Kesha wastes no time getting started on her powerful, feminist catharsis. The music video begins with very country-esque lyrics of “I wanna be your baby / your angel all in black / Your little blue eyed gypsy,” but Kesha hilariously and empoweringly yells “Okay shut up,” which is when the real track begins.
Without hesitation, the poppy beat kicks in and she confidently sings “I buy my own things, I pay my own bills” as a kickass way to shut up anyone who claims women need men to support them. With the same prowess, she sings “Boys can’t buy my love, buy my love, yeah” to reinforce the *radical* fact that women are not objects to be won over with flowers and chocolates. You can “say what you say,” but the truth is Kesha “works real hard every day” and has earned her money and fanbase herself. The argument that her infamous court cases over the past few years were just for publicity are illogical. She later solidifies this point by saying ‘”cause I run my shit, baby” and “I write my shit” to dispell the claim that she is not dependent on any lame producer, or anyone in general. As the song kicks into the Chorus, some of my favorite lyrics begin to make their debut.
I’m a motherfucking woman, baby, alright
I don’t need a man to be holding me too tight
The message is self-explanatory: stop telling women they need men to be successful. Because after all, Kesha viewed these men as holding onto her “too tight” because they were limiting her creative liberation and holding her back. From the vibe of the music to the lyrics, this song is so free and unrestrained… which was Kesha’s exact intent. In her letter published by Rolling Stone Kesha said “I hope my fans will hear that wild spirit still strong inside me but this time it was created more raw, spontaneously and with all live instrumentation.”
Kesha is keen on empowering other women, as well. She sings “I’m just having fun with my ladies here tonight” and “girls in the front, boys in the back” as they take over Oddity Bar in the video Kesha co-directed herself. Kesha wants her lyrics to transcend her personal situation and inspire all listeners to be awesome, independent “motherfucker[s].” Kesha explained later in that letter that she “was really feeling that conviction one particular day while [she] was stuck in traffic on [her] way to the studio and out of nowhere [she] felt the urge to scream, ‘I’m a motherfucking woman.'” She continues that she “just feels the strength and awesomeness and power of being female,” and “Woman” is the best way to share that with the world.
The Bridge of the song is probably the most telling part with Kesha criticizing some of the microaggressions she and other women face on a daily basis: “Don’t buy me a drink, I make my money / Don’t touch my weave, don’t call me honey.” Stop treating women as dehumanized objects. They aren’t yours to “win over” with unwanted drinks, aren’t yours to touch with unwanted advances, and aren’t yours to belittle with unwanted nicknames. Kesha and the rest of the women in the world are killing it by themselves; they don’t need men to limit them and hold onto them “too tight.” Instead, as Kesha talks about, everyone should support feminism: “It was such a beautiful experience to write such a strong female empowerment song with two men, Drew Pearson and Stephen Wrabel because it reinforces how supportive men can be of women AND feminism.”