I am 100% a book worm. I can never decide on what amazing book to read next. Right now, I am very into feminist literature and books dealing with how society is structures and what effects patriarchy has had on the way we live and function. If you consider yourself a feminist or want to learn more about what feminism actually is (and not listen to the false information on feminism that oftentimes gets spread online), the following books are a great start.
1. Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men
I have written about this book before and it’s still one I would recommend to anyone. Caroline Criado Perez has done an excellent job in highlighting how the gender data gap influences all areas of our lives and drastically impacts gender inequality. Whether it is public toilets, the size of our phones, playgrounds, bus stops, art, healthcare or even snow ploughing… Missing data and leaving half the population out of the equation has created a world where inequalities linger around every corner. The book is a clear indicator as to why feminism is needed and why the fight for equality is far from over. If you are looking for a data-driven book on gender equality, look no further.
2. Unlearn Patriarchy
A new book, currently only published in German (but probably the English version will follow soon). The book deals with patriarchy and how it is affecting different areas of our day-to-day. Each chapter deals with a different aspect and is written by a different expert in the given field. Examples include “unlearn language,” “unlearn gender,” “unlearn sex,” “unlearn capitalism,” “unlearn racism,” “unlearn politics,” and “unlearn power.” One of my favorite feminist idols wrote the chapter on politics and you can follow more of her work at the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy.
3. Women Don’t Owe You Pretty
The world we live in tells women to be a lot of things. Be pretty, but not too much, be sexy, but don’t show skin or you are a slut, be thin, have a big butt, be smart, but not too smart or you are a know-it-all, be this and that. We are either too much or not enough. Whatever we do, we can never get it right. the patriarchy and oftentimes the male gaze have made it impossible for women do just be themselves without judgment. This book taught you to be your true self and reshapes the view of feminism and what it means to be a woman. It teaches you to channel the frustration and anger we all have because of the impossible standards set on us and instead of fighting ourselves or other women, use this anger to dismantle the structures that exist and create a more equal world.
4. Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies
What does feminism mean to you? Everyone has a different relationship to and understanding of what feminism is and this book higlights personal stories from people across the world, actors, activists, writers and more and tells their journey to feminism. Through this personal lens, the book will help readers to develop their own view and understanding of the feminist movement and hopefully will encourage more people to join in and find their voice.
5. Anything from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
One of my favorite authors is well known for her feminist literature. In the past, I have written about some of her work and most of her books and stories deal with an underlying feminist issue. Whether it is Dear Ijeawele, or a a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions or We Should All Be Feminists… Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie know how to convey the importance of feminism and why it is not just a women’s issue, but why we would all be better off if everyone would see themselves as a feminist.
6. You Are Not a Before Picture
While this book not directly deals with the topic of feminism it deals with a big issue that our society and our patriarchal culture has caused for people (predominantly women and girls). It’s an empowering book to help people remove diet culture and all the struggles it causes from their lives and accept themselves the way they are. We constantly compare ourselves to others and especially women are held to such high and impossible beauty standards that it’s no wonder, eating disorders are so rampant in most societies. We always see ourselves as a ‘before’ picture, a person with ‘problem areas’ that need fixing and constant work, because that is what society has told us we are. Thanks to Alex Light, this book can help people to love themselves a bit more and not listen to what others want you to be and look like.
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Photo: Dollar Gill via Unsplash