Book List #6: Feminism Reads

Myths of Gender: Biological Theories about Women and Men

Some good information, a little bit research heavy for my taste (I do better with philosophy than fact, sometimes) but this book is well written and persuasive. However, I think the nature vs. nurture debate, in any sense, is an impossible question to properly study. And even if we could find accurate information swaying one way or the other, does answering this question really help us? Part of being human involves the natural desire to fight your nature, to progress and become better. And if you believe that, what does it matter if women are biologically handicapped when sexism is a morality issue worth fighting to overcome? That being said, an understanding of the scientific research is important in any issue. This is a good place to start, especially when paired with some right-leaning research.

The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades before Roe vs. Wade

This book is powerful. It does exactly what I’m trying to do: create empathy and understanding through stories. No matter where you stand on abortion issues, these women’s stories will give you a fresh perspective. Oh, and if you think this is just a brilliant piece of history and that this no longer happens, you’re missing something.

Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town

A good introduction on rape culture. Again, this should be paired with some opposing information, especially because Krakauer is a novelist more than a researcher. I’ll post some ideas for the opposing view soon.



The Beauty Myth

I chose not to include many of the classics on this list because I want to give a unique perspective of feminism. However, because this book is considered the introduction to third wave feminism, I think it’s significant. It’d be interesting to see what Wolf has to say in 2017, as the issues are still relevant but presented through a very different lens in the age of the internet.

I do but I don’t: Why the Way we Marry Matters

My favorite feminist read today. For women who have never experienced “hard core” sexism like rape and abuse, this book helps us see how feminism is relevant to women of all backgrounds.



Feminine endings: Music, Gender, and Sexuality

One from my music major days. If you’re interested in symbolic interactionism, this book is brilliant. Heads up– if you don’t know very much about music, you might want to skip the first few essays.



Bad feminist

I absolutely love Roxane Gay. This book hit all the points in feminism I struggle with and never came across as condescending. There were even moments that made my conservative side cheer in agreement. She’s writes like a human, and there’s something to be said for that.


A doll’s house and Medea

I was able to participate in both of these shows a few years back at a time in my life when I did not identify as a feminist but needed feminist ideals very badly. Storytelling is powerful, and these plays are a prime example of that.



The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines

Another symbolic interactionism read. This book made me ask- does pop culture shape us, or does it merely reflect how we’ve shaped ourselves?


Their eyes were watching god

This classic sometimes gets over shadowed by feminist staples like The Bell Jar and the awakening, but it’s equally (if not more) significant. Hurston shows that the female experience is as diverse as it is unifying.


Happy reading!

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