Feminism is a trending topic, and several young women are proudly flaunting the pink cap as feminists. Most of the women who want to dig deep into the concept of feminism and women empowerment belong to the category of college-goers and the below-30 group. Out of these, a few choose to take up women’s rights, empowerment, and feminism as a part of specialized higher studies, and the others accept the more vocal way by participating in rallies. We are here to encourage you to read some of the best feminist books so that you get a better idea of the term.
What is feminism in the first place? Is it women over men, or is it the promotion of matriarchal rule? Well, feminism is none of the two. A real feminist believes in equality because they feel women are no less than men. To make it more consistent, feminists believe that we are all human beings and should not be categorized based on our gender.
What we mean by feminism is women must not be ignored, stating they are weak. They should be allowed to walk every road of life neck-to-neck with the other genders. It is to show that someone cannot rule the world based on gender discrimination. Therefore, women should be able to live their lives the way they want and not according to a book of rules. Further, in this article, you will get to know about the best feminist books that you must have at home.
Best feminist books that you must read
Check out the list below to get an idea about the classic feminist books that will remain evergreen.
Bell Hooks’ Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism
The book was first published in 1981 and has been one of the best-selling books on the topic of feminism since then. In the book, author Bell Hooks tries to focus on the struggle faced by black women during Feminist movements.
It talks about the various experiences of these women and how they have still stood firm. The tone of the book is evergreen because you can even relate it with our present-day scenario. The way, Hooks has successfully held up the most ignored topic of the society is well-presented in this book, making it one of the best feminist books.
Rebecca Traister’s All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation
Journalist Rebecca Traister feels that strong women such as Sylvia Plath and Betty Friedan should have lived to see how American women are progressing these days. Traister, a journalist herself, compares the condition of American women in the mid-20th Century to the present 21st Century. Traister pens down in what is considered one of the best feminist books, how women could not become independent earlier.
They had to obey the rules and norms of society, especially when they were married. The situation is so different now because women these days aim to become financially independent, and marriage is not their priority anymore. Her career holds the utmost importance, and she works hard so that she can buy herself a diamond for her ring finger.
Sophocles presents Antigone
Talking about classic feminist books, we cannot give this one a miss. Antigone was written more than a century back, and now you know that being a woman was always this difficult, slightly more than how it is now. The classic is to date considered one of the best feminist books and tells the story of a woman who stood firm in a world that was ruled by men.
Antigone is about a woman’s unwillingness to give up in the hands of patriarchy. She did not want to abide by the hateful norms of the harsh society, and so she stood up firmly against them. As modern women, we can relate to what the protagonist must have been through because we almost survive the same every day. The content of the book teaches the women of today how to become independent when there is minimal support from the world around you.
Kate Harding’s Asking for it: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture- And What We Can do About It
For the ones who like to read classic feminist books, aa sensitive topic such as ‘rape culture’ is undoubtedly going to intrigue every nerve in your body. In her bestselling book, Harding tries to hold up the deteriorating condition of the society and the minds of people. She blames the community entirely for instilling the rape culture in every nook and corner of the present world.
We are living in a world filled with fear, insecurity, and hesitation. There are several countries where girls and women fear to leave the house alone due to the dismay of abduction and rape. In the book Asking for It, the author tries to talk about the probable causes of crime and the effect of it on women and society.
Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist
Let’s come down to the flip side of feminism now in the book Bad Feminist. The book happened after the raging success of its predecessor- Bad Feminism-Essays by Roxane Gay. Not just did her book became one of the best feminist books, but she started becoming an idol of feminists. The next book that she named Bad Feminist talks about ‘real feminism.’
Gay says that the term ‘perfect feminist’ is a complete hoax or merely a myth. She says that a feminist defines her way of feminism. However, things go wrong when supporters of feminism start expecting unattainable and unfair outcomes from their idols. Moreover, there is always anger, disappointment, and negativity when one of them cannot deliver according to the expectations of others. She is then defamed and accused by the same society of fellow feminists who once treated her like a queen. The book talks about such an issue in the best way.
Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty of Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women
As the name suggests, Wolf’s book is about how women are continuously falling for unattainable pleasures. It tells us about the firm decisions that were made by feminists in the past. According to her, independence nowadays comes with a lot of difficulties. Eating disorders are becoming more prevalent, and cosmetic procedures have become more popular than ever. Moreover, misogyny is a word that could define today’s pornography industry. The beauty of Myth is one of the best feminist books that talks about how women are prioritizing external beauty. As a result, they are continuously exploited in all the wrong ways.
Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar
The Bell Jar is quite different from most of the books that you find in a shortlist of the best feminist books. While most of the others are non-fictional and express the author’s thoughts, Sylvia Plath presents the account of a girl’s life in her book. It is an account of an American girl who was disappointed with her life during the 1950s. You may also read this book first and then carry on with The Feminist Manifesto by Betty Friedan. The publishing time of both books is in the same year.
Tina Fey’s Bossypants
When you are listing down the best feminist books of all time, this National Bestseller is a must -mention. In her book, Fey describes several women that she has come across, interacted, and worked with over the years. In the book, she describes some of the men she has faced during her growing-up years as a comedian.
The agenda of writing the book is to compare the behavior and the social status of talented men with women. She also wants to express her feeling about working women who have made their names shine in this patriarchal world. Moreover. Tina Fey dedicates the book to all those boss-ladies who are now influencing people in every sphere of life.
Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying
Once a NY Times Bestseller, this book was launched in 1973 and unabashedly spoke about bold women who never walked away from their desires. The protagonist in the novel is a woman who was shown interacting with men that could satisfy her sexually in spite of being married. Fear of
Flying is one of the classic feminist books that you can read for a lighter take on the subject of ‘feminism.’ The cover page of this bestseller book also successfully stirred a rage and thus gave way to a new term that we still know as “zipless fuck.” It means how women seek sexual satisfaction in spite of their marital and social status.
Ariel Levy’s Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture
Levy’s book brings us another side of feminism and how a clan of women act as chauvinists. In her book, she tries to find answers to why women stress higher sex appeal, the increasing popularity of plastic surgery, the reason for increasing pornography, and so on.
According to the author, the answer to most of these questions lies in the fact that several women still stress on attracting men rather than focusing on their financial independence and career. The book was published almost a decade back, and you can even relate to the present world’s scenario. Ariel Levy very boldly discusses the concept and says that a chauvinist woman cannot contribute any positivity to society.
Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch
In spite of being launched in the 1970s, this book oozes out modernism and the fuss about gender roles. Greer encourages all the strong women out there to stand firm for themselves and not let anyone overshadow their qualities.
It is every woman inside us, screaming out our story. The subject line is serious and sensitive. However, it motivates us ultimately. We all want to stand by Greer in her movement of equality for everyone, irrespective of their sexual choices.
Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique
Books like this make us think about how different and yet modern the concept of yesteryear authors had. They thought about the future, and that is why we can relate the subjects and agendas with the best feminist books 2019 too.
There are several reasons why Friedan’s book is one of the best feminist books of all time. She was the one who successfully presented the concept of feminism in front of the suburban world. As we get to know from record, she started writing a book about the existence of women. The research for her book urged her to interview several women from various walks of life.
She was then struck by reality and understood the problem women were facing due to typical gender roles. She decided to change her subject line, keeping though intact and finally came up with such an influential book. It is undoubtedly a must-have for all the young women who want to live a feminist life.
Caitlin Moran’s How to Be a Woman
Caitlin Moran is Britain’s favorite author, who is famous for her women-centric novels. If you have not read her yet, start with her book, How to Build a Girl. Finally, move to her memoir, how to be a Woman? In her journal, she makes it clear that she feels how every woman is a feminist in today’s world.
Moran stresses on the fact that today’s world has continuously changing demands from women and expect them to live up to all of that. Apart from the long list of topics associated with feminism, she writes about the most sensitive issues wrapped in refreshing honesty and stark humor. It is not just a book for feminists, but all women out there.
Feminism is a broad concept, and a lot of research goes into understanding it correctly. What we can conclude from the term is that no woman is weak, and no man can rule her. Every one of us should have the right to choose the way we live.