Woman
by Cat Power (featuring Lana Del Rey)

Songfacts®:

  • The first single from Cat Power's 10th album, Wanderer, "Woman" finds her exploring the concept of femininity, challenging the traditional norms. The song was released in the aftermath of the #MeToo movement, where many women came forward with tales of abuse by boorish and predatory men. Power, a tomboy who never felt comfortable in a dress, asserts her strength and independence on the track:

    I'm a woman of my word
    Or haven't you heard
    My word's the only thing I've ever needed
  • Lana Del Rey sings on this track with Power. In April 2018, Power opened a series of shows on Del Rey's Lust For Life tour. Power told Entertainment Weekly that Del Rey radiates "genuine feminine humanity."
  • Power had a baby boy in 2015 which she raised on her own, an experience that informed this song and much of the album. After having the child, she described what felt like a protective force surrounding her, easing her self doubt and guiding her way. Motherhood also gave her a new perspective on womanhood; the changes in her physical and emotional state made her look at herself a different way.
  • This was the first song Power started writing after having her son in 2015, but it was the last one she completed. Power picked up momentum to finish it after touring with Del Rey; the pair had many conversations about navigating the world of music, and society in general, as a woman. They are from different generations, but realized that they were both taught to be dependent by many of the men in their lives.
  • The song started with the opening lines:

    If I had a dime for every time
    You tell me I'm not what you need


    At this time, Power had ended a relationship with a guy she lived with for five months, and had given birth. "That's how I was feeling at the time," she told Uncut. "But not with my son or my dogs or my genuine friends."
  • Cat Power told Mojo magazine that she considers this to be a testament song. "Being able to see things clearly," she explained. "Being empowered by being able to see things clearly. And being proud of myself, as a human, as a female body, as a woman having love and having dignity. Feeling good about my place at my table. Not being a party to my demise. Not being a victim."

    "I believe there is great joy in being female," Power added. "There's a joyful vibration in being a woman that just can't be taken away. Or hopefully not any more."

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