The Most Empowering Feminist Books To Read On A Rainy Day

To those of us who live in London, learning how to smile at the perspective of yet another gloomy and rainy day is essential. Once you get used to the fact that your morning routine includes sighing at the grey and dull colour of the sky, you begin thinking that it isn’t that bad, that rainy days can be really nice if one knows how to make the most of them. And how do you make the most of a rainy day? You stay at home, relax, sit down… and learn everything about how to take down the patriarchy with one of our top 10 most empowering feminist books to read on a rainy day!

1. The Color Purple

This beautiful epistolary novel by the American author Alice Walker will be your best companion on a rainy day. Through the eyes of the 14-year-old Celie and the letters she writes to God, Walker shows the harsh reality of African American women in the 20th century. But don’t be deceived, although this is at times a very sad story, this is firstly a novel about hope, love and women helping women.

2. The Vagina Monologues

If the word “phenomenon” was a book, Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Dialogues would be it. This book isn’t only a harsh critic against gender-based violence, it’s a cry for justice that has been uniting women since 1998, when it spurred the start of the global activist movement V-Day. We still haven’t figured out why, but after reading this book one feels stronger, more valid, as if your voice was worth being heard. If that isn’t one of the modern empowering feminist books, what is?

3. A Room Of One’s Own

“Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.” There is a reason Virginia Wolfe’s essay A Room Of One’s Own is the book that is always mentioned when discussing feminism. Perhaps it’s because the issues she speaks about are still very relevant today: the importance of educating women as well as men, the obstacles girls encounter when they aren’t given the same opportunities as their male peers… and the patriarchy’s hidden interest in keeping women silent. When you’re looking for the feminist book to feel empowered, Virginia Wolfe’s got your back.

4. Women Who Run With The Wolves

This book will set you free. Women Who Run With The Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estés has the power to become the book you always keep with you, be it in your favourite tote so you can read it on the tube whenever, or on your nightstand so you can reach for it when you can’t fall asleep. It’s a book you want close to you, because it’s like a friend, it’s there to remind you how strong, powerful and wise you are. We are all Wild Women, even if we forget it sometimes.

5. Persepolis

You may have cried with the film, so why not cry with the comics as well? The autobiography of Marjane Satrapi, in which she talks about her childhood and teen years in Tehran before and after the Islamic Revolution, will move you to tears, but it will also force you to look in the face of everything that is wrong about this world and say, defiantly: “I’m still here, what are you gonna do about it?” Satrapi’s honest style invites you to challenge your own ideas and ask questions, and in the case you are looking for a new quote to live by, how does this one sound? “I want to be justice, love and the wrath of God all in one.”

6. Mom & Me

For the first time, American activist Maya Angelou speaks about her relationship with her own mother, Vivian Baxter, who abandoned her and her younger brother when they were children. It’s a journey through Angelou’s eyes, in which she goes from experiencing resent and anger towards her mother, to making peace with her and accepting her into her life. What Angelou has achieved with this book is to destroy the mother archetype we often find in literature, only to replace it with a new one, one that is imperfect and human and real. Warning: you’ll have an urgent need to call your mum after reading this book.

7. We Should All Be Feminists

It doesn’t matter if the first time you read the phrase “We Should All Be Feminists” was on a t-shirt on a Dior campaign, if the words resonated with you, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book should be your choice for your next rainy day in. In a time of conflict and adversity, the Nigerian author succeeds in providing a definition of feminism in the 21st century. Even though some of her thoughts have been deemed as controversial, this book is the ideal introduction to feminism.

See Also

8. The Edible Woman

You might know Margaret Atwood as the genius who brought to life the literary universe of The Handmaid’s Tale, aka your new favourite series. But what else do you know about her? If you’re loving the creepiness and the social justice of The Handmaid’s Tale, we are glad to introduce you to The Edible Woman. Atwood tells the story of a young woman who has reached society’s idea of content and happiness… but she doesn’t feel neither fully content nor happy, which leads to her disassociating from her body and slowly losing any appetite, as she begins to identify with the food she is meant to it. Disturbing, brilliant and eye-opening, it is one of the empowering feminist books to read on a rainy day.

9. The Second Sex

One of the classics of empowering feminist books, this book is considered by many as one that triggered the start of second-wave feminism. The Second Sex, written by the French existentialist Simone de Beauvoir in 1949, discusses the role of women throughout history, the issue of “otherism”, or how male is always considered the default. Beauvoir takes an interesting approach, as she first explains the idea of feminism from the perspective of biology, leading to the still unanswered question of “What is a woman?”

10. Women With Big Eyes

This is one of the empowering feminist books conveying beauty and subtlety while remaining raw and powerful. A style which defines Mexican author Angeles Mastretta, and Women With Big Eyes is a perfect example of it. Following the lives of the narrator’s many aunts, Mastretta exposes the idea of woman and femininity as a never ending concept. These women fight, cry, throw big tantrums and hold even bigger grudges, because they’re not only human beings, they are forces of nature, capable of everything. In the eyes of Mastretta, women are the earth: eternal, fertile, strong and yes, stubborn, whereas men are the weather in the way they try to make the earth change. It’s a small book, so it’s the perfect size to always have it on you, just as a reminder that you are a goddess who doesn’t need a text from her ex to feel valid.

What do you think of our suggestions? What are your favourite empowering feminist books to read on a rainy day? Let us know in the comment section below!

Featured image: www.weheartit.com
Estafania Perez

Journalism student from City, University of London. Originally from the Canary Islands. I am super enthusiastic about women rights, arts, fashion and everything that involves learning and growing as a person.

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