5 Books For Your Feminist Reading List

You can certainly never have too many feminist books on your reading list. This week, I have compiled a short list of feminist readings that I would recommend to any diehard feminist, or someone who is just getting involved in feminist theory and activity. Happy reading!

1. “The Vagina Monologues” by Eve Ensler

These monologues explore a variety of issues women deal with, ranging from sex work to experiences with reproduction and menstruation. Told from the perspectives of a diverse group of women, these monologues help us to think about what it means to be a woman, and just how complicated that question is.

2. “He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know” by Jessica Valenti

Women are sluts, men are studs. Women are haggard, men are distinguished. Women belong at home and men belong at work. All of these double standards, and 46 others are the topics of this book by Jessica Valenti. She lays out the unrealistic standards set for women and calls out the double standards intended to keep women subordinate to men. A fun, sassy read, this book equips us ladies with the information and resources we need to combat sexism wherever we encounter it (so...everywhere.)

3. "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison

This novel centers on the issues of race, womanhood, sexuality, incest, and rape. A brilliantly crafted novel, “The Bluest Eye” challenges racist Eurocentric standards of beauty through an exploration of their consequences. Women of all colors and creeds should never feel shame for the way they look, and this book highlights the prominent relationship between race and self-esteem.

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

A dystopian novel from the 1980s, “The Handmaid’s Tale” has found a home in the feminist movement. For many feminists, this novel captures the dangers of a sexist, totalitarian regime rooted in Christian fundamentalist ideals. Its depiction of the extreme subordination of women in a patriarchal, misogynistic society reminds us how crucial feminism is to assert women’s independence, bodily autonomy, and equality. In our current political climate, “The Handmaid’s Tale” serves as the ultimate reminder that we should never tolerate encroachments on our rights as citizens, human beings, and over our reproductive destinies.

5. “Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics” by bell hooks

A standard introductory novel for many women’s studies classes, this book by renowned feminist scholar and theorist bell hooks explores various facets of feminism. In several clear and direct chapters, she demonstrates how, in a patriarchal system, we all lose. Feminism, therefore, promises the elimination of sexism and sexist exploitation and oppression to benefit everyone.