3 Books To Read After The Women's March

Unless you’ve been hiding from everyone and all electronic devices recently, you’ll probably have heard plenty about the worldwide Women’s March on January 21st. Whether you were able to attend or not, there are still loads of ways to join in the discussion about women’s rights and make your voice heard. And there are loads of ways to learn new things, consider new perspectives, and widen your mind. 

Here are some suggestions of books to read to do those things, instead of crying/screaming/curling up into a tiny ball and pretending the world doesn’t exist. After all, the feminist pen is mightier than the sword.

1. “The Second Sex” by Simone De Beauvoir

Beauvoir’s original book was three volumes long, but you can find plenty of editions that contain extracts from her 1949 case for the liberation of women. Not only did this book cause outrage when it was first released (is it just me, or does that make me love a book even more?) but Beauvoir’s exposition of the oppression facing women is so perfectly articulated. Even though her work is now relatively old, much of it is still incredibly relevant today. Part of her argument is that men are inherently categorized as the default and women as the ‘other’. Ring any bells?

2. “Yes Please” by Amy Poehler

Poehler’s autobiography covers a lot of different subjects: acting, motherhood, writing… but one of the things that stands out in reading this book is her ability to stand up for herself. Poehler’s prose is sprinkled with positive affirmations. Women don’t have to apologise for many of the things we have been taught to apologise for. We can be successful even in an industry dominated by men. We can become mothers without sacrificing our aspirations. Her voice is witty, warm and, above all, strong. 

3. “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood

This book is so important. Not only is it a genuinely entertaining story in itself (Moira is the kind of friend we all wish we could have), but it is also a stark warning about the direction our society is headed in. In the Republic of Gilead, women are reduced to breeding machines. Their names are forgotten and replaced with a derivative of a man's name. However, the narrator and other characters exhibit small, yet potent displays of rebellion. Although occasionally bleak in its outlook, Atwood’s book delivers a strong message: it’s never too late to change.