6 Feminist Books You Didn’t Know You Needed

By: Rawan Khalil

Have you been dying to start a feminist book, but found yourself incapable of knowing where to start? Many of look for reads which would lift our spirit and empower our inner being. If you want to empower yourself and those around you, or have been looking for the next perfect read; don’t worry I got you covered. Here are 6 feminist books by inspiring authors for you to read this summer!!

 

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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“The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations.”

I have serious love and respect for this woman because in literally 38 pages I fell more in love with feminism. This book clears out stereotypical thoughts and ideas about feminism by Adichie talking about her personal experiences. Whether or not you are a feminist, whatever is your current stance on feminism at this moment this book is very eye-opening. Not only that but as for a bonus you will learn a bit about Nigerian culture!!

If you are looking for something short, sweet and extremely powerful this book is PERFECT!

 

Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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“Your feminist premise should be: I matter. I matter equally. Not “if only.” Not “as long as.” I matter equally. Full stop.”

Another book by the African queen. In this book Adichie is basically giving advice to a friend who asked how to raise her daughter a feminist. This book tackles so many important entities like the role of fathers, beauty standards, self-worth… the list goes on and on and on. I am thrilled by the glory of this manifesto due to it’s magical ability to ingrain and root my feminism even further. This is also short with only 63 pages, however, I promise these 63 pages will change the way you look at so many things.

 

Salt by Nayyirah Waheed

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“you
see your face.
you
see a flaw.
how. if you are the only one who has this face.
–– the beauty construct”

This is a brilliant collection of poetry- the poems will probably touch you as Waheed literally writes about topics which are so relatable. The artistry is so pure, genuine and raw as she manages to strip down her emotions, and by using just a few words she fabricates a plethora of emotions which you find yourself engulfed in!!!!

 

The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women by Jessica Valenti

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“..the hope I have for women: that we can start to see ourselves-and encourage men to see us-as more than just the sum of our sexual parts: not as virgins or whores, as mothers or girlfriends, or as existing only in relation to men, but as people with independent desires, hopes and abilities. But I know that this can’t happen as long as American culture continues to inundate us with gender-role messages that place everyone-men and women-in an unnatural hierarchical order that’s impossible to maintain without strife. For women to move forward, and for men to break free, we need to overcome the masculinity status quo-together.”

 

Y’all might be wondering why the fuck am I suggesting this if it’s about American and not the Middle East or the Arab World. It’s because of the importance of the messages this book holds. It discusses the sexuality of women, it discusses how the morality of a woman is decided by her hymen being present or absent instead of whether or not she treats people with kindness/politeness. This book questions and I think as humans we like to know the answer of questions. If you wanna break down social constructs by diving right into them instead of just watching; this book will do the trick!

 

 

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

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“We must stop pointing to the exceptions- these bright shining stars who transcend circumstance. We must look to how we can best support the least among us, not spend all our time blindly revering and trying to mimic the greatest with demanding systemic change.”

This is a collection of essays, and the word essay makes it sound as if it’s a chore but it isn’t. In this collection Gay doesn’t only story tell and voice her opinion; she offers advice. This is a very mouldy book- by that I mean it gives you feminism, teaches you about it but this feminism is raw, soft and unshaped and then all you have to do is mould the clay with your actions to produce the feminist you wanna be, the feminist that’s not obnoxious but assertive and ambitious.

 

And I Darken by Kiersten White

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Genre(s): YA, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance

““You see this”—Huma gestured to the room, the building, and finally to herself—“as a prison. But you are wrong. This is my court. This is my throne. This is my kingdom. The cost was my freedom and my body.” Her fine eyebrows raised, mouth playful, eyes hard. “So the question becomes, Daughter of the Dragon, what will you sacrifice? What will you let be taken away so that you, too, can have power?””

LAST BUT NOT LEAST This book isn’t a straightforward feminist book, I even think it’s interesting that I included it in this article but I think the reason I did is because the Main Character is a badass. This book is a literal re-imagination of Vlad the Impaler as a woman. As a woman who won’t shut the fuck up when men treat her like shit in the 15th century. Not only that but Kiersten White managed to portray religion (and the lack of religion) without being preachy and/or judgmental. There are LGBTQ+ characters and at the end of the day the story is so dark, compelling and beautiful. This book is a perfect fictional read with so many elements that link to our lives just hiding around the corners, disguised as fictional characters.

 

2 thoughts on “6 Feminist Books You Didn’t Know You Needed

    1. I quite agree Chimamanda is a literal queen; her writing is short and very powerful. As for Simone de Beauvoir and Patricia Hills they’re both currently on my tbr!! I didn’t quit enjoy bell hooks writing as much as I would have like to enjoy them.

      Like

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