Feminist Book
Last updated: June 18, 2020

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Feminism is a movement which seeks equality and an end to gender discrimination. In fact, the term “feminist: is represented in all fields, from politics to popular culture. Regardless of whether you consider yourself a feminist, it is worthwhile learning about the movement and the experiences of women who have fought for equality.

There are countless numbers of books around which will allow you to learn about this movement, clarify its concepts and answer your questions. There are those of essential every type: from essays and instructional guides to science fiction novels. In this article, we will help you to choose the perfect book for you to start to learn about feminism.

Key Facts

  • The theme of feminism is complex. For this reason, there are books of every type designed to introduce you to the concepts of feminism in a simple and understandable way.
  • Feminist books expose you to new experiences and points of view. They help to identify the problems which women face and provide inspiration to work for a better world.
  • Feminism is important for all women and men. Feminist books are not just for women. They are also valuable for men seeking to learn about the subject.

Ranking: 5 feminist books to introduce you to the genre

El feminismo puede parecer un tema complejo y retador. Sin embargo, hay muchos libros perfectos para aquellas personas que quieren incursionar en el tema y no saben por dónde empezar. En esta sección te presentamos una diversa selección con los mejores libros para iniciarse en el feminismo: ensayos, novelas, cuentos e incluso un cómic.

No. 1: The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale is a classic novel by Margaret Atwood, which has now been adapted into a very popular TV show. The novel is set in a dystopian future where everyone lives under a religious totalitarian state, the Republic of Gilead, formerly known as the United States.

This novel not only makes dramatic and insightful points about women’s equality and the struggles women face all over the world today, but it is also extremely well written and a true masterpiece of modern feminist literature.

No. 2: The Best Girls (Disorder collection)

This is a powerful short story which explores the meaning of patriarchy and the cost of female silence through the eyes of a dutiful young girl. It is written by Min Jin Lee, who also wrote National Book Award finalist Pachinko, and is based on a true event.

It is the story of a student who comes from a poor family in Seoul and her struggles against their traditional values that say that only a boy can provide the family with dignity and wealth. This story is contained within Disorder, a collection of six thrilling short stories related to feminist themes.

No. 3: Woman on the Edge of Time: The classic feminist dystopian novel

This dystopian feminist novel from Marge Piercy has often been compared to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Naomi Alderman’s The Power – Woman on the Edge of Time. It is a speculative science fiction novel and undoubtedly a classic in the genre.

The novel is forward-thinking, disturbing and thought-provoking. Well-loved and admired for many years, this new edition will undoubtedly reach, speak to and inspire a new generation of readers.

No. 4: The Beauty Myth (Vintage Feminism Short Edition)

This vintage title is probably one of the most famous feminist works of all time. From legendary feminist writer Naomi Wolf, it confronts the dilemma the women face every day. This shortened edition is a great introduction to the ground-breaking concepts of Wolf’s famous work.

In the words of the author “Every day, women around the world are confronted with a dilemma – how to look. In a society embroiled in a cult of female beauty and youthfulness, pressure on women to conform physically is constant and all-pervading.”

No. 5: #MeToo: Essays About How and Why This Happened, What It Means and How to Make Sure It Never Happens Again

This series of essays centres of a very relevant and topical subject in our times: the #metoo movement. The movement sprung up in late 2017 as a reaction to sexual harassment allegations against prominent public figures, and quickly gained incredible momentum as more and more women, from ordinary people to A-list celebrities shared their stories.

These essays deal with the historic moment, the turning point, and how it means that things are going to change in the future. This kindle edition means it can be downloaded and read anywhere, making it easy to take with you on the bus, while travelling or just read at home.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about feminist books

If you are looking for your first feminist book to introduce you to the topic, you will likely have a lot of questions on the subject. Whatever your interests or past experiences, learning about something new can always be challenging. In this section, we answer the most commonly asked questions about feminist books.

Understanding feminism is vital to understand our society, its history abd its future. (Source: Kruk: 46573529/ 123rf.com)

What exactly are feminist books?

Feminism is a movement which seeks to address inequality and sexual discrimination. A feminist book is, therefore, one which deals with this struggle and puts women at the centre of the narrative. There are many ways to do this, for example, by capturing the consequences of sexism within fiction or historical stories.

Feminist books can also come up with solutions and motivate their readers to work towards gender equality. They can be personal stories from the life the author, or educational guides about the history of feminism.

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There are feminist books for every preference, interest and level of knowledge.

Why should I read feminist books?

Feminism has gained prominence in recent years. It has reached spheres beyond politics: it is present in cinema, art, music and, of course, literature. Feminist books allow you to clarify concepts and answer questions. They also provide a glimpse into the diversity of points of view and experiences within the movement.

For many women, reading feminist books may be therapeutic. Learning about inequality and discrimination helps them name the problems they face and means that they don’t feel alone in their struggle. Feminist books can serve as a refuge. They provide strength to keep on working for equality and inspire new generations to join the cause.

Reading is an excellent habit for the mind.
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Are feminist books appropriate for children?

