13 Must-Read Books For Anyone Interested in Feminism

Whether you strongly consider yourself a feminist or you don't feel like you fully understand what feminism is, reading up on the subject can expand your mind and give you new ways of looking at the world. People of all genders and backgrounds can benefit from learning more about gender inequality and the many struggles that women face, even in the modern age. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

13 Must-Read Books For Anyone Interested in Feminism

Title Author
1. Betraying Big Brother Leta Hong Fincher
2. Eggshell Skull Bri Lee
3. Well, That Escalated Quickly Franchesca Ramsey
4. The Woman’s Hour Elaine F. Weiss
5. Dead Girls Alice Bolin
6. Daughters of Shame Jasvinder Sanghera
7. Bright Lines Tanwi Nandini Islam
8. Sex/Gender Anne Fausto-Sterling
9. Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls Jes Baker
10. Goodbye, Sweet Girl Kelly Sundberg
11. Celestial Bodies in Orbit Eve Littlepage
12. Motherhood Sheila Heti
13. My Life, My Body Marge Piercy

Inspiring Quotes From Successful Women

Quote Source
"A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman." Melinda Gates
"I believe that it is as much a right and duty for women to do something with their lives as for men and we are not going to be satisfied with such frivolous parts as you give us." Louisa May Alcott
"One's feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results." Florence Nightingale
"If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again!" Sojourner Truth
"It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always." Oprah Winfrey

10 Women Who Changed History

  1. Claudette Colvin: Teenage civil rights activist
  2. Jane Addams: Nobel Peace Prize winner & suffragette
  3. Rosalind Franklin: Made ground-breaking discoveries about DNA
  4. Sojourner Truth: Abolitionist and women's rights activist
  5. Indira Gandhi: First female prime minister of India
  6. Margaret Sanger: Fought for women's right to birth control
  7. Marsha P. Johnson: Trans woman and LGBT rights activist
  8. Junko Tabei: First woman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest
  9. Susan Travers: WWII General who served in Italy, Germany, & France
  10. Betty Friedan: Social activist and author of The Feminine Mystique

The Urgency of Intersectionality

In Depth

Recent years have seen a new wave of feminism enter our political discourse, as younger generations take on the task of fighting for gender equality, and renewing an interest in those who started this movement and how it has taken on different forms across the globe. For those interested in learning about the people fighting for this cause, here are 13 essential reads to get you started.

In the #1 spot is Leta Hong Fincher's "Betraying Big Brother." When five women were arrested in China in 2015, they became an overnight sensation. The Feminist Five ushered in a new era of activism for Chinese women struggling under a fiercely patriarchal government. In this exploration, readers get to take a closer look at how it all started, and what a radical uprising for feminists across Asia could mean for the world.

At #2 is "Eggshell Skull" by Bri Lee. Working in the Australian legal system, author Lee saw plenty of heartbreaking cases where victims of domestic abuse were dealt a bitter pill as their violators walked free. She realized that she needed to do something more than help defend these women in court. She had to tell her own story about being one of them.

She realized that she needed to do something more than help defend these women in court.

For #3 we get Franchesca Ramsey's "Well, That Escalated Quickly." YouTube star and cultural commentator Ramsey didn't expect her career to go where it did. But after a video she made about intersectional feminism went viral, she found herself in the national spotlight. After embracing her own unique approach to the issues, Ramsey soon became one of the most prominent voices fighting for change in the social media age.

Coming in at #4 is "The Woman's Hour" by Elaine F. Weiss. It wasn't that long ago that women had no say in the workings of government because they lacked the right to vote. When the suffragist movement took hold and forced the country to rise to the challenge of gender equity in politics, it changed the nation forever. In this riveting account of the movement's most hard-won battles, the important figures of the day are given their due for altering the course of history.

For #5 we have Alice Bolin's "Dead Girls." America has long had an obsession with beautiful corpses, whether it's the Black Dahlia case or modern true crime podcasts. Essayist Bolin takes a sharp look at pop culture and society to get to the root of this disturbing trend. From "Twin Peaks" to female pop stars, an entire culture is revealed wherein dead women are used as props for stories about men.

Essayist Bolin takes a sharp look at pop culture and society to get to the root of this disturbing trend.

For #6 we get "Daughters of Shame" by Jasvinder Sanghera. Faced with the choice between entering into a loveless marriage or being a victim of an honor-based killing, what would you do? This horrible bargain might seem foreign to many readers, but for Sanghera, it was a part of growing up. To counteract the silence and shame of so many women forced into leading a life they don't want, the author brings their heartbreaking stories of rebellion, violence, and tragedy to the forefront.

Coming in at #7 is Tanwi Nandini Islam's "Bright Lines." In this novel, an orphaned Brooklyn transplant finds hope and happiness at the home of her extended family, the Saleems. But even as Bangladesh-born Ella comes to grips with her own sexuality and her feelings about her gender, tragedy threatens to tear her family, and her world, apart.

At #8 is Anne Fausto-Sterling's "Sex/Gender." What is the difference between biological sex and gender, and how can we use our understanding of these terms to facilitate greater harmony between the sexes? In this work, the Brown professor of Gender Studies examines current research into biological development to reveal a healthier, more constructive way of thinking about how we define ourselves and each other.

What is the difference between biological sex and gender, and how can we use our understanding of these terms to facilitate greater harmony between the sexes?

In the #9 spot is "Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls" by Jes Baker. Despite the recent advances of the body positivity movement, there's no denying that when it comes to having a body that's anything less than stick-thin, women are still judged, criticized, and made to feel "less than." Baker wants that to change. In this refreshing work, readers are encouraged to treat all bodies as good bodies, no matter what mixed messages the culture might be sending out.

For #10 we have Kelly Sundberg's "Goodbye, Sweet Girl." What starts out as a sweet, gentle romance in this memoir ends as a tragic tale of abuse and horror. Sundberg trusted her husband Caleb with everything. Then, he started to hit her, blaming her for his own violent actions. Sundberg breaks down the story of a marriage to examine how victims of domestic abuse get trapped in the same violent cycle.

At #11 is "Celestial Bodies in Orbit" by Eve Littlepage. During the 1970s and 80s, Littlepage, known onstage as "Lisa Doolittle," made her way as an exotic dancer in Boston. What started as a way to pay the bills became a way to explore the seedy underworld of sex, violence, and misogyny. As the author tries to escape a culture of drug-fueled decisions and abusive relationships, she finds herself wondering how she got here, and if she can count on her internal strength to get her to a better place in the end.

What started as a way to pay the bills became a way to explore the seedy underworld of sex, violence, and misogyny.

Coming in at #12 is Sheila Heti's "Motherhood." To give birth or not to give birth? Though it might seem like a harmless question, for many women, this statement can give way to feelings of fear, tension, and failure. Why does our culture put so much value on the idea of motherhood, and how can women find ways to fight back against it? This thoughtful, beautifully-written exploration pushes hard against a patriarchal culture that tells women they're no more than the sum of their bodies.

Finally, at #13, is Marge Piercy's "My Life, My Body." Feminism isn't easy, but it's especially hard to stay true to your beliefs when you're working-class and just trying to survive in an unequal world. In this collection of essays, poems, and other writings, acclaimed writer Piercy uses her personal experience to expose the ways in which feminism falls short for marginalized individuals.