This Is What Makes Us Girls - Lana Del Rey
I can't find the album version anywhere I can post for you, but this is still a pretty awesome version of Lana Del Rey, "This Is What Makes Us Girls."
I love this song for a bunch of reasons, but mostly because it reminds of this quote by Evelyn Cunningham: "Women are the only oppressed group in our society that lives in intimate association with their oppressors."
This is not to say that any one man in particular is the oppressor (though some are), so much as all of them are, to some degree, the unintentional (at at times entirely ignorant) beneficents of the things that are routinely taken as for granted as to be their purview, and to challenge that paradigm is to be at war. As women, our loving relationships with the boys and men in our lives, and even our fairy tale fed aspirations for that kind of life, often separate us from other women whom we come to see as taking from our coupled-units/the men we love, instead of seeing the shakes and quakes of change not as a threat to 'our' men, but rather a threat to the systematic dominance of women.
This is what makes us girls:
We all look for heaven and we put our love first.
Somethin' that we'd die for, it's our curse.
Don't cry about it; don't cry about it.
This is what makes us girls:
We don't stick together 'cause we put our love first.
Don't cry about him; don't cry about him.
It's all gonna happen.
If I Were a Boy - Beyoncé Knowles
Released as the b-side for the hit single, "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)," "If I were a Boy," was written by BC Jean, and is the only song on I Am...Sasha Fierce that isn't written in any part by Beyoncé. The videos were released simultaneously. Though very low production, the "Single Ladies" video became iconic. The Video for "If I Were a Boy," fell by the wayside in the wake of the "Single Ladies" success, though Knowles acknowledges putting more time and money into the latter in interviews. I think the song/video is an incredible commentary, particularly visually, of the kinds of behaviors that seem normal for men but would seem off-putting and inappropriate for a woman. It allows us to look at the behavior and see in a vacuum, that is inappropriate regardless of the sex/gender expression of the person in that role.
One Girl Revolution - Saving Jane
Yeah, I love this song. This video is a live-performance, which I find particularly powerful.
"Raise your hand if your lipstick
doesn't make you a dumb chick.
Raise your hand if the shape of your hips
Don't compare to the shape of your mind...
I'm here to start a one girl revolution.
I'm not a barbie doll, shopping mall, silicone substitution.
I thought I told ya: I'm a soldier
and I'm not leaving til the battle's over.
One girl revolution."
Stronger Woman - Jewel
This is from one of Jewel's later albums, but proves that even as a pseudo-country rocker, she still has interesting things to say. I like the imagery in this, the official video, (though I'll be the first to admit that the obvious effort to be multicultural may not land in the positive ways I think Jewel was hoping for) particularly the locks on the corset.
No Man's Woman - Sinead O'Connor
"Women are the only exploited group in history