In the year that Gloria Steinem's Ms. magazine was launched in the US and Cleo in Australia, the song quickly captured the imagination of the burgeoning woman's movement. National Organization for Woman founder Betty Friedan was later to write that in 1973, a gala entertainment night in Washington DC at the NOW annual convention closed with the playing of "I Am Woman". "Suddenly," she said, "woman got out of their seats and started dancing around the hotel ballroom and joining hands in a circle that got larger and larger until maybe a thousand of us were dancing and singing, 'I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman.' It was a spontaneous, beautiful expression of the exhilaration we all felt in those years, woman really moving as woman."
Betty Friedan, 1960
To Reddy, the song's message reaches beyond feminism. "It's not just for women," she said. "It's a general empowerment song about feeling good about yourself, believing in yourself. When my former brother-in-law, a doc...