In my opinion, Lesley’s “solution” to the patriarchy is to¬† completely defy the societal norms and go against what was typical for woman socially and emotionally at the time.

“You don’t own me/ Don’t try to change me in any way/ You don’t own me/ Don’t tie me down ’cause I’d never stay”

Her song empowers young women to stand up to the oppressive male figures in their life – who, at the time, viewed women as their own property – and to tell them that only she is allowed to have a say in how she lives her own life.

“Don’t tell me what to do/ And don’t tell me what to say/ Please, when I go out with you/ Don’t put me on display”

This idea of female autonomy was really progressive during the 60’s.


When “You Don’t Own Me” resurfaced again by Grace and G Eazy in 2016, it was the beginning of what is now known as the “Me Too” movement against sexual assault and the year of the first Women’s March for equal rights and female reproductive rights.

Thinking about our time in history when the song was re-released, the lyrics now not only point towards female empowerment but to the ability for a woman to take back the right to her own body and claim it as her own as well as claiming her reproductive rights.

“I’m young and I love to be young/ I’m free and I love to be free/ To live my life the way I want/ To say and do whatever I please”