5 Feminist Books to Open Up Your Mind

Lately, feminism has become one of the most widely used yet misinterpreted terms. To clear up any misunderstandings or false notions, here’s a list of books we recommend for avid readers and casual page-flippers more excited by images alike.

  1. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo

Though the title may claim that this book is strictly for ‘girls,’ we think it is a great read for anyone – especially young boys.  Good Night Stories contains tales about fearless, powerful, and courageous women throughout history, ranging from Malala Yousafzai to Elizabeth I, with wonderful illustrations by sixty artists from across the world. Every now and then, we need a dose of inspiration and this book provides just that because it shows us that anything is possible.

  1. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood’s narration of a horribly dystopian future is a warning. The Handmaid’s Tale is a very well-written feminist nightmare about oppression and stark inequality set in a totalitarian state. The narrative focuses on the journey of a woman called Offred, meaning literally, ‘Of Fred,’ or belonging to Fred. The novel revolves around patriarchal themes narrating the past and present as Offred talks about the end of women’s rights and the life she lives. This book describes the need for feminism and the importance of equality.

  1. Testosterone Rex: Unmaking the Myths of Our Gendered Minds by Cordelia Fine

Fine’s book is based on scientific research about males and females as groups, their inclinations and behaviours, with respect to each other and to other groups. Her account is more evaluative than descriptive with references to the changing role of women in sports portrayed using a biological approach. Testosterone Rex tries to break down gender, showing readers that men and women are more similar than the status quo suggests. Fine does a wonderful job of depicting a subjective approach to the idea of feminism.

  1. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir

“The fact that we are human beings is infinitely more important than all the peculiarities that distinguish human beings from one another; it is never the given that confers superiorities: ‘virtue,’ as the ancients called it, is defined on the level of ‘that which depends on us.’”
This thought stands true even today, despite the years that have passed since this book was first published. Understandably though, some aspects of this book may not be able to stand the test of time, such as when Beauvoir discusses the biological aspects of a woman’s body. Nonetheless, this insightful read is a classic, often referred to by philosophy and sociology students, a testament to the fact that Beauvoir contributed greatly to sociology through her introduction of the gender conflict theory.

  1. Little Black Book: A Toolkit for Working Women by Otegha Uwagba

Filled with insights for women in the creative industry, Little Black Book is a brilliant manifesto of useful tips through which to conquer the corporate world. It is an easy and quick read that will help any working woman shatter glass ceilings and further her overall development.  

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