Today is International Women’s Day and also, Feminist Coming Out Day. In honor of this event, this Examiner gives you a list of books essential to your feminist library. Enjoy!
1) The Feminist Papers: From Adams to de Beauvoir. Edited by Alice S. Rossi. Published: 1973.
I found this book at the Salvation Army when I was sixteen years old. After that, I became fully aware of my stature as a feminist. This book has a collection of writings from Abigail Adams, Mary Wollstonecraft, Margaret Fuller, Margaret Sanger, and more. It is definitely a must have.
2) The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. Published 1963.
The first explosive book to define “the problem that has no name”. This book singlehandedly launched the Second Wave of the feminist movement. “I do not accept the answer that there is no problem because American women have luxuries that women in other times and lands never dreamed of….”
3) The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir. Published 1952.
Equally as important as The Feminine Mystique, but written eleven years before. Simone de Beauvoir was and still is as influential as a feminist even before the Second Wave arrived. This book set out to research what women really thought about themselves and the argument of inequality amongst the sexes.
4) I am an emotional Creature by Eve Ensler. Published 2010.
Author of The Vagina Monologues Eve Ensler presents monologues and poems inspired by girls around the world. This book spoke to my inner teenager when I first read it and it has stuck with me ever since. The book also presents various Girl Facts which are very surprising. “One in five U.S. high school girls say they do not know three adults to turn to if they have a problem.”
5) Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture by Ariel Levy. Published 3005
The Bitch in the House. Edited by Cathi Hanauer. Published 2002
These two are tied, especially since I vowed to only make my list for five books. Ariel Levy does research into the startling trend of women behaving as men, in the chauvinistic sense: watching porn, going to strip clubs, etc. Are these women really “empowered” by embracing “raunch culture”?
Cathi Hanauer does an excellent job of finding witty, wise, and ferocious commentary from women of all ages on their thoughts of sex, marriage, motherhood, and other issues. Think of this as the book of things you think, but dare not say.
Other books to check out:
No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women by Estelle B. Freedman
The Essential Feminist Reader by Estelle B. Freedman
Faith and Feminism: A Holy Alliance by Helen LeKelly Hunt, Ph.D
America’s Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates and Heroines by Gail Collins