Okay Ladies, Now Let’s Get Information: A Feminist Reading List
Posted on January 9, 2017
by Katie M
On January 21, 2017, thousands of women are planning to participate in the Women’s March on Washington in Washington, DC. According to the event’s official website, the mission of the Women’s March on Washington is to, “stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.” The event is inclusive, and free to everyone who supports women’s rights.
For more information on the Women’s March on Washington, visit the following:
Whether you plan to march, or just join your sisters in spirit –let’s brush up on the basics. We’ve created a list of essential titles for the modern feminist. Check out these books to explore current women’s issues and get to know some of the women who have paved the way for this upcoming historic event. All the titles are available with your TLPCL library card!
All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister
In a provocative, groundbreaking work, National Magazine Award–finalist Rebecca Traister, “the most brilliant voice on feminism in this country” (Anne Lamott), traces the history of unmarried women in America who, through social, political, and economic means, have radically shaped our nation.
For legions of women, living single isn’t news; it’s life.
In 2009, the award-winning journalist Rebecca Traister started All the Single Ladies—a book she thought would be a work of contemporary journalism—about the twenty-first century phenomenon of the American single woman. It was the year the proportion of American women who were married dropped below fifty percent; and the median age of first marriages, which had remained between twenty and twenty-two years old for nearly a century (1890–1980), had risen dramatically to twenty-seven.
But over the course of her vast research and more than a hundred interviews with academics and social scientists and prominent single women, Traister discovered a startling truth: the phenomenon of the single woman in America is not a new one. And historically, when women were given options beyond early heterosexual marriage, the results were massive social change—temperance, abolition, secondary education, and more.
Today, only twenty percent of Americans are wed by age twenty-nine, compared to nearly sixty percent in 1960. The Population Reference Bureau calls it a “dramatic reversal.” All the Single Ladies is a remarkable portrait of contemporary American life and how we got here, through the lens of the single American woman. Covering class, race, sexual orientation, and filled with vivid anecdotes from fascinating contemporary and historical figures, All the Single Ladies is destined to be a classic work of social history and journalism. Exhaustively researched, brilliantly balanced, and told with Traister’s signature wit and insight, this book should be shelved alongside Gail Collins’s When Everything Changed.
Everyday Sexism: The Project That Inspired a Worldwide Movement by Laura Bates
Good Housekeeping has this to say about Everyday Sexism:
“A new generation of women is shouting back against everyday sexism, and their leader, Laura Bates, is determined to change the world.”
In 2012 after having been sexually harassed on London public transport, Laura Bates started a project called Everyday Sexism. Astounded by the response from all over the world, she quickly realized that the situation was far worse than she’d initially thought.
In a culture that’s driven by social media, for the first time women are using this online space (@EverydaySexism and www.everydaysexism.com), now in 19 countries, to come together and to encourage a new generation to recognize the problems that women face.
In April of 2015, to commemorate the 100,000th entry, the author led a successful Thunderclap campaign that enabled the project to become the #1 internationally trending topic that day, gaining several million retweets to become the leading tweet in the English speaking world.
“Who would I be if I lived in a world that didn’t hate women?”
Jessica Valenti has been leading the national conversation on gender and politics for over a decade. Now, in a memoir, Valenti explores the toll that sexism takes on women’s lives, from the everyday to the existential. From subway gropings and imposter syndrome to sexual awakenings and motherhood, Sex Object reveals the painful, embarrassing, and sometimes illegal moments that shaped Valenti’s adolescence and young adulthood in New York City. In the tradition of writers like Joan Didion and Mary Karr, Sex Object is a profoundly moving tour de force that is bound to shock those already familiar with Valenti’s work, and enthrall those who are just finding it.
Gloria Steinem—writer, activist, organizer, and one of the most inspiring leaders in the world—now tells a story she has never told before, a candid account of how her early years led her to live an on-the-road kind of life, traveling, listening to people, learning, and creating change. She reveals the story of her own growth in tandem with the growth of an ongoing movement for equality. This is the story at the heart of My Life on the Road.
In her comic, scathing essay “Men Explain Things to Me,” Rebecca Solnit took on what often goes wrong in conversations between men and women. She wrote about men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don’t, about why this arises, and how this aspect of the gender wars works, airing some of her own hilariously awful encounters. She ends on a serious note because the ultimate problem is the silencing of women who have something to say, including those saying things like, “He’s trying to kill me!” This updated edition of the book features that now-classic essay as well as Solnit’s recent essay on the remarkable feminist conversation that arose in the wake of the 2014 Isla Vista killings.
You Don’t Have To Like Me: Essays on Growing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding Feminism by Alida Nugent
Alida Nugent’s first book, Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse, received terrific reviews, and her self-deprecating “everygirl” approach continues to win the Internet-savvy writer and blogger new fans. Now, she takes on one of today’s hottest cultural topics: feminism.
Nugent is a proud feminist—and she’s not afraid to say it. From the “scarlet F” thrust upon you if you declare yourself a feminist at a party to how to handle judgmental store clerks when you buy Plan B, You Don’t Have to Like Me skewers a range of cultural issues, and confirms Nugent as a star on the rise.
A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay.
“Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to becool, but it is pink—all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I’m not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue.”
In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of color (The Help) while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.
Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
In this personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from her much-admired TEDx talk of the same name—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, award-winning author of Americanah, offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness. Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman now—and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.
Though they have the vote and the Pill and haven’t been burned as witches since 1727, life isn’t exactly a stroll down the catwalk for modern women. They are beset by uncertainties and questions: Why are they supposed to get Brazilians?Why do bras hurt?Why the incessant talk about babies?And do men secretly hate them? Caitlin Moran interweaves provocative observations on women’s lives with laugh-out-loud funny scenes from her own, from the riot of adolescence to her development as a writer, wife, and mother. With rapier wit, Moran slices right to the truth — whether it’s about the workplace, strip clubs, love, fat, abortion, popular entertainment, or children — to jump-start a new conversation about feminism. With humor, insight, and verve, How To Be a Woman lays bare the reasons why female rights and empowerment are essential issues not only for women today but also for society itself.
How to Win at Feminism: The Definitive Guide to Having It All — And Then Some! by Elizabeth Newell, Anna Drezen, and Sarah Pappalardo; presented by Reductress
Feminism is all about demanding equality and learning to love yourself. But not too much – men hate that! From the writers of Reductress, the subversive, satirical women’s magazine read by over 2.5 million visitors a month, comes How To Win At Feminism: The Definitive Guide to Having It All–And Then Some! This ultimate guide to winning feminism–filled with four-color illustrations, bold graphics, and hilarious photos–teaches readers how to battle the patriarchy better than everybody else. From the herstory of feminism to how to apologize for having it all, readers will learn how to be a feminist at work and at home with tips that include: How to Do More with 33 Cents Less, How to Be Sex-Positive Even When You’re Bloated, How to Love Your Body Even Though Hers Is Better, and more. How To Win At Feminism is a fresh take on women’s rights through the lens of the funniest women in comedy today. With this book as your wo-manual, you’ll shatter that glass ceiling once and for all (but you’ll still need to clean up the mess).
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