Books and Writing

5 Great Books About Feminism

Another category of fiction and non-fiction that I’ve really been enjoying and delving into lately is books about feminism. These run the gamut from fiction to memoir, funny to serious, but they’re all empowering and informative.

For many in today’s climate, “feminist” has become a dirty word. It is associated with militancy, man-hating and so-called “social justice warriors.” And for some, that might be what feminism is. But fundamentally, feminism is about equality among genders, and it doesn’t require bringing men down, but raising everybody else up.

These books share a variety of nuanced views and understandings of feminism, and they are written by women with a myriad of lived experiences. In any subject, but I think especially regarding feminism, it is imperative to read both widely and deeply. I hope you enjoy these, and stumble upon some empowerment along the way.

Bad Feminist by: Roxane Gay

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Blurb: “In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman of color while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years and commenting on the state of feminism today. The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture. Bad Feminist is a sharp, witty and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better, coming from one of our most interesting and important cultural critics.”

Asking for It by: Louise O’Neill

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Blurb: “Emma O’Donovan is eighteen, beautiful, and fearless. It’s the beginning of summer in a quiet Irish town and tonight she and her friends have dressed to impress. Everyone is at the party and all eyes are on Emma. The next morning, Emma’s parents discover her collapsed on the doorstep of their home, unconscious. She is disheveled, bleeding, and disoriented, looking as if she’s been dumped there. To her distress, Emma can’t remember what happened the night before. All she knows is that none of her friends will respond to her texts. At school, people turn away from her and whisper under their breath. Her mind may be a blank as far as the events of the previous evening, but someone has posted photos of it on Facebook under a fake account, “Easy Emma” – photos she will never be able to forget. As the photos go viral and a criminal investigation is launched, the community is thrown into tumult. The media descends, neighbors choose sides, and people from all over the world want to talk about her story. Everyone has something to say about Emma. Asking for It is a powerful story about the devastating effects of rape and public shaming, told through the awful experience of a young woman whose life is changed forever by an act of violence.”

Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Blurb: “From the best-selling author of Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists, suggestions on how to raise a feminist daughter today, written from one friend to another.”

How to Be A Woman by: Caitlin Moran

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Blurb: “Though they have the vote and the Pill and haven’t been burned as witches since 1727, life isn’t exactly a stroll down the catwalk for modern women. They are beset with uncertainties and questions: Why are they supposed to get Brazilians? Why do bras hurt? Why the incessant talk about babies? And do men secretly hate them? Caitlin Moran interweaves provocative observations on women’s lives with laugh-out-loud funny scenes from her own, from the riot of adolescence to her development as a writer, wife, and mother. With rapier wit, Moran slices right to the truth – whether it’s about the workplace, strip clubs, love, fat, abortion, popular entertainment, or children – to jump-start a new conversation about feminism with humor, insight, and verve. How to Be A Woman lays bare the reasons why female rights and empowerment are essential issues, not only for women today but also for society itself.”

Full-Frontal Feminism by: Jessica Valenti

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Blurb: “Now in its updated second edition, Full Frontal Feminism embodies the forward-looking messages that bestselling author Jessica Valenti propagated as founder of the popular website Feministing.com. Smart and relatable, the book serves as a complete guide to the issues that matter to today’s young women, including health, equal pay, reproductive rights, violence, education, relationships, sexual independence and safety, the influence of pop culture and more. Since its original publication, Full Frontal Feminism has informed, inspired and assured readers with the ultimate message of truth: you’re a feminist, and that’s pretty cool.”

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