!