All the times Olivia Rodrigo showed us she's a feminist — from girlhood to the 'Guts' Tour

A collage with a monochrome image of President Biden taking a selfie with Olivia Rodrigo, flanked by more images of Olivia Rodrigo with her tongue out holding a microphone. The background is a pattern of purple grid on white, with abstract yellow and red shapes.

It doesn’t take long for an Olivia Rodrigo album to outline a thesis statement about the experience of being a young woman in America.

In fact, both of the pop singer’s records start with a punchy opener that dramatically, energetically calls attention to the nearly unmanageable experience of girlhood and womanhood.

Her first album, “Sour,” kicks off with the teen girl anthem “brutal,” where Rodrigo shares:

“I’m so tired that I might / Quit my job, start a new life / And they'd all be so disappointed / 'Cause who am I, if not exploited”

Two years later, with the release of her sophomore album, “GUTS,” Rodrigo opens with the sarcastic and all-too-universal “all-american b—.”

She sings, atop a seething electric guitar: “I'm a perfect all-American b— / With perfect all-American lips / And perfect all-American hips / I know my place, I know my place, and this is it”

And, as much as her lyrics resonate with all of the young, gutsy feminists out there, many of her actions also align with the call for gender equality. 

While Rodrigo continues to make headlines for supporting reproductive health care and charming fans with new tunes like “obsessed,” here’s a walk down memory lane to celebrate the many times the 21-year-old star gave us all a lesson in feminism.

Olivia Rodrigo’s history of feminism

She announced the Fund 4 Good alongside the Guts World Tour to support women everywhere.

A black and white photo of Olivia Rodrigo sits atop the text: "Let's build a just future for women and girls. Olivia Rodrigo's Fund 4 Good is a global initiative committed to building an equitable and just future for women and girls through direct support of community-based nonprofits that champion girls' education, support reproductive rights, and prevent gender-based violence."
The Fund 4 Good was announced earlier this year. Photo courtesy of Entertainment Industry Foundation

At the start of Rodrigo’s major, 75-stop “Guts World Tour” in February, she announced an initiative that would financially support community-based nonprofits at every stop, championing girls' education, reproductive rights, and the end of gender-based violence.

The project is called the Fund 4 Good, and most notably, includes partnerships with abortion funds across the United States — some of which even made headlines for distributing emergency contraception at some of Rodrigo’s shows. (Sadly, Rodrigo’s management nixed this particular activation, but abortion funds are still tabling at her U.S. shows).

On her Canada stops, the singer is donating funds to a network of women’s shelters, as well, aiming to support women and children fleeing violent situations. 

She recommended some essential feminist reading.

Mikki Kendall's book "Hood Feminism" sits atop a marble countertop, next to a white candle, a mug of coffee, and a bundle of dried lavender.
Rodrigo recommended "Hood Feminism" to her fans during a livestream. Photo courtesy of Penguin Books/Instagram

In a livestream last fall, Rodrigo recommended Mikki Kendall’s best-selling book, “Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot.”

“The last book I read is this book called ‘Hood Feminism’ that’s so good. … I really recommend it,” Rodrigo said in the stream. “It’s, like, a very intersectional feminism book. It’s awesome.”

The book, which is a collection of essays by Kendall, explores issues that have been glossed over by mainstream feminism, such as food insecurity, access to quality education, living wages, and medical care, to paint a fuller picture of what the future of feminism must consider.

She speaks boldly about reproductive justice at her live shows. 

Olivia Rodrigo speaks into a microphone with blue lights behind her on stage
Rodrigo sings on stage. Photo courtesy of Justin Higuchi (CC BY 2.0)

A little over a month prior to the Supreme Court’s 2022 Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade, a leaked opinion from the judicial branch made the rounds, indicating what was ahead.

While Rodrigo was on tour in Washington DC in May 2022, she spoke candidly about the projected ruling.

“Because we’re in DC, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to say how heartbroken I am over the Supreme Court’s potential decision,” Rodrigo said on stage.

“Our bodies should never be in the hands of politicians. I hope we can raise our voices to protect our right to have a safe abortion, which is a right that so many people before us have worked so hard to get.”

Including in an impassioned speech about the Supreme Court with Lily Allen.

Olivia Rodrigo sings on stage with Lily Allen
Lily Allen joined Rodrigo on stage at Glatsonbury 2022. Photo courtesy of Olivia Rodrigo/Instagram

In a similar fashion, in June 2022, just following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Rodrigo took the stage at Glastonbury with pop icon Lily Allen to sing Allen’s 2008 hit “F— You.”

