FEMINIST FRIDAY: Dua Lipa, Kesha, & Lady Gaga – Celebrating Our Fave Music Videos Of 2017

Welcome to another edition of Feminist Friday, that time of the week when we share a handful of our fave feminist videos with our readers. This edition is the final one for 2017 and instead of just sharing the usual 3 videos, we’re going out on a bang and listing our top 5 music videos by badass female performers from this year.

For many, 2017 started out on a somewhat dismal note with the inauguration of Donald Trump, but literally the day after at the Women’s March, which took place not just in Washington D.C, but in cities all across the United States and the globe, a movement was born that set the tone for the year of #resistance. One of the highlights of the march was seeing Los Angeles-based artist Milck gather with a group of women from around the country to perform her hit song ‘I Can’t Keep Quiet’.

The video of the women went viral, and late night host Samantha Bee invited Milck and vocal groups GW Sirens and Capital Blend to perform the goosebumps-inducing song on her show a week later. With lyrics like “I can’t keep quiet” and “a one woman riot” it was almost like a musical prophecy of what we would see from women throughout the rest of the year.

The second video is Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime performance. She began by singing ‘God Bless America’, and a rendition of Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land Is Your Land’, before stating, “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” from the pledge of allegiance. It was a clever move from an artist who has never shied away from being controversial. While appeasing many of viewers across the country tuning in for the nation’s most watched football event, the choice of introduction to her performance was also a reminder that America belongs to everyone, and everybody deserves justice and freedom, not just a few.

And of course she did not disappoint on stage with her hit songs like ‘Born This Way’, an ode to the LGBTQ community in which she is heavily invested, as evidenced by her Born This Way foundation. She was the perfect choice of performer at a time when our nation was poised for a tumultuous year in politics.

Described by V Magazine as “one of the most underrated feminist anthems of the year”, Grimes and Janelle Monae’s ‘Venus Fly’ is an intergalactic, electronic extravaganza, complete with exploding violins, ornate headdresses, and outfits fit for a futuristic queen.

The video and song, performed by two badass women in the music industry, is the kind of empowering aesthetic we hope to see more of. Music Videos are especially known as a medium where female artists have been objectified through the male gaze, so it sends an incredibly powerful message to fans to see two strong women write their own narrative in terms of the way they are portrayed – with autonomy, creativity and complexity. Check out ‘Venus Fly’ and be prepared to be mesmerized:

Dua Lipa’s ‘New Rules’ is basically the anthem we wish we had when we were teen girls. Her song is a visual reminder of the importance of sisterhood, especially during a break up.

“One, don’t pick up the phone, you know he’s only calling ’cause he’s drunk and alone. Two, don’t let him in, you have to kick him out again. Three, don’t be his friend, you know you’re gonna wake up in his bed in the morning. And if you’re under him you ain’t getting over him,” she sings.

If you’re looking for an empowering song to get you through a tough time (let’s be honest, 2017 was ROUGH for women’s rights on a number of fronts) or a break up (can we break up with the Trump administration via impeachment please?), play ‘New Rules’ on repeat.

Finally, Kesha’s ‘Praying’ rounds out our top 5 music video list for the year, an emotional ballad holding so much of her personal story in her lyrics and shockingly colorful visuals. The video was released after her very public and drawn-out sexual assault case against a former producer, as well as a stint in rehab. The struggles she faced would make for a deeper foundation in her music, and a newfound respect among many fans for her strength.

Just a few months later we would see the start of shocking revelations about sexual misconduct in Hollywood, the news media world, politics, tech, and more, fittingly giving victims and women a voice like never before. It was the year the matriarch rose up and roared with the kind of artistic, angry and powerful force in response to so much regression, as well as decades of inequality.

This moment in our culture is something we have been “praying” for, for a long time. As we look ahead to 2018 and what it may hold, our hope is that we will continue to see this uprising manifest itself in ways that empower so many women and minorities. It is our time to speak. But for now, let’s enjoy the music.


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