Defining what makes a good song a feminist anthem is impossible – and there are countless life-saving candidates to choose from. Here’s a list of songs that have made it their business to joyfully and defiantly amplify certain aspects of women’s experiences.
Regardless of the artist’s intention, thousands, perhaps millions, of women have found something to identify with in these lyrics – and in turn an outlet for their own experiences. Remarkably too, hearing these lyrics might have been the first time that others, regardless of gender, could walk for a few minutes in other women’s shoes.
UN VIOLADOR EN TU CAMINO (A Rapist in Your Path) – Las Tesis Collective
One of the most widespread of feminist anthems in modern history took root this year. When Las Tesis, a small, little-known feminist collective from Chile, set out to capture the unseen violence of their government’s inaction against widespread rape, little did they know how well they had captured a sentiment that was to resonate globally.
As videos of the group’s performance started going viral at the end of 2019, thousands of women gathered in cities across the globe to sing and dance, denouncing the same set of circumstances in their home countries; some were met with police force while performing the song. The song’s title is a play on an old Chilean slogan portraying the police as “the friend in your path”, but instead, the song describes police officers as themselves being violent, and even enabling sexual violence by failing to act against it.
Lyrics highlight: “And the fault wasn’t mine, or where I was or what I wore – the rapist is you.”