I used to think that feminist books involved academia and Germaine Greer, but over the last year I’ve read some fantastic books with a feminist slant from columnists, comedians and CEOs. Here are some of my favourite modern feminist books that should be on every girl’s bookshelf…
Hand on heart, I’m a serious Caitlin fangirl. I even saw her on tour earlier this summer, queuing for an hour to meet her and babbling away as she defaced the cover of my copy of this book with felt-tip moustache. When How to Be a Woman came out in 2011 I grabbed the first copy I could find a read it within a week. Part autobiographical, part feminist manifesto, the book covers porn, motherhood and abortion with the wit and silliness that anyone familiar with Caitlin’s columns for The Times have come to expect. The main root of her questioning; ‘do the men have to worry about this?’ to decipher if something is sexist or not is so on point, and if you don’t feel like standing on a chair and shouting “I”M A FEMINIST” after reading the first chapter then there’s something wrong with you.
Based on the popular feminist blog of the same name, Vagenda aims to highlight the inequalities and downright sexism within the media. I purchased this book when I went to see a talk by the authors as part of Bristol’s Festival of Ideas series. While I don’t agree with all of it (apparently anyone who likes floral trousers is a fashion victim), there are some serious ‘say what!?’ points in the book, particularly those centred around the link between appearance and how women are portrayed in magazines and advertising.
I’ve just finished reading this book (kindly lent to me by Hayley) and after finishing each chapter I would put it down and give a little (internalised) ‘woop!’ Sophia has gone from high school dropout to CEO of a million dollar clothing empire in seven years, and while she makes it clear from the outset that this book ‘isn’t a feminist manifesto’, it’s seriously inspiring. Sophia offers realistic, straight talking advice on how to make it as a #GIRLBOSS, and I guarantee that after reading this you’ll feel like you can take on the world.
Another book I purchased after watching a Festival of Ideas talk, Everyday Sexism is a book that I feel needs to be put on the curriculum. I wrote a full review here but in a nutshell, Laura’s book is a compilation of the entries the Everyday Sexism Project has received and charts just how women, in particular, grow up in the shadow of sexism that follows them around for their whole lives.
Tina Fey’s memoir focuses heavily on her time at Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock, but it does so with a heavy helping of what it’s like to be a woman in comedy, a stereotypically male-dominated industry. Her take on beauty regimes, the notion of constantly being in competition with other women and the baffling train of thought that ‘women can’t be funny’ are all addressed with aplomb and a healthy dose of sarcasm in this autobiography.
Have you read any of these books? Let me know if you have any recommendations for similar books.