These 2000s Pop Songs Secretly Shaped Our Feminism

The era of oversized jeans and bandana tops is vastly approaching us (AGAIN). What better way to celebrate than to break down our favorite girl anthems?

As girls, we obviously know a good girl anthem when we hear one. The formula includes empowering your girls and saying no to fuckboys.

But what we don’t really think about is how these songs helped us shape today’s millennial feminism wave. Young girls soak up everything like a sponge, so naturally if we listen to songs that empower women, we will be more inclined to help a sister out rather than knock her when she’s down.

Because after all, girls rule and boys drool (over us, because they really do). Here is a list of 8 songs that in retrospect, probably subconsciously shaped feminism today.

1. Independent Woman – Destiny’s Child

What better way to start off this list than to start with the girl group legends Destiny’s Child?

While most of their songs have a message of girl empowerment, Independent Woman explains it all.

“The shoes on my feet, I bought it, The clothes I’m wearing, I bought it, The rock I’m rocking, I bought it, Cause I depend on me”, teach us the value of having our own money and not to depend on anyone else to buy us nice things. If you want it, go and get it yourself girl!

READ ALSO: The Women’s March Sparked a Long Overdue Convo About Feminism

2. Wannabe – Spice Girls

Okay everyone knows this song, EVERYONE. Even men sing this song to the top of their lungs in karaoke bars in NYC. This is the girls answer to “bros before h*es” because in the end, the love of your girls is the best.

3. No Scrubs – TLC

This song and group are one of the most iconic girl groups of all time. Blending hip hop/rap and R&B, they changed the game. On top of that each of their songs exudes feminism. No one wants a significant other who just sits on their ass and thinks they deserve the world. This song teaches us that we are worth more than that.

Don’t mistake this song as a gold digger’s anthem either, just because Chilli says “wanna get with me with no money, oh no.”  It’s much more than that because “if you can’t spatially expand my horizons, then that leaves you in a class with scrubs never risin'” — telling the boys that it takes much more than money to win our hearts, and minds. Women are a diamonds and need to be treated as such.

4. Ladies Night – Angie Martinez, Lil Kim, Left Eye, Missy Elliot & Da Brat

The Queens of female rap came together in 1997 to create the ultimate ladies rap anthem. Females in hip hop/rap in general never get the credit and shine they deserve. They created a beautiful song and video, showing that women don’t have to rap about sex to produce a good song.

5. Can’t Hold Us Down – Christina Aguilera ft. Lil Kim

With the opening lyrics “So what am I not supposed to have an opinion, Should I keep quiet just because I’m a women, 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” this song screams GIRL POWER.

When I was younger, of course I wasn’t supposed to listen to this song because it had the word b*tch in it, but I did anyway. I didn’t really understand the message when I was younger but listening to it now, I love it even more than I did back in 2002.

6. Cinderella – The Cheetah Girls

THIS SONG WAS MY JAM. But like really, nostalgic af. This was another song I used to sing at the top of my lungs in my mirror with a water bottle microphone.

As younger girls, most of us heard and loved the Disney princess stories such as Cinderella, that taught us that it was up to a man to save us and make us happy. We all know this ideology isn’t feminism but fall into it because ball gowns and glass pumps.

This song reminded our younger selves that we didn’t have to wait for a prince (or another princess) to come and save us because we could do that ourselves.

7. Bossy – Kelis

Yes sis, you are the boss AND you brought all the boys to the yard.

This song is for all the haters that think women can’t be their own bosses. It puts a sassy meaning to the otherwise negative undertone to the word “bossy.” Written by one of the baddest b*tches in the music industry, Kelis, this song truly describes a girl boss who has diamonds on her neck and on her grill.

8. Miss Independent – Kelly Clarkson

Is it me or does almost every video made in the early 2000s have that one clip of the stereo with the equalizer lights flashing with the bass?

Okay, that’s beside the point that this is the ultimate feminist’s love song. The lyrics show that you can still be independent and fall in love, with another feminist of course (male or female of course).


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