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Feminist lit recommendations?

Discussion in 'Entertainment and Media' started by RyeTheDauphin, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. RyeTheDauphin

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    So I was getting into a debate with my mum a few days ago about feminism (just to clarify, I do consider myself a feminist, just not a third wave one), and since I'm more skeptical about the movement as a whole than she is, she recommended that I read some feminist literature from the past to help me understand how the movement got to where it is today and maybe (at least she hopes) alleviate some of my skepticism.

    I genuinely do want to do this so I can understand the historical context of the clusterf*ck feminism is today and just as a general exercise in philosophy and politics. I'm not expecting to agree with everything I read, but I'm not expecting to disagree with everything either - I promise to go into anything I do look at with an open yet critical mind.

    So does anyone have any recommendations for feminist literature I can read, meaning books specifically about and advocating for feminism. The only books I'm considering so far are:

    A Vindication on the Rights of Woman - Mary Wollstonecraft
    The Second Sex - Simone de Beauvoir
    The Feminine Mystique - Betty Friedan
    The Female Eunuch - Germaine Greer

    Any other suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks! (&&&)
     
  2. Secrets5

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    - The Handmaid's Tale
    - The Colour Purple [I think, it's mainly to do with race]
    - Harry Potter [If you read beyond the ''magic'']
    - The Bloody Chamber [I'd advise a 16+ reading level]

    Note the above is just on literature, but has elements of real life.

    I try to stay away from anything feminism, unless it's Emma Watson type feminism [I have no idea what label of feminism she is - probably something equalist], so I don't know about critical stuff. But I do know just general reading literature has comments on real life in it, so I thought I'd post.
     
    #2 Secrets5, Jul 24, 2016
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  3. Ham4Ham

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    One book that I've read that would probably be useful to you is Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks. It doesn't answer every question but acts as a good primer to the beginnings of the movements and where it should go. Also recommend We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for another short primer, more focused on the necessity of feminism for all today rather than changes that need to be made in the movement. And, although I haven't read this one, I'm taking an intro course to Women's & Gender Studies in the fall (because I'm that kind of gay), and one of our required books is the Essential Feminist Reader edited by Estelle R. Freedman, which is a bunch of essays from people like Susan B. Anthony all the way to Audre Lord and Guerilla Girls.

    As for literature, I'd also recommend literally anything and everything by Virginia Woolf, particularly Orlando. She was just so ahead of her time, and is easily my favorite "classic" author.

    Hope this helps! Happy reading :slight_smile:
     
  4. Invidia

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    Secrets5, Emma Watson is a mainstream third wave feminist. 'Equalism' is a random internet spawn with no historical significance.
    Btw, OP, I get it if you're skeptical of third wave feminism, plenty of reason to. But glorifying older feminism and condemning the new is built upon a very untrue myth - for feminism has always had problems, and always had a lot of fringey quackers in the movement. The important thing to recognize is that feminism has been, and is, mostly made up of ordinary women focusing in on problems facing women at large.

    The above tips are good. Another one I could recommend, that I finished reading today, is Feminism: A Very Short Introduction by Margaret Walters: https://global.oup.com/academic/pro...ort-introduction-9780192805102?cc=se&lang=en&
     
    #4 Invidia, Jul 24, 2016
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  5. CJliving

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    You're getting a lot of fiction, and I know that's not what you were asking for, but I'm sorry I'm adding to it.
    The Handmaid's Tale is a marvelous suggestion (it's my favourite book), but I would also say to read Alias Grace by the same author (Margaret Atwood). Grace was a real woman and Atwood uses actual news as well as journal inserts from Susanna Moodie (who wrote about her experiences as a settler in Canada). Another favourite of mine is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, which is very very early feminism, but there's a prequel that was written decades later by Jean Rhys called Wide Sargasso Sea that's also very good. Together they show a very interesting timeline to feminism and race. There's also the play Good Morning Juliet (Goodnight Desdemona) by Ann Marie MacDonald, which is a lovely queer feminist twist on a clusterfuck of Shakespeare. I also recommend watching 'The Itty Bitty Titty Commitee', which is a feminist queer art film.

    As to non-fiction, I am scraping up the dregs of my university experience to try to remember titles. I don't remember if I read all of these, probably read bits and pieces of most of them though:
    Feminist Theory: Margin to Centre by Bell Hooks
    Gender Trouble and Undoing Gender by Judith Butler (Gender Trouble was written in the 80's, Undoing Gender in the 2010's, for reference)
    Bitches, Bimbos, and Ballbreakers: The Guerrilla Girls' Illustrated Guide to Female Stereotypes by The Guerrilla Girls
    Beyond Patriachy: Essays by Men On Pleasure, Power, and Change by Michael Kauffman
    Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality by Anne Fausto-Sterling (v surprised your list didn't have Fausto-Sterling on it already, every Women's Studies, Gender Politics, sexism, etc. class I took including Fausto-Sterling on the readings)
     
  6. BryanM

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    Queering Sexual Violence:Radical Voices from Within the Anti-Violence Movement by Laura Patterson is a collection of many different stories of survivors of sexual violence that moves past the idea that violence only occurs against cisgender heterosexual white women and includes accounts from people of many genders, sexualities, and racial backgrounds. I've heard continually good things about the book and am making it a point to read it.
     
  7. Aussie792

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    Arundhati Roy is a good pick for feminist literature. Even when feminism isn't the core theme, such as in The God of Small Things, it's always present. She also has the benefit of being a non-Western native English speaker, getting both words of non-Western literature without translation.