5 Rock Songs That Could be Anthems for Women

Rock music has long been a male-dominated genre. Across decades, artists ranging from Jimi Hendrix to Ozzy Osbourne and everyone in between have laid their claim on the ever-evolving genre. However, there are countless female artists who have made an equal impact, including Joan Jett, Tina Turner, Stevie Nicks, and Janis Joplin. Along the way, they’ve released songs that double as female empowerment anthems. Check some of them out below.

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5. “I’m Not an Angel” by Halestorm

As one of the few female-fronted rock bands, Halestorm provides plenty of angst and power through their music. Lead singer and songwriter Lzzy Hale is blatant with “I’m Not an Angel,” taking no prisoners as she asserts in the chorus: Can’t help myself / From hurting you when it’s hurting me / I don’t have wings / To fly with me won’t be easy / ‘Cause I’m not an angel. Hale has never shied away from blending her hard rock persona with femininity, and “I’m Not an Angel” proves this.

4. “Gypsy” by Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac has many memorable songs. But one that flies under the radar against their blockbuster hits is “Gypsy.” Penned solely by Stevie Nicks, the song explores how life was simpler before the band found megastardom in the 1970s. Released in 1982, the detailed lyrics find Nicks reconnecting with her free-spirited nature, making for a poignant number that touches the hearts of listeners. Though not written specifically as a female empowerment anthem, the song certainly lends itself to that description with such lyrics as: To the gypsy that remains / Her face says freedom / With a little fear / I have no fear / Have only love.

[RELATED: 5 Classic Rock Songs That Became Anthems of Empowerment]

3. “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett

One of the many artists who paved the way for women in rock music is Joan Jett. Among her many hits is “Bad Reputation,” a fiery anthem about not being ashamed of how others perceive you. It’s one of the most prominent examples of a female empowerment song in classic rock, particularly as she wails: A girl can do what she wants to do and that’s what I’m gonna do / An’ I don’t give a damn ’bout my bad reputation. Jett is a badass, and “Bad Reputation” only solidifies her legacy as a rock icon and trailblazer for women.

2. “Shout Sister Shout” by Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Like Big Mama Thorton, Sister Rosetta Tharpe also had a massive impact on rock and roll. One of her most famous songs is “Shout Sister Shout.” The title alone is empowering, with the lyrics only supporting this theme. There’s a reason for living / A reason for dying / A darned good reason why a woman starts crying…But there ain’t no reason why a man’s so simple…But the day you quit me, brother, that’s the day you lose your life, are just some of the powerful statements the Godmother of Rock and Roll shouts in this female empowerment anthem that’s just as memorable today as it was upon its release in 1942.

1. “Stop A Hoppin’ On Me” by Big Mama Thornton

Big Mama Thornton is widely known for her original 1953 version of “Hound Dog,” a blistering, slithering takedown of a no-good man, which was released three years before Elvis Presley turned it into one of his signature hits. While that certainly classifies as an empowering female anthem, “Stop A Hoppin’ on Me” is perhaps a stronger example. Released in 1954, the song was lyrically ahead of its time as the blues-rocker tells off her critics. You talk about my dress and my brand new hat / Said my head was big and all the way too fat / Said my legs were bow and my feets were flat / Stop a-hoppin’ on me, she proclaims in this bold blues number.

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