Books on Deck: My Feminist Month

Big thanks to everyone who suggested titles for my month of feminist reading. I’m going to start off with Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks, which, despite its cheesy cover art and title (stylized EVERYBODY to punctuate the woo! people of the jacket), is supposed to be an excellent introduction to feminism with a focus on the intersection of gender, race, and class. I’m intrigued by hooks, who has a strong following among my smart, engaged friends but whose Goodreads reviews are all over the place and who’s attracted as much criticism for her writing style–alternately criticized as too informal and too academic–as for her ideas.


Next up is Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider, which seems to be the most unanimously popular collection of essays on social difference out there. By nearly every account, this is one of the most intellectually important and powerfully written books I will ever read, which makes me both excited and intimidated to dig in.


Followed by: more essays! The most contemporary collection of the bunch. Who wasn’t curious about Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me when it started popping up all over New York last year? It apparently lives up to its wry title with observations about subtle expressions of anti-feminism, like mansplaining, but also delivers with thoughtful, heavy pieces on sexual violence and rape culture, which is truthfully not territory I’d be inclined to enter without the counterbalance of humor and wit.


And finally, if there’s time and bandwidth, I’ll be reading Peggy Orenstein’s newest book Girls & Sex, which publishes March 29th and claims to be a thoughtfully researched and sex-positive examination of the sexual knowledge and experiences of high-school and college-aged women. Having somewhat recently survived this period of my life, I’m selfishly not very motivated to dive back in, but I’d be grateful to read anything on this topic that isn’t another lazy, sensationalist trend piece about millennials, hook-up culture, and social media.


Stay tuned for reviews!



2 thoughts on “Books on Deck: My Feminist Month

  1. So excited by your theme, and that you are reading contemporary feminism. It motivates me to do the same. Outside of the binding, there’s a good op-ed piece by Hope Jahren in the New York Times Sunday March 6 edition (“She Wanted to do Research. He Wanted to Talk ‘Feelings”) about rampant sexual harassment in academia today.

    I’ll read along a little with you, but I’m inspired to go back and read some of the old-school feminist work as well (50s, 60s, 70s). Maybe I’ll even finally read some of the work by suffragettes!


  2. Oh, I’m so excited you mentioned Hope Jahren! I didn’t know she was the author of that article. Her book, LAB GIRL, is publishing in early April and it is fantastic. I’m planning to feature it in another post soon.

    I’m also excited you’ll be reading along with me. We’ll have to keep track of each other on Goodreads!


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