If you’re like us and wanted to watch less and read more, consider this the welcome boost you needed. With so many genres of books to try, from historical fiction to spine-chilling thrillers, it can be hard to find the perfect novel to sink your teeth into. Sometimes all our brains really need is an educational rejuvenation, educating us on the important issues that really matter. In our current turbulent political climate, it has never been more important to pay attention to the issues facing the female population.
Whether you’re trying to learn more about reproductive rights, mental health, consent, or an entirely different topic, a worthy book is the perfect place to start. If you’ve decided it’s time to learn more about feminism, we’ve rounded up 10 essential reads to guide you on your journey.
The majority of these readings will give you insight into the history of feminism, while others will speak more specifically to the modern female experience. Most of the time, they focus on the theme of intersectionality, delving into how white feminist women leaders have often ignored or oppressed women of color or those from other marginalized groups. You’ll also find personal essays on fighting patriarchy that might inspire you to dig a little deeper. So with all that said, good feminist reading, we hope this will spark the urge to take action and fight the good fight.
Based on two of Virginia Woolf’s lectures, here she refutes the idea that women are inherently less talented than men. A close look at some of the structures that have oppressed (and continue to oppress) women’s lives, including domestic work and access to education.
As a teacher and Indigenous woman, Aileen Moreton Robertson explores Western notions around feminism. Being a Goenpul woman from the Quandamooka people herself, she examines how white feminists in Australia have consistently ignored or misrepresented Indigenous women in their findings and teachings on the subject. A necessary and important lesson that we could all know better.
Not the longest read, but each sentence is worth its historical and educational weight in gold. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie explains why feminism is for everyone, of any gender race. Following on from its Tedx speech of the same name, the paperback is the perfect entry into the movement.
The meaning of feminism has very little meaning without a discussion of intersectionality. Here, Mikki Kendall gives us an in-depth understanding of this topic, reminding us that we must recognize barriers such as education, violence, hunger, medical care, and more.
Have you ever looked at the conditioning you received and realized how messed up it really is? So this book is absolutely essential. Here, Melissa Febos analyzes the messages the young girls have received and how they can reclaim their power and agency. An investigative memoir, you’ll want to put those thoughts into action.
In this collection of witty and direct essays, cultural critic Roxanne Gay defends the idea of ”imperfect feminism”. Gay discusses problematic culture and the many ways symbolism and negative-looking media affect women of color. An impressive and insightful look at feminism from our current cultural lens.
Most openly known for coining the term mansplaining, Rebecca Solnit has written a collection of pointed essays that delve into the modern feminist psyche. From explaining your own experiences to equal opportunity for women, her frank candor is a welcome commentary on the current female experience.
A quasi-autobiographical account of a woman’s descent into metal sickness in the 1950s, The glass bell is an essential part of any adult feminist reading experience. Joyful poetry of wisdom, Sylvia Plath captures the longing, disillusionment and fear of being young, confused and confined to the rules of a patriarchal society. This is simply a classic piece of feminist prose that everyone should read.
A feminist for the social media generation, following the success of her first book of poetry, Rupi Kaur has solidified herself as a truth-teller of the inner female experience. His second anthology of abridged poetry, The sun and its flowers is about overcoming a personal experience of sexual assault and finding the path to loving yourself again. Kaur talks about her privilege to her freedom, while addressing a number of feminist issues.
If like us you are a fan of feminist fairy tale storytelling then The Bloody Room is the ideal entry point. A central figure in the concept, Angela Carter’s 1979 short story collection spawned an entire subgenre. Tales include wicked Little Red Riding Hoods, other sleeping beauties of the world, beauty that turns into a beast. Her stories remain among the purest examples of style and an intelligent interpretation of the feminist experience.