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10 Songs To Let Out Your Inner Female Rage

From metal tracks about sexual assault to slower anthems surrounding female agency, these are some of the best songs about female rage to scream your heart out to.

Cover art for the single. A green background with small decorations (smiley faces and stars). Hell is A Teenage Girl is displayed in mismatched letters, with a girl with wings and a chainsaw.
Credit: Hannah Grae / Spotify

Female rage has been aptly described by Sylvia Plath – because, of course, it has. “A female is always in danger of assault and battery. My consuming interest in men and their lives is often misconstructed as a desire to seduce them.”

It’s more than just a woman being angry. It’s about all the ugly rage suppressed in favor of being beautiful and tolerable. Anger that was once deemed nothing more than mere hysteria. It’s anger because you have to be digestible. You have to be, above all else, liked. We’ve seen it in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, and we’ve seen it countless times in music.

Women are obsessed with it – and for good reason! Long gone is the world where men with their violent ideals, can run everything.

This list breaks down some of my favorite songs centering around female rage, written by a variety of non-male artists.

1) Lemons – Brye

‘You’re a sour little boy / With a fragile masculinity’

Single cover for Lemons - a purple background with a lemon on it, with pins sticking out
Credit: Brye / Spotify

Brye (pronounced ‘Bree’) is one of those artists in which you could choose almost anything they’ve written – but 2020’s ‘Lemons,’ her most popular song, embodies the rage felt in the aftermath of a toxic relationship. In the background is a rich, poppy synth that goes lovely against her quiet vocals, akin to Billie Eilish.

Cavetown’s feature adds another element to it as it gives insight into the male perspective – “Can’t process my feelings / gonna circle the drain / so now tonight I’m gonna ruin your life” – as it emphasizes how damaging toxic masculinity can be to both parties.

Almost every woman on Earth is familiar with these types of men, those who throw temper tantrums when they don’t get what they want. It’s a fantastic introduction to her music, which consistently explores living as a woman in a patriarchal society, and her debut album Recover further embodies the idea of female rage, with singles such as ‘Diet Culture’ further criticizing our deeply patriarchal society.

2) Pink Push-Up Bra – Scene Queen

‘Boys will be boys / It’s always someone you know’

Cover art for Pink Push-Up Bra. Scene Queen is lying on a purple bedspread, with a pink dress and pointing guns towards the camera. The title of the song is on the lower right in green bubble writing.
Credit: Scene Queen / Spotify

Scene Queen is a legend of the punk-rock scene, and her voice is a refreshing contribution to a succinctly male scene. This year’s ’18+’ is an excellent example of how her songs embody female rage, but ‘Pink Push-Up Bra’ also does this wonderfully. “If I could go back in time / I’d put a gun in my bra / point it straight at your brain / ask if you’d like what you saw,” illustrating powerfully the impact of sexual assault and the anger directed at a world that allows it to continue happening – “1 in 6 / that shit makes me sick!”.

It’s a lot heavier than the majority of the songs on this list, and she is certainly one for screaming her feelings. Out of all of these, it’s the one I’d most like to see live because screaming, “boys will be boys / but girls piss on your graves,” would allow my soul to ascend.

3) Feminist Radical Hypocritical Delusional – Crawlers

‘Why even leave my bed when I look like that?’

Cover art for the song - A black background with each of the four members in pale yellow boxes. The band name is in the background and the EP title, 'Loud Without Noise' is displayed across the four boxes in white font.
Credit: Crawlers / Spotify

Not all of the songs on this list are directed towards relationships and heartbreak, and FRHD is a perfect example of a song that demonstrates the rage felt when causes for human rights are consistently dismissed and branded as “woke.”

As the title (and the entirety of their discography) suggests, ‘Crawlers’ are one for pushing the change of the status quo. Lyricist Holly Minto explores the intersectionality between the working class and feminism against a heavy backing track full of the rock talent of their bandmates – sweeping guitar and pounding drums are staples of their music.

“They want it / they get it / it’s yours / so have it!” highlights the distinct anger towards rich white men who feel as though they rule the world and know everything, also embodied through “you’re not a rich white man / so you might as well retire.”

The band’s northern roots made this track genuine and amazing to scream at the top of your lungs. It perfectly demonstrates this theme and encapsulates the anger from Gen-Z towards the older generations who have consistently failed to acknowledge and address the systemic problems they have enabled.

4) Hell Is A Teenage Girl – Hannah Grae

‘All rise, girls with the pink jackets / All sigh, the boss is back at it’

Cover art for the single. A green background with small decorations (smiley faces and stars). Hell is A Teenage Girl is displayed in mismatched letters, with a girl with wings and a chainsaw.
Credit: Hannah Grae / Spotify

‘Hell Is A Teenage Girl’ is the title track of Hannah Grae’s first album, and every single song on said album is criminally underrated. This track, in particular, has a creepy, carnival-like sound as she eerily sings about following a girl into the bathroom and lamenting about her evil ways – “she’s so concerned now with her lipstick shade / I think the red color covers her shame.” Whilst some people may view this as anti-woman, it may be better to view the project as a whole.

This album tells the story of someone who other women have shunned and yet acknowledges the deeply entrenched patriarchal society that allows women to pit themselves against each other. As the title suggests, her writing presents a girl who is bitter and angry at the world around her, at girls being dismissed and being viewed merely as an object.

5) All American Bitch – Olivia Rodrigo

‘I know my age and I act like it’

Album cover for GUTS, Olivia Rodrigo in a black top on a purple background. Each ring on her finger reads out GUTS.
Credit: Olivia Rodrigo / Spotify

‘All American Bitch’ is great because it highlights the inherent contradictions of being a woman (“I am light as a feather / and as stiff as a board”) and how all of these are present within the American Dream.

