8 Feminist Books To Add To Your 2016 Reading List

Best feminist books

Bad Feminists 
by Roxane Gay
Gay talks about the issues with our current society, using her experience as a woman of color, a college professor, and a pop culture critic. Bustle wrote "As a feminist who has watched trashy TV and mouthed the words to way too many blatantly misogynistic songs, Gay's collection of essays gave me hope that I — an imperfect person who has my moments of confusion about women's issues — can still call myself a feminist."

The Secret History of Wonder Woman 
by Jill Lepore

This book, as said by the New York Times, "makes you question if you should read Marston’s Wonder Woman strips as feminist manifestoes, or as the working out of issues by a somewhat troubled man, or both?"  It's equal parts a biography of Wonder Woman and her creator James Marston. Lepore tells the tale of Wonder Woman, how she remade American feminism and shared the ideas and activism of Planned Parenthood Founder, Margaret Sanger. She goes on to tell how feminist ideas made their way into Wonder Woman comics. Also plan to be entertained by the biography of Martson, who was a Harvard graduate, quite the philanderer, a lover of bondage, a polyamorist (more than one wife at a time), a psychologist and the inventor of the lie detector test. He was also a feminist, influenced by early feminist Emmeline Pankhurst, who was prevented from speaking on campus in 1911.

Men Explain Things To Me 
by Rebecca Solnit
There is a point in the book where Solnit describes attending a party where an oblivious man patronizingly attempted to tell her all about a new book on the photographer Eadweard Muybridge, which it turns out Solnit actually wrote. This is a prime example of what Solnit calls mansplaining: when a man condescendingly lectures a woman on the basics of a topic about which he knows very little, under the mistaken assumption that she knows even less. Sound familiar? I know it does. This book bravely helps us stand up to sexism through the insight she offers on how to handle those mind numbing sexists moments that we all face in our lives.

Feminism Is For Everybody 
by Bell Hooks

This book "Introduces a popular theory of feminism rooted in common sense and the wisdom of experience. Hooks applies her critical analysis to the most contentious and challenging issues facing feminists today, including reproductive rights, violence, race, class, and work. With her customary insight and unsparing honesty, hooks calls for a feminism free from divisive barriers but rich with rigorous debate. In language both eye-opening and optimistic, hooks encourages us to demand alternatives to patriarchal, racist, and homophobic culture, and to imagine a different future"

My Life On The Road 
by Gloria Steinem

A memoir of feminist icon's remarkable life that focuses on her travels, which is fitting considering she has spend half of on the road. Steinman has spend the past 5 decades as a journalist and activist, campaigning for civil and reproductive rights, gender equality, and launching the groundbreaking magazine for women, Ms. She has attended nearly every important political event of the past 5 decades. She was there for the 1963 march on Washington with MLK, she was in California alongside Ceasar Chavez in solidarity with the 1968 farmworkers strike, and she organized the National Women's Conference in Texas in 1977, to name a few. The book recounts her countless stops around the US on political campaign trails, college campus tours, organizing, writing, listening and inspiring.

We Should All Be Feminists 
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

"In this personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from her much-admired TEDx talk of the same name—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, award-winning author of Americanah, offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness. Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman now—and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists."

Notorious RBG 
by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik

Ruth Badar Ginsburg is a trailblazer, a pioneer, a feminist hero, an all around freakin badass. Having spent the last 50 years fighting for equality for all- gender equality, women's rights, gay rights, civil rights and liberties- Ruth is a hero to humanity. Notorious RBG, was inspired by the ever so popular Tumblr that made her a cult figure for young feminists, although she really transcends generational divides, The book tells a detailed story of the transformative icon's life and career, offering access to Ginsburg's family members, close friends, colleagues, and clerks, as well an interview with the Justice herself, and complete with visuals such as personal photos, letters, and annotated opinions.

Sewing Hope 
by Reggie Whitten and Nancy Henderson
For 25 years Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) terrorized Northern Uganda and five countries in east and central Africa. for three decades . They kidnapped children and forced them to commit atrocities against their own families and communities. Girls as young as thirteen were degraded to sex slaves for Kony's officers. Now, the war is over, but the decades of brutal conflict have deeply scarred the people of Uganda. Child soldiers return to the very communities they committed violent crimes against, and the girls carry with them a constant reminder of their abuse: their captors' children. These girls and their children are often ostracized by their communities, and most lack the skills they need to provide for their families. Named on of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2014, Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe is a Catholic nun who has dedicated her life to helping women and girls whose lives have been shattered by violence, rape and sexual exploitation by the hands of Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army by teaching them valuable skills, teaching them compassion and forgiveness for themselves and others, and helping them overcome their emotional pain. The books tell the story if this remarkable woman and her fight to bring hope back to her nation.
See my previous post on Sister Nyirumbe here

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