5 Good Reads Every Feminist Needs

Photo by Elise Derstine

We’re all familiar with the classic feminist novels like “The Feminine Mystique” and “The Second Sex,” but VALLEY has put together a list of some of the more contemporary feminist reads that are sure to empower you and bring a lady boss attitude to all aspects of your life. Whether you need some perspective or a little girl power, these must-read books will change how you think about and view feminism while also igniting your inner confidence.

“Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman,” by Ann Helen Petersen

If you feel like sometimes it’s almost impossible to be a woman in this society, than this book is for you. The book has a fresh, innovative take on feminism and examines iconic “unruly” celebrities like Madonna, Nicki Minaj and Melissa McCarthy to name a few. Petersen uses each of these women, who are often berated for their appearances or judged for their decisions in order to explore why our culture seems to always try to prevent women from being their true selves. You will be inspired by the ability of these celebrities to ignore it all and continue doing what they want and being who they are.

“Why Not Me?” by Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling’s hilarious wit and honesty make this read both enjoyable and empowering. Her memoir is about her frustrations with not being chosen for certain roles or awards, but also about how she embraced her own identity. This book is chock-full of helpful, inspirational advice, and it suggests that the key to confidence is to feel entitled, meaning that you should feel like you deserve something. Mindy makes insightful claims that you should be asking “Why not me?” and “Why don’t I deserve this?” — because you’re hard working, talented and strong.

“The End of Men: And the Rise of Women,” by Hanna Rosin

Hanna Rosin’s book takes “the future is female” concept to a whole new level, claiming that the world is living in a matriarchy or will be soon. In her book, Rosin delves into the rise of women and expands on her theory that men are losing their grip as the patriarchy crumbles. If you are ever at a point in your life when getting ahead seems unimaginable and men just seem too dominant, read this book. This book will give you the confidence to break all sorts of glass ceilings and make you feel prouder than ever to be a woman.

“Bad Feminist,” by Roxane Gay

This book will help you better understand your identity, your beliefs and your own personal feminism. If you’ve ever felt somewhere in between on the different “sides” of feminism, then that is okay and this book will reaffirm that. This pioneering writer discusses her own struggles with labels and the stereotypical constraints of the word “feminist.” Gay expands our idea of feminism and enforces the idea that feminism can be what you make of it. This book will encourage you to form your own feminist beliefs and to not conform to any categorization in any aspect of your life.

“Backwards and in Heels: The Past, Present, and Future of Women Working in Film,” by Alicia Malone

Malone’s novel looks at gender inequality in Hollywood dating back to the 1920s. Like Hollywood, many of the mainly male-dominated industries are in desperate need of a driven boss girl to demand that she receive the respect she deserves. For any college student about to enter the workforce, this book will help you understand the inequalities for women that exist and how to fight them.

2018 is said to be the year of the woman so be on the lookout for these empowering books and add some of these titles to your reading list immediately!


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