Books

Best Feminist Books

Throughout history, women’s role has ensured national stability, advancement, and long-term sustainable development of the society. According to international studies, women take a leadership role in assisting the family in adjusting to new realities and difficulties.

Women have accomplished a lot in the last century. As of 2019, the median female workforce share in the world is 38.9%. In the past few decades, the position of women working in the urban and rural labour markets has grown tremendously. This is because of the awareness generated by feminist literature that sheds light on gender inequality.

We have prepared a list of the best feminist books of all times, which will ultimately change your perception about gender discrimination and what it signifies to be a woman today. Whether you want to educate yourself, a colleague, or a highly discriminating relative or friend, these books come in handy. Some feature captivating manifestos, whereas others take the form of evocative prose, but each one highlights the need for progress.

Top 10 Feminist Books

1. The Golden Notebook

The Golden Notebook

Highlights

Author: Doris Lessing
Publication Year: 1962
Publisher: Michael Joseph

Doris Lessing’s ambitious novel is rated among the finest literary works of the 20th century, as well as a crucial book in the 1960s women’s movement. In this influential account of a divorced woman seeking contentment in the 1950s, the protagonist documents her experiences in coloured notebooks: black for her life writings, red for political beliefs, yellow for emotional experiences, and blue for daily life.

A 5th notebook, the golden one, finally connects the loose ends of her life. The Golden Notebook is a highly influential book that continues to remain with the readers long after it has ended. It is passionate, realistic, and innovative.

You can buy this book here.

2. Women Who Run With The Wolves

Women Who Run With The Wolves Contacting the Power of the Wild Woman (Classic Edition)

Highlights

Author: Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Publication Year: 1992
Publisher: RHUK

Clarissa Pinkola Estés’ seminal feminist book was released in 1992 and soon went on to become a poetic sensation. The book spends around 145 weeks on the NYT bestseller list over a 3 year period, a record at that period. Estés, a Jungian consultant and poet, investigates the idea that the ‘wild woman’ has been suppressed by a male-oriented value system that downplays women’s emotions.

But, she convincingly argues, it is our sense of wildness that is our most valuable asset as women. This is not a light read, but those who persevere will be rewarded.

You can buy this book here.

3. Men Explain Things To Me

Men Explain Things to Me

Highlights

Author: Rebecca Solnit
Publication Year: 2015
Publisher: Haymarket books

Men Explain Things to Me is a contemporary masterpiece from one of the most inventive and incisive writers, Rebecca Solnit. It contains 7 sharp essays, each one an astoundingly honed gem. It starts with the thrilling essay about how mansplaining frequently deviates dialogues between men and women. In the essays that follow, Solnit examines cultural sexism and racism through the lens of politics, media, art and history.

She argues that seemingly isolated incidents of sexism, such as mansplaining, are part of a threatening spectrum of gendered systematic abuse that leads to sexual violence. Solnit pens, “It’s a slippery slope. That is why, rather than compartmentalising and dealing with the various forms of misogyny separately, we must address the slope.”

Men Explain Things to Me is a strong argument for a long term future where women have equal power and respect. It is truthful, courageous, and uncompromisingly honest.

You can buy this book here.

4. The Bluest Eye

The Bluest Eye

Highlights

Author: Toni Morrisson
Publication Year: 1970
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart and Winston

It’s difficult to pick just one work from Toni Morrison’s vast and illustrious body of work. However if in doubt, start from scratch. Morrison’s groundbreaking debut novel tells the storey of Pecola Breedlove, a mistreated and unloved Black girl who is pregnant by her own father and lives in a rural Ohio town.

The protagonist is subjected to unrelenting mistreatment and cruelty. Pecola longs for blue eyes, believing that elegant white beauty is the key to an improved life. However, her mind is colonised to the point of madness.

The Bluest Eye established Morrison as a once-in-a-generation writer with supernatural abilities in 1970, and it has managed to remain a mainstay on banned books lists in the years since, with states citing “inappropriate language.” and “sexually explicit material”.

The Bluest Eye is a seminal work that belongs in the American literary canon. It is an unforgettable study of trauma, pity, and internalised racism, filled with grief.

You can buy this book here.

5. Women, Race & Class

Women, Race & Class (Penguin Modern Classics)

Highlights

Author: Angela Y. Davis
Publication Year: 1983
Publisher: Penguin Books

Angela Y. Davis’s classic 1983 book examines how racism and class discrimination have subverted many feminist movements across history, with white women leaders frequently upholding white supremacist ideals rather than espousing for women of colour. She demonstrates how well-known feminists ignored the rights of Black and working-class groups to advance their own ideologies.

