Ever since I really got into social science books, I’ve noticed how similar a lot of them are. That being said, I recently finished the 600+ page, Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir. It’s become one of my favorite books, but if it hadn’t been for one of my teachers, I never would’ve read it. The feminist genre is so pervasive in topics and subtopics, this is meant to make things a little clearer. I love reading books, I love writing about books, so this seemed like the perfect post. If you have any recommendations, feel free to leave a comment below.
woman’s role in the home. Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. This is the book that started my large collection of genders studies books. It’s a classic and a must read book. Betty Friedan, well known for the National Organization for Women, talks about the primitive idea that a woman’s role is in the house, focusing on second wave feminism in the 1960s. Everyone should read this at least once in their lifetime.
south asian feminism. Good Girls Marry Doctors. A lot of the time, it seems like feminism is dominated by a caucasian narrative when feminism is for everyone, regardless of race. This book not only tackles the stigma and boundaries given to women, but it highlights real life stories from south asian women. As a south asian, I really appreciated this book’s goal of representation.
EVERYTHING. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir. Like I said before, this book has become one of my favorites. It maps a woman’s life from when she’s a kid to when she’s an adult, showing how sexism is evident throughout our entire lives. She covers topics from women being sold for goats to motherhood. This is another book I recommend everyone reads, however it is really long.
my favorite fictional feminist book. The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood. This book is well known for displaying a what if things were even worse/ dystopian world where women are even more restricted. I think it’s a really interesting book that highlights important themes of woman’s objectification and male supremacy.
best strong classic female. Macbeth by Shakespeare. Shakespeare doesn’t have the best record of female representation in his plays, but I personally loved seeing Lady Macbeth’s character. I don’t want to spoil too much, but I just loved how she was the smart, manipulating, unemotional character for a change. Everyone has a different opinion and interpretation of her character, but it’s still a classic + pretty great book.
body image. The Beauty Myth by Naomi Woolf. There’s not too much I can say about this book other than that it perfectly talks about various aspects of body image and feminist history. Woolf talks about things from plastic surgery to the value that’s attributed to women’s bodies. It’s another one of my favorites.
generational feminism. Manifesta by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards. This book still covers all of the ideas almost every other book talks about., What makes it really special, however, is how it focuses specifically on this new era of feminism and the drawbacks of generational feminism.
women writers. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf. Even if Virginia Woolf didn’t write about equality, I would still love her writing. This book is basically about how female writers, back then and even now, need to be considered equal with a safe space to write, in order to succeed as a respected writer.
some other books:
- the past is behind us by Sheila Rowbotham
- more than enough by Elaine Welteroth
- rage becomes her by Soraya Chemaly
- mrs. dalloway by Virginia Wolf
- jane eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- little women by Louisa May Alcott
I love getting book recommendations so feel free to leave some in the comments! Thanks!
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