Feminism isn't the first thing most people think of when they think Nirvana. That's not to say that the band was at all opposed to feminism, but the it tended to air out themes of disenchanted youth if anything. St. Vincent was reflecting recently on her performance with the remainder of the band at Nirvana's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction this year and she seemed to read deeper into the feminist themes however.

"I thought it was a really cool way to honor the Olympia, [Washington] punk, freak, queer, feminist scene that the Nirvana guys came up in and were so very engrossed in that they asked women to fill in," she said in an interview with NME.

That got us to thinking: What songs carried a message for women in a feminist sense? The following five were a few that came to mind.

05) "Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle"

Research the title to this song makes the message seem a bit more obvious than it really is. Why legendary actress Frances Farmer would take out revenge on her hometown is a tad mysterious, but she certainly owes revenge to someone. Although she suffered from substance abuse, Farmer's current cultural status as a famous loony must be reconsidered in context. Was she truly a psych case when she was interred into the psychiatric system, or was she just a headstrong woman? Although Farmer never received a lobotomy as some have claimed, she was subjected to insulin shock therapy and ice baths, almost primeval forms of treatment, which may have truly messed up her mind in the long run. Farmer's tale may not be one of feminist themes but at the very least it should bring shame to the sanitariums of old.

04) "Been A Son"

This popular B-side is the most obvious track featured on the list, as its lyrics clearly demonstrate a sympathy for the daughters that struggle to find familial love. Even in the modern age, fathers show bitterness if their wives can't bear a child to carry the man's name on for generations, plus the phrase "mama's boy" exists for a reason. This track off Incesticide is just a stream of "should haves" seemingly aimed from a disappointed parent at a disappointing daughter. The most tragic are featured in the chorus, where Kurt Cobain declares that "she should have died when she was born" and "she should have...been a son."

03) "Love Buzz"

Nirvana was no stranger to cover songs and it was no stranger to adjusting lyrics to better suit its needs. This applies to "Love Buzz," a song originally by Dutch band Shocking Blue that Nirvana recorded for its first LP Bleach. Shocking Blue's lyrics could go two ways when it proclaims "please don't deceive me when I hurt you." Do they mean "don't try to get even when I've hurt you" or the more innocent "please let me know if I've hurt you"? Nirvana switches the lyrics during its second run through, saying "please don't deceive me when I've hit you" instead, making the message clear. So how is this "feminist"? The theme of unhappy relationships from the female perspective is a popular plot in the band's music, and this is just another instance where Nirvana is trying to tell female fans in similar situations to get out of that sort of emotional abuse.

02) "Polly"

"Polly" is one of the most uncomfortable songs in Nirvana's oeuvre, granted you understand that it's based on the true life tale of a 14 year-old girl who was kidnapped and raped repeatedly by Seattle sexual predator Gerald Friend. There is a happy ending however: The victim was clever enough to fool her captor into thinking that she enjoyed it and therefore gained his trust and was able to escape as a result. There's a moral in this, although one surrounded by dark plot lines. Cobain acknowledges that yes, some men will abuse and violate the rights of women (and not just in the physical sense) but women have the means—even if it's not in the form of brute strength—to overcome this harassment. You just need to be as clever as the titular "Polly."

01) "Sappy"

As we mentioned earlier, unhappy relationships that feature a submissive female companion is a popular theme across Nirvana's discography. None of the band's songs are more telling nor more depressing than "Sappy." Cobain was the master of riddling his voice with angst and few of his tracks showcase it more than this one. From the earliest moments of the opening verse, he laments how a woman is pressured to "save herself" by-and-for a man and is later kept locked in the metaphorical jar of marriage by him. Each line is punctuated with the less-than-reassuring line "and you'll think you're happy." The protagonist then turns to cutting as a release (still trying to force happiness on herself). The worst is when Cobain wails "you're in a laundry room" for the chorus, turning a typical housewife activity into a dungeon. The moral for young women listening is not to be forced into a role by overbearing significant others because you won't be able to fool yourself out of it.

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