Through the pages of the following feminist books, all of them essential, you will be able to introduce yourself or delve into the struggle of women for their rights and equality. We offer you a list of the most original and revealing readings on the condition of women, the feminist movement and the gender issue.
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1. Essential feminist books.
2. Feminist books for teenagers.
Essential feminist books
From fables and narratives that allow powerful feminist messages to be drawn from the symbolic element, to classic and modern essays on the condition of women, these are the essential feminist books that you cannot miss.
1. Women and power. A manifesto (Mary Beard)
The old challenge of women’s access to power and their position in public life is addressed in this bestseller by the academic Mary Beard. As a specialist in classical studies, she goes back to the cradle of Western civilization, Homer’s Odyssey, to point out the original sin of the mentality that relegates women to the background ..
In the first part of the book, the author delves into mythological references to find examples of how our cultural base is full of cliches and sexist prejudices.
In the second part, she puts the spotlight on the powerful women of our time, denouncing the trend towards the masculinization of women leaders .
The result is a manifesto published in 2018 that contextualizes the vision of women at all times and highlights current feminism by pointing out her tasks.
2. Caliban and the witch (Silvia Federici)
Under the subtitle Women, body and original accumulation Silvia Federici, renowned left-wing feminist, presents her masterpiece that has reached the last corner of the most combative feminist movement that links the fight for the liberation of women to the fight against capitalist exploitation.
This is one of the essential feminist books, in which the author explains how in the transition from feudalism to capitalism, the new liberal system imposed its accumulation by liquidating the forms of collective social organization and, in that process, women were the center of the target of annihilation.
Silvia Federici returns to the burning of witches to point out the mournful origin of our time and characterize the true heart of the capitalist systemTo which until today the unexpected, the subordinates, the Caliban and the witch continue to oppose.
3. The disputed gender (Judith Butler)
In the philosophical aspect Judith Butler is one of the feminists of current reference and this book is considered the founder of queer theory. As a fundamental reflection on the concept of gender, it stands as a lucid critique of the traditional idea that identities are immutable and rooted in the natural order.
Against the philosophical bases of the heteronormative model, through philosophy, anthropology, psychology and literary theory Judith Butler defends the destruction of the social constructgender roles to give space to new identities. The disputed gender was a pioneering work in the visibility, for example, of transsexuals.
Halfway between the scientific claim and the ideological panegyric, this book will not leave you indifferent. Undoubtedly, a controversial and groundbreaking work.
4. We should all be feminists (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)
From the hand of the Nigerian writer Ngozi Adichie we get a breath of fresh air to feminist literature with a casual and bold work. We should all be feminists, published in 2015, reminds us that feminism is not just a women’s thing and draws us an accurate panorama of 21st century feminism.
Without neglecting humor and handling with ease the agility of the text with her forcefulness, this charismatic author has a very clear objective to which she leads us through the pages of the book: to raise awareness of the need for all of us together to assume the commitment to build a more just and egalitarian society .
5. A room of one’s own (Virginia Woolf)
A fundamental figure of universal literature bequeathed us in this work a reflection on, precisely, the relationship between women and literature . The result is a wonderful novel that you cannot miss and that will help you understand the feminine condition through the appropriation of discourse by men.
And it is that in this work Virginia Woolf presents the womanlike a mirror that distorts reality in favor of men. For the man to acquire power and vindicate himself, he necessarily needs to neutralize the woman, and that is the starting point for the masterful literary creation of a fable with a moral.
What does a woman need to write a good story
, asks Virginia Woolf. Economic and personal independence, that is, a room of your own.
6. The Second Sex (Simone de Beauvoir)
From the antipodes of feminism returns as an essential echo this classic of the great reference of the genre, Simone de Beauvoir, who continues to inspire entire generations of the movement for women’s rights.
Publishers continue to publish this work written in 1949 and crossed by the philosophical foundations of existentialism and the emancipatory dimension of the enlightened heritage. Starting from the egalitarian conception of the human being, the author delves into the feminine condition from a historical, scientific, psychological, sociological and cultural point of view.
If what you like are the classics, you cannot miss this book that will help you understand the roots of the feminist movement and its claims.
7. My life on the road (Gloria Steinem)
The exciting journey that journalist and writer Gloria Steinem proposes in this book is actually a journey from head to heart, from theory to practice, from the accessory to the essential, with the sole purpose of rediscovering oneself and discovering the commitment to equality. A shot of optimism and reality.
Through a rich and revealing prose, the author invites us to stop getting lost in sterile detours and get going to find ourselves, in the race, with the experience of many others who share with us the common goal.
Starting from her own story, Gloria Steinem tells us how along the path of her life she encountered the struggle and claim for rights and equality. An exciting path that goes from the first feminist experiencein India and the whirlwind of election campaigns to her work as a journalist and the founding of the feminist magazine Ms. 8. Women Who Run
Wolves (Clarissa Pinkola Estes) of feminist literature in recent years, is a powerful invitation to recover the intuition, wisdom and creativity of the female soul.
