The Evolution of Female Masturbation in Pop Music

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If you still remember Hailee Steinfeld as a 14-year-old girl who rocked twinned braids and got an Oscar nomination for True Grit, prepare yourself for her transformation. The now-legal adult recently released a music video for her first single, “Love Myself,” and it’s packed with some serious sass. While the song ostensibly centers around building self-esteem and […]

8 Period Anthems for Surviving “The Curse”

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The next time you’re curled up in a ball, holding a heating pad in one hand and a milkshake in the other while a wolverine ravages your uterus, don’t resign yourself to watching Nicholas Sparks movies for the week. Menstruation is no reason to feel bad about yourself, so cheer up with this Ms. Blog playlist […]

The Feminist Power of Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé’s “Feeling Myself”

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As many of you may know by now, neither the “Feeling Myself” music video nor the unapologetic celebration of voluptuousity that was the “Anaconda” music video were nominated for best video of the year at the MTV Video Music Awards. Nicki Minaj took to Twitter after the snub, calling out the music industry for routinely ignoring […]

Rihanna Unchained

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I must confess that Rihanna is a guilty pleasure of mine. While pop stars like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift have claimed feminist identities, Rihanna refuses to toe political lines, rejects respectability politics, and unabashedly engages in bad behavior. Our society expects oh-so-high standards for women and people of color who must self-present as “role models.” Rihanna is having none […]

The Ultimate Feminist Summer Mixtape

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It’s officially summer! In the spirit of the season, we would like to kick off with a feel-good mixtape of feminist summer hits to help you celebrate (or escape) the inevitable sizzle. Whether you’re beach-bound and driving along with some grrrl rock jams, having a dance party under the stars to dreamy neo-soul, or looking to cool down in […]

Our Dream Feminist Coachella Lineup

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With this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival—and its rampant cultural appropriation (ahem festival garb)—behind us for now, we’ve put together our dream feminist Coachella lineup featuring a handful of artists who have either claimed their feminism, sung about it, proudly rallied for it or unapologetically lived it. Here’s hoping a fem-fest of this size […]

Lesley Gore and Her Feminist Anthems

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One of the treasured women of pop music died on Monday: Lesley Gore. A hitmaker at the age of 16 with the indelible “It’s My Party,” she followed that up with what she called “the first truly bitchy song,” “Judy’s Turn to Cry,” and then with one of the first and greatest proto-feminist anthems, “You […]

The Politics of Sia’s Face

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In the megawatt haze of the recording industry’s biggest night, we tend to gravitate towards the most shocking, eccentric or bizarre displays of showmanship. So it should come as no surprise that eyebrows were raised by singer/songwriter Sia’s three-foot platinum wig, which obscured her face on the Grammy red carpet. Later, to perform her hit song […]

At the Grammys, Domestic Violence is Cause Célèbre, But Black Women Rappers Are Uncelebrated

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Leading up to last night’s Grammy Awards, controversy centered on what a victory for the white, Australia-born rapper Iggy Azalea would signify, as she would have been the first solo woman artist to collect the Best Rap Album award. Assessments of Azalea’s authenticity (her “blaccent” works with an on/off switch—she speaks differently than she raps) […]

A Feminist Ode to Bobbie Gentry

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It was the 3rd of June, another sleepy dusty delta day I was out choppin’ cotton and my brother was balin’ hay … In the summer of 1967, there wasn’t anyone listening to AM radio who wasn’t familiar with these opening lines to the #1 hit record “Ode to Billie Joe.” Sung by long-dark-haired Bobbie […]