01/21/17 Women’s March: Book Rec’s to Continue the Conversation

Hello, fellow humans!

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So I don’t know about you, but I was so inspired by the Women’s Marches that took place across the world yesterday. So much so that I feel like today would be a great time to talk about feminism!

I suppose I’ve never really proclaimed myself a feminist on this blog, but you should know, I am. I have been for quite a few years now, and it’s an issue I feel very passionately about. This is my definition of feminism:

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“A feminist is a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.”

I also believe in intersectional feminism. If you don’t know what that is, read this.

But this post isn’t about trying to convince you to become a feminist; it’s about continuing the positive conversation that yesterday’s march started.

This would probably also be a great time to remind you that I’m Canadian – Trump isn’t my president – but this guy is my Prime Minister:

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Though it’s still incredibly disturbing for me to see Trump become a world leader. Clearly I’m not the only one thinking that, which is why I thought it was incredible that so many people across the world participated in the protest! While I wasn’t able to go to the Toronto march myself, I was so utterly proud. It was peaceful, and effective, and I truly think it will go down as a historic event. We just have to keep the momentum going.

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So, to do my part in continuing the conversation, I’ve decided to recommend some feminist-friendly books, with a range of titles that stretch across genres, in both fiction and non-fiction. Please note, that YOU DO NOT NEED TO LABEL YOURSELF A FEMINIST TO ENJOY THESE BOOKS! Some are introductory to the ideas promoted within feminism, but a lot of them aren’t strictly *feminist* books. I’ve tried my best to get a diverse range of authorship as well. And I’ve also included some photos from the various marches, because there were too many good ones to ignore (credits beneath images).

HERE WE GO!

Nonfiction // Essays

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The Equality Illusion 7445096
by Kat Banyard

  • a good intro to feminism
  • very well researched
  • focuses on daily internalized-misogyny (things you probably wouldn’t even normally think of as problematic)
  • a little bit biased but still important

 

All The Single Ladies: Unmarried Women all-the-single-ladies-9781476716565_hr
and the Rise of an Independent Nation

by Rebecca Traister

  • (not the BeyoncΓ© song)
  • addresses the whole ‘women are asked when they’ll get married/men are asked if‘ discourse
  • kickass historical single ladies
  • normalizing unconventional lifestyles

We Should All Be Feminists 22738563
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

  • good example of Intersectional feminism, addressing gender expectations
  • adapted from a TEDx Talk (watch here)
  • beautifully written
  • she’s hilarious
  • LESS THAN 50 PAGES GO READ IT

Heroines 23235281
by Kate Zambreno

  • started as A BLOG wow
  • rewriting women’s roles as muses for male artists through historical examples (Zelda Fitzgerald, Vivienne Eliot, etc.)
  • “ANXIETY: When she experiences it, it’s pathological.
    When he does, it’s existential”
  • asks if women are the characters or the authors (!!!)

YA // General Fiction

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13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl 25716562
by Mona Awad

  • addresses body image expectations in western society
  • MC is relatable as hell
  • the prose is sometimes unsettlingly honest
  • it’s not at all what you’d expect (in a good way)

 

I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl 28259094
by Gretchen McNeil

  • DESTROYS a harmful misogynistic trope
  • MC learns with the reader
  • she’s also a NERDY MATH GIRL
  • diverse cast of characters
  • “Women are not on this planet exclusively to inspire men and make them happy. We have our own dreams and needs, our own shit to get done. We run companies, countries, international organizations. We’re not props, and we’re certainly not here to cater to men’s egos.”

The Penelopiad penelopiad_cover
by Margaret Atwood

  • the Odyssey backward
  • what does a housewife do when her husband leaves to fight a war for 20 years ???
  • A++ compassion
  • gives a voice to a group of silenced women
  • it’s Margaret Atwood writing Homer contemporarily, come on

Classics

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A Vindication of the Rights of Woman cover-jpg-rendition-460-707
by Mary Wollstonecraft

  • circa 17-freaking-92
  • written by a woman well ahead of her time
  • basically she’s the mother of modern feminism
  • also a Nasty Womanβ„’
  • Walpole called her “a hyena in petticoats”
  • mother of Mary Shelley (yeah, the Frankenstein one)