The structure of the book is innovative and favors agile and comprehensive reading. In each episode, he collects stories, myths, fables and legendary narratives that he then complements with a text commentary where the keys are found to reveal the unifying message: the duty to rescue the “wild woman”of society’s attempts to civilize it.
Published in 1992, the work not only hasn’t lost its strength but also makes more and more sense because it is a tribute to the female soul in its natural and pure state.
9. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
Within the works of fiction of feminist literature, The Handmaid’s Tale, written in 1985 by Margaret Atwood is one of the most fascinating . It is a dystopian narrative that, through the use of the protagonist’s memories, offers a panorama of the fragile position of women in society in the past, as well as in the present and the future.
The novel presents the rise to fictitious power of a technocratic and authoritarian power in the United States, through which, with the excuse of protecting society from terrorism, fundamental rights are liquidated , starting with those of women. Hence the figure of the “maid” is born, women used for the exclusive purpose of reproduction.
These and many other dimensions of the novel are articulated to paradoxically show how crude fiction becomes the crude reality of our societies.
10. Who made dinner for Adam Smith
We have all heard that behind every great man there is a great woman. Through the insightful account ofthe history of the economy from a female perspective , Katrine Marcal breaks with the traditional vision of economic evolution. The book was published in 2012 by the editorial Debate, and it is a highly recommended reading.
Part of the symbolic dimension of a real parabola. The father of modern economics, Adam Smith, created the concept of Homo Economicus claiming that we do not eat every day thanks to the benevolence of the butcher and the baker, but because they cared about their own well-being. Katrine Marcal remembers that Adam Smith ate every day because his mother made him dinner , and not out of selfishness, but out of love.
The importance of this book is the visibility of the invisible work of women: raising children, working as priests, managing the home, cleaning.
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Feminist books for adolescents
The concern of many adolescents towards the fight for women’s rights and equality has motivated many feminist books for adolescents that contain very uplifting messages. Don’t miss them!
Books on women’s rights and equality. | Unsplash.
11. King Kong Theory (Virginie Despentes)
“I write from ugliness, and for the ugly, the old, the truckers, the frigid, the badly fucked, the unspeakable, but also for the men who don’t want to protect, for the that they are not ambitious, nor competitive, nor do they have it big.
Published in 2006, this book with such a suggestive title quickly became a feminist reference book among adolescents. It is a poignant vision of the condition of women and gender identity through the unvarnished presentation of realities such as prostitution , rape, motherhood and pornography.
Much has been said about patriarchy, but few stories manage to condense the suffocation to which it subjects us in everyday life so effectively . A fundamental text for young people to become aware of the hand of one of the most controversial authors already erected as a heroine of the invisible and the voice of the nameless.
12. Mom, I want to be a feminist (Carmen G. de la Cueva)
This book, in addition to being a useful tool for the introduction to feminism, is a work taken care of down to the last detail, and includes wonderful illustrations by the artist Malota . The writer, Carmen G. de la Cueva, founder of the feminist reading club La Tribu de Frida, becomes the protagonist of the narrative.
The work is a review of her activity as a cultural promoter, focusing on the moment in which she discovered the importance of feminism as a tool for struggle. It also raises a paradoxical question : why, although today women feel free, independent and masters of their lives, the feminist movement is still latent?
The author slips that many women implicitly assume social mandates that relegate them to a plane of submission, and tries through the book to break with that.
13. Good night stories for rebellious girls (Elena Favilli)
Short stories are always an agile method to convey a message, a moral. This is a recommendable compilation of stories written by the pen of Elena Favilli and that are aimed at boys and girls from 6 years old. It is a good way to introduce fundamental concepts of rights and equality from childhood.
The “once upon a time there was a princess…” is over. Elena Favilli’s intention is to break with the traditional vision of girls as princesses and an invitation to encourage their dreamsto become great scientists, sports astronauts or writers.
To do this, the author rescues in the form of attractive bedtime stories the figure of 100 famous women from the painter Frida Kahlo and the designer Coco Chanel to the singer Nina Simone and the primatologist Jane Goodall.
14. Feminism for beginners (Nuria Varela)
The title is very explicit and shows the writer’s goal. Through the historical journey through the evolution of the feminist movement from its origins to today, Nuria Varela poses some essential questions and introduces fundamental concepts for adolescents who want to start reading about this issue.
Quick reading and easy comprehension are the great virtue of one of the best feminist books for teenagers that raises questions such as why throughout history feminists have been treated as “tomboys” or sexually dissatisfied, or how and where it arises. the concept of gender violence.
The strength of the narrative stems from the experience of the writer, who is also the author of the book Cansadas: A feminist reaction to the new misogyny.
15. The future is female: Stories so that together we can change the world (several authors)
This recently published book also uses stories to convey the importance of thinking about feminism from youth. In this case, the work has a very optimistic component because it sets the perspective on the future of women and their power to change reality. The book contains illustrations by the best artists of the moment.
The future is female, created by several writers, wants to be a compendium of short stories about a utopian feminist future that all women have to tell each other in order to raise awareness of the need to empower themselves. Although it is a book for all ages, it is perfect for young girls.
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