Non-Fiction

Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center by bell hooks

An essential work by one of the great feminist thinkers and writers, Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center offers an illuminating, accessible perspective on patriarchy, the politics of gender and sexuality, and the ways in which sexism, racism, and classism are so deeply intertwined.

Feminism Is for Everybody by bell hooks

Anyone looking for a place to start with feminist thought can’t do better than this short book. Here hooks lays out in warm, approachable terms what feminism seeks to achieve and why feminism truly is for everyone.

The Gender Knot by Allan G. Johnson

With remarkable clarity and insight, Allan G. Johnson lays out how patriarchy works, how it impacts us as individuals and groups, how people participate in it, and how harmful attitudes about sex, gender, and violence are reinforced by it. In doing so, he offers us hope that we can take steps to free ourselves from patriarchy’s legacy.

Privilege, Power and Difference by Allan G. Johnson

Coming to acknowledge and understand our own privilege can be difficult for almost all of us, but this eye-opening book makes the process not just painless, but personally enriching. Using clear examples and conversational language, Allan G. Johnson demonstrates what power and privilege are, how they work, and how, by acknowledging them, we can begin working toward liberation from systems of oppression.

Shrill by Lindy West

In this hilarious memoir, appropriately subtitled Notes from a Loud Woman, Lindy West brings her perceptive mind and keen wit to topics like online abuse, abortion, and the ways in which misogyny and fatphobia collide in our culture. As frank and compassionate as it is joyous and funny, reading this book feels like having a great conversation with a wonderfully entertaining friend.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Adapted from her celebrated TED talk, Adichie’s warm, inviting essay incorporates personal anecdotes as she makes the often invisible functioning of sexism more visible. Exploring the ways in which power dynamics around gender are limiting to men as well as women, the award-winning novelist persuasively argues that we should all, indeed, be feminists.

Sex Object by Jessica Valenti

Jessica Valenti’s brave and honest memoir takes us on a deeply personal exploration of how the inescapable messages that we absorb in a sexist society can insidiously infiltrate our hearts and minds, influencing how women perceive and think about ourselves and each other. An unflinching and sometimes painful book, Sex Object plumbs the depths to find a realistic foundation for resistance and a realistic basis for hope.

We Were Feminists Once by Andi Zeisler

In We Were Feminists Once, Bitch Media co-founder Andi Zeisler explores how, in recent years, feminism has increasingly been sold as a feel-good pop culture brand, with everything from clothes to cosmetics to yogurt being marketed to women as empowering. Zeisler incisively and entertainingly argues that as a result, some of the focus on feminism’s true aims as a collective political movement on behalf of all women has been lost, and asks how we can get it back.

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