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He Said She Said: Songs That Make Us Feel Like a Natural Woman

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Despite what Shania Twain may think, feelin' like a woman isn't always about going totally crazy in men's shirts and short skirts. The life of a modern woman is often more about balancing work and social obligations, maybe even with motherhood, while still trying to look good (if you even care about that) and savagely navigate this Man's Man's Man's Man's World. Being a woman - it's a life of dichotomies. Below, She Said's songs that make her feel like a woman. "I Am Woman," Helen Reddy

In the words of Tommy Gnosis, Eve ate the apple because "Eve just wanted to know shit." And we've been suffering for it ever since. This song is cheesy, yes, but it also became an anthem when a visibly pregnant Helen Reddy went on a whirlwind TV tour to promote the song.

"Just Like A Woman," Bob Dylan

Dylan has always had a way of writing wonderfully about women, either from their own perspective or from the perspective of an enamored man (see: "Visions of Johanna," and "If You See Her, Say Hello"). "Just Like a Woman" has been interpreted by lots of people in lots of different ways, with many saying it's a scathing take-down of a jilted lover. She Said doesn't see it that way. Thirty years before Britney Spears' "I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman," Dylan is basically saying the same thing - that women are stuck in a kind of purgatory in terms of the behavior that's accepted from us.

"Oops (Oh My)" Tweet

She Said may have written about this song before but there's a reason She loves it. It's sexy as hell. And it's about a woman owning her sexuality. Umm, literally.

"Different Drum," The Stone Poneys

Linda Ronstadt doesn't want to be held down by some pesky boy who's trying to turn her into marriage material. She Said will still crank this shit any time it comes on the radio (although She has finally settled down). Also, how hot is Ronstadt in this video?

"In My Head," No Doubt

As much as She Said wants to


Gwen Stefani, she speaketh the truth in this song. For all the bravado She Said projects, there's still a lurking insecurity underneath. If we don't talk about it, it'll go away, right?

[Ed. Note: Always.] "Band of Gold," Freda Payne

This is a pathetic story, but She Said's mom used to love this song, and once told her that it was the perfect allegory of the disappointment of domesticity. She Said hopes that's not true.

"Womanhood," Tammy Wynette

Poor Tammy Wynette singing about the eternal whore/madonna complex. Is it possible to be a woman with needs and wants of her own while still trying to be "what mama says is good"? She Said says yes. But if it's not possible, She'd rather be the first one.

"Down From Dover," Dolly Parton

Dolly is hilarious in this clip. "I love country music. It's my favorite of all. And now that I got ya down, I'm not gonna let you up yet." Oh Dolly, you are Queen of the Ballad of the Female Scorned, from "Jolene" to this number. (Dolly is also, by the way, the Queen of some of the saddest songs ever written.) There's a double layer here - the controversial lyrics to the song, about a young women who becomes pregnant and waits in vain for her lover to return to her, almost kept Dolly's own career down. Country-music honchos told her she's never get played on the radio if she kept writing songs like the ones that appeared on

The Fairest of Them All

. But Dolly thrived, even if her protagonist doesn't. Almost every time She Said hears this song she wants to cry. Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood do a

killer version

that takes the song to an entirely different level.

"It's a Man's Man's Man's World," James Brown

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Man did all the hard work, but women make it worthwhile. Don't strain yourself patting your own back there, buddy. She Said appreciates the sentiment, though - it's more credit that women usually get. Incidentally, the lyrics to "Man's World" were written by a woman,

Betty Jean Newsome

, who was one of Brown's backup singers in the '60s.

"I Enjoy Being A Girl," Rogers & Hammerstein

From a musical dealing with traditional values versus modern culture

(Flower Drum Song)

, this song perfectly describes everything that is awesome about being a woman. She Said may lament the downsides of femininity and the struggles that exist in her own silly head, but she wouldn't trade places with He Said for anything in the world.

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