While in quarantine, I revisited my bookshelf and conjured up a list of “must reads” for all my feminist friends or anyone interested in feminist literature! Although these are just a few, I feel like this list includes the foundation of what feminism is and how we can learn from and lift each other up!
1. “The Second Sex” by Simone de Beauvoir
One of the most iconic feminist books, is this book written by French existentialist Simone de Beauvoir. Divided in sections of facts/myths and then her own lived experience, de Beauvoir writes about the history of women and how they are perceived. Through her own analysis of what being a woman is, de Beauvoir highlights the “womanly” experience of life and includes how the works of Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Casanova, Alfred Adler, and many more define or deflect what feminism is. Although this book is a longer read, it is worth every second of it!
2. “The Better Half, on the Genetic Superiority of Women” by Sharon Moalem
This book is written by Sharon Moalem, a Canadian-American physician on his reasons and experience as to why he believes and proves that women are the superior sex. Writing about his experience in caring for HIV positive children, treating premature babies in the NICU, and recruiting elderly patients for neurogenetic studies, Dr. Moalem explores why men are always more likely to not thrive as a woman would. Although this book is more of a research or cause-effect read, it motivates and liberates women to understand their own inherent power of their bodies. This book helped me learn to trust myself more in ways that I already have everything in me that I am meant to have. The only thing you’re missing right out on is not giving this a read!
Related: How Capitalism Poached Feminism
3. “We Should All Be Feminists” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This book essay written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a must read for everyone struggling to define 21st century feminism. Through her accounts in having “feminism” talks with others, Ngozi Adichie discusses the common misconceptions of feminism and why they are detrimental to society. In her writing, Ngozi Adichie unites the forces of humanity to bring the reader to the true meaning of feminism, peace and equity. This book is a simple but effective read for all and perhaps a gift read for some!
4. “Sex and Lies: True Stories of Women’s Intimate Lives in the Arab World” by Leila Slimani
In Sex and Lies, French-Moroccan author, Leila Slimani, highlights and presents the sexist and misogynistic tendencies of eastern culture. In an effort to debunk and erase toxic ideology taught to young girls, Slimani interviews multiple girls from around the Arabian peninsula and validates that women’s sexual being. This read is a freeing read for sexual intimacy, identity, and culture so I would definitely recommend this for my intersectional besties!
5. Bonus Watch: “Elder Millennial” by Iliza Shlesinger
Last but not least, is one watch that I thought although light-hearted, got it totally right. In her Netflix comedy special, Iliza Shlesinger talks about what life is as a 35 year-old millennial woman in 2018. Joking about the harsh realities of women Shlesinger speaks on societal expectations of men and women, toxic masculinity, and relationships. With jokes and laughs, this watch is best for when you have had a hard day and just wish to be understood but girl, you're not the only one in this mess. Bring back the joy with this must watch!
Forget worrying about the girl you have to be or what “type” of girl you are and just be the girl you already are, collegiettes!