A Room of One’s Own 51zbbuqw2bjl
by Virginia Woolf

  • basically women need space so they can do creative things
  • but like, circa 1928
  • reading this after you’ve recently moved out on your own
    for the first time is deeply gratifying
  • considering women as characters/writers again
  • there’s this really great part where she invents a sister for Shakespeare and illustrates differences in advantage for the genders

The Bell Jar plath04
by Sylvia Plath

  • misogyny + mental health
  • MC just wants to figure out life for herself
  • very introspective
  • semi-autobiographical
  • deconstructs Mansplaining

Memoirs // Autobiography

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Bad Feminist bad-feminist-roxane-gay
by Roxane Gay

  • DESTROYS the idea that being feminine means you’re less of a feminist
  • WOC perspective
  • girl’s got some serious wit
  • pop culture references you’ll actually get
  • not necessarily conclusive, but a good intro to feminism

Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own 152289
by Kate Bolick

  •  middle-aged woman who hasn’t settled down, and is dealing with what that means for her
  • addresses stigma of ‘spinsterhood’
  • she’s got a girl squad of historic female role models (Neith Boyce, Maeve Brennan, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Edith Wharton)
  • gender stereotypes
  • really beautifully written

Persepolis 41j0hepe1bl-_sx282_bo1204203200_
by Marjane Satrapi

  • graphic novel
  • (also made into a film)
  • coming of age story about a woman in Iran during the Islamic Revolution
  • so wonderfully anti-stereotypical
  • absolutely hilarious MC
  • I cried

Lyrical // Short Stories

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The Bloody Chamber & Other Stories 51m-n0h8tll-_sx315_bo1204203200_
by Angela Carter

  • reclaiming fairytales with a feminist lens (read this review)
  • series of short stories
  • very goth
  • very good
  • writing is frank and decisive but also lyrical
  • slight magical-realism vibe going on

The Yellow Wallpapertumblr_mhtgal6pw91rlkr2bo1_500
by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

  • 1892!
  • a tiny bit terrifying
  • addresses misogyny in healthcare
  • ‘hysterical woman’ or mentally ill human ???
  • I can never have yellow wallpaper in my house bc of this story

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings caged-bird
by Maya Angelou

  • autobiography
  • addresses racism, sexual assault, rape, poverty
  • reading such a phenomenal poet’s prose is such a lovely experience tbh
  • it’s raw, honest
  • Maya Angelou is queen, end of story
  • read the poem, too, please

 

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That concludes my list! Have you read any of these books? Have any to add? What did you think of the Women’s March? Or feminism in general? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

And while we’re on the subject, check out my Bookish Girl Squad post (click the image below) to read about some kickass female protagonists, and to see some equally kickass fan art!

bookishgirlsquad

 

 

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Posted by

I'm Emma Kath. Welcome to my blog! This is where I post my original book reviews, litstyle (lifestyle for the lit-nerd), and other bookish things. A little about me: I'm Canadian, and currently a student majoring in English lit and cultural studies. I'm an introvert (INFJ, if you believe in that sort of thing), sarcastic to the bone, I love art and history, and hope to one day travel around a bit. Until then, I'll be reading, writing, and trying to spread a little kindness around the internet. If you have any questions or inquiries, feel free to contact me!

20 thoughts on “01/21/17 Women’s March: Book Rec’s to Continue the Conversation

  1. I LOVE THIS!! Most of these are on my TBR and I’m super inspired to read them after the marches that took place! I loved We Should All Be Feminists and The Yellow Wallpaper changed my life! Another great YA book that deals with misogyny (and rape culture) is The Female of the Species. It deals with some intense subjects, but if people can handle them it’s such an important read!! I love all the photos you included too πŸ™ŒπŸ»

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I was going through Goodreads to get the links for the books I kept seeing that you had them on your TBR and I was like πŸ‘πŸΌ Yaaas Lauren!!! And thanks for the rec – I’ll have to add The Female of the Species to my TBR! 😊

      Like

  2. Great post!

    Mary Wollstonecraft, one of the original Nasty Women, is one of my favourite writers and I love that you’ve recommended her. I love reading Feminist Lit so I’ll have to check out the ones that I haven’t read.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow this is a very long list, definitely want to read some of these! I am a feminist and it’s great to see that there are so many books out there talking about the subject!

    Liked by 1 person

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