Tomorrow, rights activists will take to the streets of downtown St. Louis for a Women’s March. Even if you can’t physically be there, you can support women’s rights in many ways–even by reading. Make knowledge your power.
I’ve compiled a brief reading list just for you that includes some great feminist literature, especially important if you want to brush up on intersectional feminism.
The Power by Naomi Alderman
The Power is a necessary book to read. You’ve read The Handmaid’s Tale and have imagined how bad the world could be if women’s rights were stripped away. Now read The Power by Naomi Alderman. At first, the world is just like our own until something changes. A force spreads over the entire population of teenage girls and women. They now have the power to cause great physical pain and even death. By giving women immense power, the novel confronts us with the notion of how strange it is in our real world, that we often have so little. And you know it’ll be a good read when Margaret Atwood agrees!
Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
When Adichie’s best friend asked her how she could raise her newborn daughter as a feminist, she responded with a list, a series of suggestions that outlines how to raise her daughter outside the bounds of gender roles. A lot of the suggestions relate to everyday language, how people often speak differently to boys versus girls, even at extremely young ages, and how these initial conversations and actions can shape who they become, for better or for worse. While this manifest is directed towards people raising children, it’s a great book to read even if you want to contemplate how your own guardians raised you, how that has shaped your own life and knowing that, how you can change its course.
To My Trans Sisters by Charlie Craggs
Editor Charlie Craggs collects inspirational letters written by 100 successful trans women around the world, activists, scientists, politicians, athletes, musicians, and actors who have gone through the process of transitioning and created happy lives for themselves. This is a great book not only for individuals who are transgender or nonbinary, but anyone who wants to learn about intersectional feminism. To My Trans Sisters not only highlights trans experiences, but showcases diverse women within the trans community. These short, but powerful letters are filled with both hope and hardship, discrimination and triumph, but they all convey a message that no one is alone on their journey.
Periods Gone Public by Jennifer Weiss-Wolf
Called “One of the most important pieces of literature on women’s rights and health policy in decades,” by New York City Council Member, Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, this book is a must read for anyone, regardless of gender. It trenches up the justice issues involved with the completely normal function of menstruation and brings them to the surface of public discourse. This worldwide stigma that accompanies periods, while more severe in some parts of the world than others, endures everywhere and manifests in a variety of ways. Periods Gone Public illuminates the hushed topic that is hardly talked about, yet affects half our population. This book explores leaders who are trying to change opinions and policy regarding menstruation.
The Extra Woman by Joanna Scutts
In this book, Scutts explores 1930’s author, Marjorie Hillis’ book, Live Alone and Like It: A Guide for the Extra Woman, that encouraged a generation of women to ditch traditional lives if that wasn’t not something they truly wanted, toss off the titles of spinster and maid, live a grand life, unattached to a man, and enjoy it. This wave of feminism lasted up until the 1950’s, when it was replaced by conservative domesticity. If you’d like to read up on some feminist herstory, this is a book for you!
Enjoy! And remember to never stop learning.