Before singing the song, Rodrigo gave an impassioned speech regarding the Supreme Court’s decision, putting reproductive care like abortion access in danger across the country.

“I’m devastated and terrified that so many women and so many girls are going to die because of this,” Rodrigo said, noticeably emotional. 

“I wanted to dedicate this next song to the five members of the Supreme Court who have showed us that at the end of the day, they truly don’t give a s— about freedom.”

The crowd cheered enthusiastically and Allen held up her middle fingers as Rodrigo rattled off the names of those SCOTUS judges.

“This song goes out to the justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett, and Brett Kavanaugh,” Rodrigo said, matter-of-factly. “We hate you.”

In the fall of 2023, she told the Guardian that before her set — and bold declaration — she considered her “young girl fans,” and knew she had to say something.

“That’s actually why it’s so important,” she said. “I would love, if I was a little girl, to see someone stand up for future-me like that.”

She has tweeted about social justice issues.

A screenshot of a tweet from Olivia Rodrigo supporting the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020.
Rodrigo has shared her opinions on social media regularly over the years. Photo courtesy of Olivia Rodrigo/X

While Rodrigo was still working as an actor with Disney — during Donald Trump’s presidency — she tweeted a number of times to express her disdain for his leadership, as well as reposting messages from activist groups like March for Our Lives.

These were shared during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement in May and June 2020. 

She also posted about her support of the Black Lives Matter movement, sharing a link to resources that would support and amplify the cause.

“Please continue to act and support,” she wrote in May 2020. “This can’t just be a moment — this will never end without a fight.”

She collaborates with and supports other women artists.

Sheryl Crow and Olivia Rodrigo sit side by side in salon chairs, smiling and reading magazines
Rodrigo and Sheryl Crow have supported each other on and off stage. Photo courtesy of Olivia Rodrigo/Instagram

From the start of her career, Rodrigo has been vocal about her respect and admiration for other women in the music industry. And as her star power continues to grow, she is collaborating with them!

From an interview with Alanis Morisette, to performing with legends like Sheryl Crow, and uplifting women and LGBTQ+ opening acts like Chappel Roan, Remi Wolf, and The Breeders. 

She advocated for public health at the White House.

Joe Biden and Olivia Rodrigo take a selfie in front of bright green trees
Rodrigo's visit to the White House was celebrated with a POTUS selfie. Photo courtesy of Olivia Rodrigo/Instagram

The world briefly stood still when Olivia Rodrigo posted a selfie with President Joe Biden in July 2021, but it wasn’t your run-of-the-mill celeb selfie. Rodrigo was at the White House to advocate for public health, encouraging young people to get COVID-19 vaccines.

As women — especially women of color — are neglected by health care systems, Rodrigo’s inclusion in this campaign signaled a thoughtful attempt to combat misinformation and empower folks to take advantage of a free form of care.

She even joined Anthony Fauci to read some tweets about getting vaccinated.

“Olivia RodriGO to the vaccine clinic,” she read, laughing. “All of the funny puns as long as you’re getting vaccinated. That’s great, whatever it takes.”

She consistently and unapologetically expresses rage (and joy!) as a young woman of color.

Olivia Rodrigo sticks her tongue out while holding a microphone
Rodrigo performs "all-american b—" on "Saturday Night Live," complete with a rage-fueled cake-smashing on stage. Photo courtesy of Olivia Rodrigo/Instagram

As a Filipino American, Rodrigo is a symbol of a new wave of diverse, chart-topping women artists. Fighting both patriarchal and white supremacist standards for beauty, success, and even how one expresses emotions, her presence goes deeper than a head-banging hit.

The singer unapologetically invites other women to feel and express their full range of emotions, free of stereotypes or shame, especially with the aforementioned track “all-american b—” as their soundtrack.

When the song came out in 2023, many young women took to TikTok to express their gratitude that Rodrigo was able to so clearly capture the righteous anger many young women experience.

“It’s like the inner dialogue of a woman … going home and being completely exhausted and filled with rage that you have to put on some show [not only] to take care of yourself and keep yourself safe, but also please those around you,” 21-year-old Grace Ogden told Teen Vogue upon the release of the song.

Header photos courtesy of Olivia Rodrigo/Instagram and The White House

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