If you want to educate yourself on feminism, there are so many great books you can read. Here are 10 books about feminism every girl should read.
1. Bad Feminist By Roxanne Gay
Roxanne Gay writes a compelling and deeply personal book analyzing her own life and how she is feminist. This is compilation of essays explores how hard is to be completely unproblematic, and the author shares her own stories of imperfection. The book combines humor, introspection, and her very personal relationship with feminism. This is great to read if you struggle to find people to look up to on social issues, particularly feminism, because it addresses the flawed nature of people, and that no one is perfect, especially when it comes to activism.
2. Men Explain Things To Me By Rebecca Solnit
If you’ve ever heard the phrase “mansplaining” This is the book for you. Solnit describes men’s tendency to explain topics to women, often in a condescending tone, typically about topics the women is more knowledgable in. Solnit describes her experiences as an educated and successful women who is often talked down to by men, and the obstacles she still encounters even with modern day feminism. Her essays are written with humor and just anger. This is a short collection of essays, but is perfect to read, insightful and candid.
3. Sister Outsider By Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde is a renowned author, and her book Sister Outsider addresses the importance of intersectional feminism. The book is a collection of essays and speeches by Lorde, and addresses how feminism is often made for straight white women, and that women of color are often left out of the narrative and not given the same support. Lorde describes her own personal experiences with various forms of oppression, and the complexities of intersectional feminism. Lorde’s book is often considered an academic work, and still has a huge impact 40 years after its compilation.
4. The Bridge Called Me Back
This book is a compilation of works from various women of color, including essays, poems, and visual art. This compilation explores intersectionality, including gender sexuality and class. This is a great book on intersectional feminism to read because it provides an array of works and authors, and gives you many different perspectives. This also amplifies voices and experiences that are often overlooked in mainstream media, making even more important to read.
5. The Vagina Monologues By Eve Ensler
Ensler’s episodic play is a major feminist work that has been read and shared for years. The work discusses consent, sex workers, and body image among others. This is not only a powerful play that is meant to empower many different types of women, but is written in a creative and unique format. This is great to read, and will give you insightful perspective on various topics. The play is considered an extremely important political play since it first premiered off Broadway in the mid 90’s and has continued to have impact today.
6. In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens By Alice Walker
Written by Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker, this is a collection of essays, speeches and reviews that range from personal to political. Walker discusses her experiences as a black women, mother, and writer. She explores the complexities of intersectionality, including the civil rights movements. Walker’s collection spans from 1966 to 1982, and gives her insight on major political and world events, as well as her won personal experiences. This is another impactful collection of work that examines the different forms of oppression and misogyny women face, especially women of color.
7. The Feminine Mystique By Betty Friedan
This is considered an essential text in establishing second wave feminism in the 1960’s. This book is key in shaping the dialogue of second wave feminism for years. This book discusses the concept of an “mrs degree”, how women are portrayed as part of consumerism, and how women are treated in the medical field. This is a great book to read to understand early feminist movements, particularly what the foundations are for feminism in the united states. This gives insight into problems and social assumptions we still hold today, and is a key piece of feminist literature.
8. The Handmaid’s Tale By Margaret Atwood
The Handmaid’s Tale is an incredibly impactful story of fiction, that had strong messages about feminism and oppression. The story starts with fertility rates reaching a shockingly low rate, and women in the united states who are fertile are forced to live with wealthy and powerful families and have their children. The story portrays an extremely oppressive and abusive government and views about women, and delivers a powerful message. While the story is fiction, Atwood asserts that everything she wrote about was inspired by true historical events. This makes the Handmaid’s Tale even more powerful and thought provoking, it pushes us to examine what systems of oppression and sexism we allow and even support in the world around us.
9. Women, Culture, and Politics By Angela Y. Davis
Angela Y. Davis is a political activist that for years has advocated for intersectional feminism. Davis frequently writes about class and gender issues, and her book is a collection of speeches and essays about a variety of subjects. Davis writes not only about women’s rights, but economic inequality. Davis offers insightful and powerful writings, drawing on her long career of political activism that makes her a strong voice in the activist community.
10. Gender Outlaw By Kate Bornstein
Kate Bornstein discusses her experiences as a non-binary person. Bornstein analyzes our cultures relationship with gender, and how we conform and perform to fit gender expectations. First published in 1994, Gender Outlaw is a key text in discussing gender, and is vital to understanding intersectional feminism. Bornstein writes with wit and humor, and creates a thoughtful and impactful reflection on how we view gender. This is a great book to continue to educate yourself on intersectional feminism.