It is worthwhile introducing young people to feminism. If kids learn early about equality, they will grow up to be more just people. Of course, like other types of books, not all are suitable for children and teenagers. Luckily, however, there are a number of feminists books written with young people in mind.

Although these books are great for everyone, they are especially beneficial for children. It is a good idea to look for feminist books which inspire young women to be themselves and to dream book. One feminist book particularly geared to young people is Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.

Reading feminist books is an excellent way to expose yourself to a range of points of view.
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Are there feminist books of different literary genres?

Of course. A feminist book can be fiction or non-fiction. It may contain poetry, stories, essays or research. It is not a literary genre of its own, but rather an approach to the different genres and subgenres. For a book to be feminist, it must stick to the ideals of equality of the movement.

Although many classic titles are essays or poetry, feminist novels are also extremely popular. The diversity of feminist fiction books is huge. Today, feminist science fiction has become a very successful category. In our Ranking, we include one of the most acclaimed titles, The Handmaid’s Tale.

Reading while drinking a cup of tea or coffee is one of life’s greatest pleasures.
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What feminist books can be given to men?

It is worth remembering that feminism is important for everyone. Both women and men are affected by gender inequality. Therefore, it is important for men to get into the topic. Although many works have inspiring women as their main objective, men can also enjoy and learn from them.

Books such as We should all be feminists or Feminism for beginners are perfect to introduce men to feminism. Besides, there are feminist books specifically aimed at men. These seek to explain how sexism affects them and how they can contribute to the fight against discrimination.

Shopping criteria

Feminist books represent a very wide literary category. Although they all share the ideals of equality of the movement, they are extremely different from each other. There are for all tastes, interests, concerns and needs. When looking for the perfect book to approach the topic, you should consider the following criteria.

Knowledge on the subject

We know that feminism is a complex issue. It is hard to determine where to start learning. Fortunately, there are countless books specifically designed to get started with feminism. You should not look for arid theory books: there are dynamic and fun works which can help to clarify doubts and keep you entertained while learning.

Two books that we recommend, We should all be feminists and Feminismo para principiantes are perfect for those who want to know about feminism and do not know where to start. If you already have knowledge on the subject, we recommend you to explore the classics books or some modern novels. There are feminist books for all levels and tastes.

Age

As with all types of books, there are feminist works suitable for different groups. As we explained in the previous section, it is valuable to bring both men and women, and indeed boys and girls, to the fight for equality. To achieve this, you should look for instructional books, focused on explaining feminism to the youngest ones and motivating girls to be what they want to be.

If you are looking for books for teenagers, we recommend science fiction novels, which are very trendy right now. Another good option is a comic or an illustrated novel. These explain complex issues in a simple and dynamic way.

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Books which deal with more complex themes related to feminism, like abuse and sex work, are more suited to adults.

Literary genre

Feminist books are not a genre of their own. The feminist approach crosses different genres: fiction, nonfiction, poetry and essay. We recommend you to opt for books similar to those you usually like. If you are passionate about novels, look for feminist fiction. If poetry is your thing, many feminist classics are collections of poems.

Essay is a dominant genre within feminist readings. This genre allows you to analyse the topic in-depth and assess different issues within it. This is why feminist essays are perfect for people who are starting on feminism. We include two brilliant essays in our Ranking that you will love.

Interests

While all these books stick to the ideals of the struggle for equality, each one does it in a different way. The feminist approach allows authors to deal with a huge diversity of topics. Therefore, when looking for a feminist book you can the books that you normally like as a guide.

As we already mentioned, there are feminist science fiction novels. There are also fantasy books, and even romance books. For those who are more interested in the consequences and the real causes of feminism, there are countless fiction and nonfiction books about the political and economic aspects of sexism.

Reading time

When choosing, you should consider how much time you are looking to invest in reading feminist works. It is not necessary to devote all your time to study the genre to understand the key concepts of feminism. You can start by trying short books and move on to longer and more complex works as your curiosity awakens.

There are very short but fascinating books, like We Should All Be Feminists. There are also longer and intriguing novels that will catch you for several days, like The Handmaid’s Tale. Its author, Margaret Atwood, has announced that she will publish a sequel in 2019, in case you are interested in extending this exciting reading.

Summary

Understanding feminism is vital for understanding our society, its history and its future. Although it may seem like a complex and challenging theme, the works we recommend in our Ranking are perfect to introduce yourself to the subject. They are not dry technical books, but rather inspiring essays, absorbing novels and even light and funny works.

Every book is unique. What they have in common is that they support the principles of the feminist movement. To read feminist literature is to expose yourself to an incredibly diverse range of points of view. Learning about the concepts of feminism helps to articulate your own experiences and realise that you are not alone in your struggles. Furthermore, they inspire you to work towards a world which is fairer for all women and men.

We hope that our article has inspired you to explore feminist literature and learn more about the movement. If you enjoyed it, please share our article on social media. Also, don’t forget to let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Why you can trust me?

Topaz is an obstetrician by profession and a mother of two sons. She knows a lot about the education of small children. Besides her work in the hospital, she likes to take care of the children of friendly parents and works as a blogger.