25 of Music’s Most Misandrist Anthems


Yesterday, we brought you a playlist of 25 of the most misogynistic songs in music’s long history of misogynistic songs. It seems only fair that we pair it with a playlist of 25 misandrist anthems, but the truth is, the tone is totally different. When men bash women (intentionally or inadvertently), it can easily seem like an unnecessary declaration of further disrespect to womankind. When women hate men, it can feel like they’re fighting the patriarchy following thousands of years of oppression. As Kathleen Hanna declares on Bikini Kill’s “White Boy,” “I’m so sorry if I’m alienating some of you/ Your whole fucking culture alienates me.”

This isn’t to say women don’t go all #banmen (#yesallmen) for a number of different reasons that don’t call out the patriarchy directly. Revenge for sexual abuse and cheating is a common form of misandry within country music and R&B. Riot Grrrl, however, is all about calling out the general injustices towards women within a male-dominated scene. Sometimes the language is extreme, and that’s part of what qualifies these songs as misandrist anthems instead of mere female empowerment tracks — a line Beyoncé walks from time to time. — Jillian Mapes

Sleater-Kinney — “A Real Man” (1995)

Particularly in the earlier part of their career, Sleater-Kinney offered up several all-time misandry classics. “A Real Man” is perhaps their most pointed critique of men, with Corin Tucker snarling about neither wanting to join the boys’ club nor have sex with its members. — JM

TLC — “No Scrubs” (1999)

The ultimate ’90s no-man jam, No Scrubs is the kind of fully assured anthem only a group like TLC could’ve created. The first lines are essentially a mission statement: “A scrub is a guy that think he’s fine and is/ Also known as a buster/ Always talking about what he wants/ And just sits on his broke ass.” And Left Eye’s verse? Nearly inscrutable enough so as to not be understood by any of the scrubs it was talking to, which is probably appropriate. — Shane Barnes

Beyoncé — “Run The World (Girls)” (2011)

By now the world knows that Beyoncé is a proud feminist, but when she released “Run the World (Girls)” back in 2011, her views were less well known. Bey’s sang about female empowerment throughout her career, from Destiny’s Child’s “Independent Women” suite to “If I Were a Boy” (also on this list), but rarely has she snapped back at the role of men in the equation. She plays with it here using lines like, “Hope you still like me/ Eff you pay me.” — JM

No Doubt — “Just a Girl” (1995)

Tragic Kingdom single “Just a Girl” helped introduced No Doubt to the world in a bold way that suggested the band’s female singer would not accept stereotyping as some pretty face. Gwen Stefani’s voice was pointed yet nuanced: “I’m just a girl, that’s all that you’ll let me be” — but she’s “had it up to here.” — JM

Tori Amos — “These Precious Things” (1992)

Tori Amos has written time and time again about her complicated feelings towards men, in light of her history of sexual abuse. This comes to a head on her all-time classic LP, Little Earthquakes. Among all the poignant lyrics about female violation and sexuality heard on Little Earthquakes, the following line from “These Precious Things” has to be the most powerful: “I wanna smash the faces/ Of those beautiful boys/ Those Christian boys/ So you can make me cum?/ That doesn’t make you Jesus.” If you are a woman and you don’t feel anything while listening to “These Precious Things,” I’m mildly concerned for you. — JM

Janet Jackson — “Control” (1986)

It’s in the title, really. “Control” is all about Janet regaining control — of her life, of her image, and of her music. This is basically Janet’s coming out song after divorcing her husband and firing her father as her manager. “When I was 17 I did/ What people told me/ Did what my father said/ And let my mother mold me/ But that was a long ago/ I’m in control — never gonna stop.” And the ensuing album, Control, was one of the best she’s made. — SB

Robyn — “Konichiwa Bitches” (2005)

In contrast to the matter-of-factness of some of these lyrics, Robyn’s reinvention anthem is full of outlandish imagery — “You wanna rumble in my jungle?/ I’ll take you on/ Stampede your rumpa/ And send you home.” The message is the same, though — she is not a girl to be controlled or tied down. Or, as Robyn herself put it in a later single: “Don’t fucking tell me what to do.” — Tom Hawking

Bikini Kill — “White Boy” (1993)

Bikini Kill’s discography could be considered one big ode to the misandrist punk anthem, but “White Boy” nails the misandry thesis statement: “I’m so sorry if I’m alienating some of you/ Your whole fucking culture alienates me.” — JM

Dixie Chicks — “Goodbye Earl” (1999)

In case you forgot the plot of “Goodbye Earl,” allow me to remind you: lady besties Mary Anne and Wanda joyfully kill Earl, Mary Anne’s abusive son-of-a-bitch husband, and live happily ever after selling jam at their own roadside stand. THE END. — JM

Bis — “Kill Yr Boyfriend” (1996)

The misandrist call to action is right there in the title, but it’s not just wanton man-hating — this deceptively jaunty two minutes of indie pop beseeches a woman to bump off a boyfriend who isn’t just “easily angered and crap in bed” but also “a heartless swine/ Beating you all the time.” The awful paramour gets to state his own lame case in the final verse (“Maybe you’re not so hot yourself/ I’m gonna put you back on the shelf/ I’m gonna kill my girlfriend”), but thankfully Manda Rin still gets the last word. — Judy Berman

Nicki Minaj — “Lookin Ass” (2014)

Nicki’s Pink Friday featured no shortage of lady power anthems (“I’m the Best,” “I Am Your Leader”), but 2014 one-off “Lookin Ass” crossed over from female empowerment to male haterade. Minaj cuts ’em down for myriad reasons: their gaze, their lying, their utter wackness, their nerve to step to her, their mere existence in her queendom. — JM

Aerosmith — “Janie’s Got a Gun” (1989)