Transitioning elegantly from the gentle picking of guitar strings to the heavier sounds of the chorus, it perfectly demonstrates the anger of a woman forced into a box she doesn’t belong in. Her entire album screams feminine rage, but this track in particular has that sarcastic edge that makes her so popular amongst her Gen-Z audience.

Her recent SNL performance not only highlights this but also the sugary sweetness that is expected from teenage girls. The way that she switches between fake nicety and chaos is something that resonates with the female experience, and GUTS perfectly encapsulates this.

6) You Don’t Owe Me – Pale Waves

‘A pretty face like yours / Should really learn to smile more’

Cover art for Pale Wave's album 'Who am I?'. Heather Baron Gracie stands in the forefront of a corridor, with her bandmates mid-step behind her.
Credit: Pale Waves / Spotify

Pale Waves is fronted by queer superwoman Heather Baron Gracie, who often uses her lyrics as a method of expressing such. Full of the typical cliches of the expectations of women – long hair, smiling, being quiet, crossing legs, they are set up only for Baron Gracie to tear it down with her iconic sardonic delivery. In your face and not at all subtle, she refuses to stand down and be what men demand her to be.

The chorus has a sharp guitar riff as she sings words that sound almost threatening. “I’ll be your biggest mistake / if you keep acting that way.” It perfectly summarises the self-assuring tone of Who Am I?, and remains to be a fantastic feminist anthem that well and truly deserves its spot on this list.

7) $20 – Boygenius

‘It’s a bad idea / And I’m all about it.’

The cover art for 'The Record'. Each member of the band's hands are in front of a blue background, reaching towards the sky.
Credit: Boygenius / Spotify

There’s not much to be said about Boygenius that’s not already been said. Everything from the inspiration behind their songs to their on-stage antics, and for good reason. The indie supergroup is a power trio that represent queerness, femininity and pure rage.

$20 is chaotic – with scattered harmonies and a thoroughbred punk sound that sees Julien Baker take the lead, with Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus taking the harmonies. At the end of the song, overlapping vocals and Bridgers’ passionate screaming emphasize the angry tone: “I know / you have / twenty dollars!” In the background, Dacus sings, “Take a break, make your escape.”

Wanting to escape and life a new life is an almost universal human experience, and the cacophony of voices expressing the multiple desires of the narrator perfectly exemplifies what it is to be a woman. It’s reckless and daring – they’re alive, but they’re still trying to have fun. If you’ve not listened to The Record yet, then, respectfully, get on it ASAP.

8) I Did Something Bad – Taylor Swift

‘I can feel the flames on my skin’

Cover art for Taylor Swift's 'Reputation.' She's displayed in front of a background with various newspapers headlines about her, The entire image is in black and white.
Credit: Taylor Swift / Spotify

A list like this could not be made without Taylor Swift. Reputation is a powerhouse of female anger; any song could be put on this list. This track specifically has been described as being in the style of 1990s grunge, making it a distinct change of sound from her previous album, 1989.

With thunderous stomps and a resounding beat, it provides the perfect soundtrack for her infamous revenge songwriting. It mocks the media’s perception of her, writing from this perspective as though she’s nothing more than a spiteful, vengeful witch. “I can feel the flames on my skin” – making explicit reference to the historic act of witch-burning.

Her fury is also highlighted by the reference to Kanye West in the first verse, calling him a “narcissist,” written after his claims that he was the one who made her a household name.

9) Ignorance – Paramore

‘It’s a circle, a mean cycle / I can’t excite you anymore’

Album cover for Paramore's album 'Brand New Eyes.' A butterfly is on a cream background with the band name and album title in the top right hand corner.
Credit: Paramore / Spotify

Hayley Williams. That’s it, that’s the reasoning.

Jokes aside, Paramore is one of the greatest bands of this generation. Williams herself has claimed that this track, the second one on their third album Brand New Eyes, is the reason the band are still together. Taking it from this perspective, it’s a song aimed at her fellow bandmates and the discord between them during this era.

As the only woman in the band, she’s stating that the rest don’t have any right to judge her and that she has the right to be her authentic self. (“Where’s your gavel? Your jury? / What’s my offense this time?”). Paramore is excellent because, despite this clear rage, the song is still fun, and the band does not allow any disconnection between them to get in the way of crafting a fantastic song.

10) I Am Not A Woman, I’m A God – Halsey

‘I am not a martyr, I’m a problem’

Album cover for Halsey's album 'If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power.' She sits on a golden throne with a grey dress and a baby on one knee.
Credit: Halsey / Spotify

In the lead single for their 2021 album If I Can’t Have Love I Want Power, Halsey balances her desire for self-worship with her own self-doubt. The music itself is dramatic and quick, beginning with spoken word – “I am not a woman, I’m a God / I am not a martyr, I’m a problem.” This opening segment balances her womanhood with divinity, expressing both power and her own limitations.

The album as a whole was written whilst she was pregnant and explores concepts of motherhood, sex, and the very idea of being a woman. The dichotomy between being seen as pure and godly and also a whore has been explored by many, and this track opens up the album’s thematic core to transform into a true power anthem. It’s loud, it’s full of philosophical meditations, and it’s very, very angry. It’s magnificent.

Of course, this list is not at all summative of all the amazing feminist anthems out there. There are so many female artists who cover this topic expertly, and if you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments! (My playlists ALWAYS need expanding!)

Written By

2nd year English Lit student, editor for TrillMag and completely obsessed with music.

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