Davis also discusses how historical imbalances in popular feminist groups continue to shape how society perceives domestic labour, reproductive rights, sexual abuse, and other feminist issues today.

You can buy this book here.

6. Girl Decoded

Girl Decoded A Scientist's Quest to Reclaim Our Humanity by Bringing Emotional Intelligence to Technology

Highlights

Author: El Kaliouby
Publication Year: 2020
Publisher: Currency

Girl Decoded traces El Kaliouby’s private and professional voyage as a Muslim woman in the predominantly white and male technological world. It is both a moving autobiography of one woman’s evolution and a fast-paced storey set on the cutting edge of AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology.

El Kaliouby was raised in Egypt by conservative parents, but she defied her upbringing by earning a PhD at Cambridge and then moving to the U.S. to pursue her dream of humanising the Silicon Valley. The protagonist speaks eloquently about the personal challenge of learning to “decode” her own feelings as she recollects her aspiration to bring emotional intelligence to innovative technologies.

Her efforts led to the creation of Affectiva, a software company that pioneered artificial intelligence that can understand emotional responses. As women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) continue to face oppression, racism, and a slew of other obstacles, Girl Decoded serves as a powerful reminder that they can and should succeed without compromising their identities.

You can buy this book here.

7. Women And Power

Women & Power A Manifesto Paperback

Highlights

Author: Mary Beard
Publication Year: 2018
Publisher: Profile Books

This good piece, adapted from two lessons, examines how society has mistreated women throughout history and what reinforces sexism. Mary Beard examines how women have been and continue to be silenced, as well as how the patriarchal society has dominated civilisation for generations, using both past and present examples.

What changes must be made in our power structures for women to have an equal claim to it? If all of this seems overwhelming, be assured that Beard’s trademark wit and simplicity make this a compelling read.

You can buy this book here.

8. Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women

Entitled How Male Privilege Hurts Women

Highlights

Author: Kate Manne
Publication Year: 2021
Publisher: Penguin Books

Down Girl’s visionary writer returns with a jolting and phenomenal examination of male privilege that is sure to become a lynchpin of the contemporary feminist classics. Manne examines the many manifestations of male entitlement in American culture.

From Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court appointment to the unfair split of domestic labour, male entitlement dominates the society. Medical undertreatment of woman and the false narrative of successful women being “unelectable,” are among other forces that authorities and penalise women, are all under her criticism.

Manne examines how entitlement fuels misogynist violence, providing a perceptive, accurate, and heartbreaking account of a political context with consequences.

You can buy this book here.

9. The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love

The Will to Change Men, Masculinity, and Love

Highlights

Author: Bell Hooks
Publication Year: 2004
Publisher: Washington Square Press

Hooks describes a deeply embedded pattern of psychic egoistic attitude that drives men to live spiritually barren lives when they fall out of love with love, self-expression, and identity in this seminal exploration of patriarchy’s disastrous impact on the male psyche. Hooks addresses common male anxieties about intimacy and losing male domination status, while also encouraging men to enhance and start sharing their emotional lives.

Although Hooks wrote the book with the intention of improving the psychological and moral lives of male readers, it contains enough wisdom for women as well. After all, “anytime a single male dares to transcend patriarchal limits in order to love, the life of a woman, man, and kids are profoundly changed for the better,” writes Hooks.

You can buy this book here.

10. The Witches Are Coming

The Witches Are Coming

Highlights

Author: Lindy West
Publication Year: 2021
Publisher: Hachette Books

Only Lindy West, one of our most important gender thinkers, could capture the agony and ecstasy of modern life in a single slim volume. She reveals her coherent theory of America in this blistering collection of 17 laser-focused essays: that our steady supply of modern media created by and for aggrieved, privileged white men is solely responsible for our political and social moment.

In this hilarious, hyper-literate examination of the relationship between meme culture and male blandness, she takes a scathing look at Adam Sandler and Pepe the Frog. West delivers a stinging indictment of the structures that oppress us—the government, which denies our privileges, the media, which denies our narratives, and society, which denies our integrity.

You can buy this book here.

Conclusion

Some of these feminist books will take you on a journey through the history of feminism, whilst others take you on a journey through more modern ideas and experiences. Many of them are related to the concept of intersectional feminism and how white feminist leaders have frequently ignored or victimised women of colour or members of other marginalised groups. Others include essays about overcoming patriarchy, which may motivate you to keep an open mind.

We hope you would have a fine time reading these books and help society in changing the viewpoint about women.

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Anamika Kalwan

I am a logophile who loves to write. With an experience of 3+ years, I have passionately contributed my expertise and knowledge to create content in the field of Technical and E-learning based Content Writing. I aim to deliver my absolute best and add value to my organization through my skill set.

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