Feminist Fight Song: Aretha Franklin’s “Respect”

Although not a self-declared “feminist heroine,” Aretha Franklin’s songs of strength and empowerment resonated with waves of women. In 2014, Franklin told Rolling Stone “I don’t think I was a catalyst for the women’s movement. Sorry. But if I were? So much the better!” Even though she may not have intended for “Respect” to become a feminist anthem, it became known as an anthem for both civil rights and feminism. Even more proof of her influence? Franklin was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 serving as an example to women around the world.


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