You might not expect a misandry anthem to come from Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, but the “straight from the headlines” tone of “Janie’s Got a Gun” makes it seem like a better fit in Aerosmith’s discography (they’re not exactly known for activist rock, after all). The story is simple: Janie murdered her father after he sexually abused her. “Man he had it coming”: talk about an understatement. — JM

Carrie Underwood — “Before He Cheats” (2005)

From Martina McBride and the Dixie Chicks to Carrie Underwood and proud gun owner Miranda Lambert, there’s no shortage of modern mainstream country songs that portray women as fierce defenders of their own honor. Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” is a classic in this genre, vividly detailing one women’s quest for revenge and ultimately, respect from her two-timing boyfriend. Not only that, she hits him where it hurts: his car. — JM

Blu Cantrell — “Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops!)” (2001)

Blu Cantrell’s first and biggest single to date details a clever revenge plot that elevates the car-smashing plans later laid out by Jazmine Sullivan and Carrie Underwood. Taking a bat to glass is no match for emptying out a cheating man’s bank account. The “oops!” kind of takes it over the edge for me, because there is no way in hell this kind of hatred could be construed as a mistake. — JM

Kelis — “Caught Out There” (1999)

Kelis may be best known as “Bossy” and even a little cocky (see: “Mlikshake”), but on “Caught Out There,” she’s straight-up pissed about her cheating man. As in, “I HATE YOU SO MUCH RIGHT NOW!!!!11!1!” levels of anger. It came to light years later that Kelis’ ex-hubby Nas stepped out on her with another woman, so the palpable rage and specificity makes sense. — JM

Bratmobile — “Gimme Brains” (2000)

Bratmobile’s prime coincided with Riot Grrrl’s mid-’90s pinnacle, but this song off the band’s 2000 comeback LP, Ladies, Women and Girls, stands as one of their all-time best. Another absurd plot, this one revolving around eating male brains for both breakfast and lunch. In case the message wasn’t clear enough, there are lines like this: “A boy is good for nothing, can’t give you things.” — JM

Lesley Gore — “You Don’t Own Me” (1963)

One of the earliest and best “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me” lyrics. Gore’s declaration that she’s not anyone’s possession gets straight down to business: “You don’t own me/ I’m not just one of your many toys/ You don’t own me/ Don’t say I can’t go with other boys/ And don’t tell me what to do/ Don’t tell me what to say/ And please, when I go out with you/ Don’t put me on display, ’cause/ You don’t own me.” It’s sad that over half a century later, her lyric is just as relevant and relatable as it ever was. — TH

Beyoncé — “If I Were a Boy” (2008)

Simmering Sasha Fierce ballad “If I Were a Boy” isn’t so much man-hating as it is frustrated with the disrespectful behavior men get away with that women could not. Bey flips the gender roles, and ultimately works herself up into a restrained bitterness over how she was wronged in such a stereotypically male way. — JM

Ani DiFranco — “Untouchable Face” (1996)

There’s a distinct bitterness here, a feeling that the object of DiFranco’s opprobrium is all the more frustrating for not being a monster — after all, betrayal and abandonment is all the more galling when it comes from someone who you thought wasn’t an asshole. There’s a sort of oscillation between the verses and choruses that echoes the way your feelings for someone who’s fucked you over can veer wildly from love to hate, and the latter explodes when DiFranco sings, “Fuck you, and your untouchable face/ And fuck you for existing in the first place/ And who am I, that i should be vying for your touch?/ And who am I/ I bet you can’t even tell me that much.” — TH

Jazmine Sullivan — “Bust Your Windows” (2008)

Similar to Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats,” Sullivan’s dramatic R&B hit details an infidelity revenge plot involving a man’s vehicle (no euphemism). The best part is how her rage turns to glee, as she chuckles and declares that she “deserves to smile”… but fucking up her boyfriend’s car. — JM

7 Year Bitch — “Dead Men Don’t Rape” (1992)

The title says everything you need to know about why this song is on this list. — JM

Riskay — “Smell Yo Dick” (2008)

Look, everyone knows this song because of its, um, novel way of detecting infidelity — but then, you don’t have to smell yo man’s dick if he’s not a dirty lying cheating scumbag who goes around getting it on with strippers while his girl’s sitting at home wondering where he is. And no, “I might break bread with one or two strippers/ But that don’t mean you gotta pull my zipper” isn’t gonna fly as an excuse, either. — TH

Heart — “Barracuda” (1977)

The barracuda is, of course, a voracious and unpleasant predator, which gives an idea of where Heart are going with this particular metaphor. “You lying so low in the weeds,” sings Ann Wilson, “Bet you gonna ambush me/ You’d have me down on my knees/ Wouldn’t you, barracuda?” Swim away while you still can, kids. — TH

White Lung — “Down It Goes” (2014)

At the Basilica Soundscape festival earlier this year, White Lung leader Mish Way read a long account of a shitty relationship she endured in her youth. It’s hard not to think that such experiences also informed this song — the lyrics are more abstract than direct, deploying imagery of poisoned water and a “thick, dying tongue,” but the overall impression of men is… well, it’s not complimentary, put it that way. As Way told Pitchfork, the song is “about those weird power dynamics that happen in heterosexual meeting, that you think you’re smart enough to avoid.” — TH

Alanis Morissette — “You Oughta Know” (1995)

Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill was full of “fuck you” anthems, but “You Oughta Know” — supposedly about Full House‘s Dave Coulier — is for sure the most “fuck you” of them all. In it, Morisette calmly but strongly recounts all of the promises her boyfriend made her, just before leaving her for somebody else. Perhaps most biting is the line of questioning at the start of the song, where Morissette asks, “Is she perverted like me?/ Would she go down on you in a theater?/ Does she speak eloquently?/ And would she have your baby?” — SB