CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Ladies, you may not hear it enough, but you're fantastic. Really. You live in a culture where you're expected to act a certain way, look a certain way and be treated a certain way. There's always been an immense amount of pressure on women, and that's just a load of bull.
Celebrate Women's History Month by jamming out to these tunes that both celebrate and empower the female gender. By the time you're finished listening to these, I guarantee you'll be fired up enough to tackle any challenge you're facing.
In no particular order, here are 10 top songs of female empowerment:
"R-E-S-P-E-C-T/Find out what it means to me/R-E-S-P-E-C-T/Take care, TCB!"
Everyone's heard this song. It's the go-to girl power anthem for a reason.
When Aretha covered Otis Redding's song, she completely changed the meaning of it. Originally a song about a man asking for his due respect from his girl, Aretha made it into a testimony for women everywhere asking for a little respect. Sock it to me!
"The shoes on my feet? I've bought it/The clothes I'm wearin'? I've bought it/The rock I'm rockin'? I've bought it/Cause I depend on me."
Like the film itself, this theme from 2000's "Charlie's Angels" really brings the girl power. The message? Girls don't need to rely on anyone else in order to make it in life.
"You must not know 'bout me/You must not know 'bout me/I could have another you in a minute/Matter fact he'll be here in a minute, baby."
Society likes to present women as things men can easily dispose of, but Queen Bee fires back at that philosophy with this hit. Fellas, be warned; you are, by no means, irreplaceable.
"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."
Beyoncé has another girl anthem on her hands with this hit song, suggesting that women are the ones who run the world. In an aggressive tone she sings, "See, you better not play me/Don't come here baby/Hope you still like me/If you pay me!"
But she's quick to turn it around and highlight the power of a woman's sexuality, singing in a sensual voice, "My persuasion can build a nation/Endless power, the love we can devour/You'll do anything for me."
"The best thing about being a woman/Is the prerogative to have a little fun."
Shania Twain's fun country pop song is all about girls enjoying themselves and letting loose from the pressure of society and men.
"If you look back in history/It's a common double standard of society/The guy gets all the glory the more he can score/While the girl can do the same and yet you call her a whore/I don't understand why it's OK/The guy can get away with it and the girl gets named."
Christina and Lil' Kim are quick to point out the flaws in a society dominated by men that likes to restrict and repress women. The entire song points out logical fallacies and is a great anthem about women sticking up for themselves in a misogynistic world: "So what am I not supposed to have an opinion/Should I be quiet just because I'm a woman/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."
"I'm not here for your entertainment/You don't really wanna mess with me tonight/Just stop and take a second/I was fine before you walked into my life."
Pink has A LOT of empowering songs, but "U Ur Hand" is one of the best. Her sendup of the notion that women are constantly looking for someone provides both a great dance beat and a great message: women actually like to go out and have fun without being bothered by someone who's trying way too had to impress them. (Harassment is bad. Who knew?)
"You deserve the best in life/So if the time isn't right then move on/Second best is never enough/You'll do much better baby on your own."
Madonna's hit about female empowerment encourages girls to either be with someone who treats them right or be by themselves. Don't go for second best, baby.
"Convinced me to please you/Made me think that I need this too/I'm trying to let you hear me as I am."
While the song was actually written in regards to Bareilles' record label insisting she write a love song that could be marketed, it doesn't lessen the impact of the lyrics about a woman who won't do something she's not comfortable with just because she's being threatened with being dumped: "If all you have is leavin'/I'm gonna need a better reason/To write you a love song today."
"Nobody knows that she's a lonely girl/And it's a lonely world/But she gonna let it burn baby, burn baby/This girl is on fire."
The most recent entry on the list, Keys' song about facing the harsh realities of the world and tackling them head on is a great song that fuels the flames of independence and ambition.
Disagree with the list? Have another song that you think is more empowering? Post your top female empowerment songs below!