Whether or not you call yourself a feminist, you should read these books. As a woman, your life is fundamentally different from a man's. For centuries, women have been exploring, challenging, and embracing these differences. These books represent a small sample of amazing feminist books throughout history.
1 The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
Betty Friedan reignited the feminist movement in 1963 with this book. In this book, Friedan describes the "problem that has no name" that plagued many housewives of her time who felt like marriage was the only goal of her entire existence. This book motivated many women to join the workforce and stay in it. Not only is it culturally important, but The Feminine Mystique is also a well-written novel and interesting read! Buy it here:smile.amazon.com
2 Spinster by Katie Block
Calling a woman a spinster in the 21st century might be in poor taste, but Katie Block doesn't shy away from calling herself one. More and more women are remaining unmarried for longer, yet "two questions define every woman’s existence": who will I marry and when? As Katie looks into her own life as a memoir, she also observes our culture, which helps you look at your own life and find peace. Buy it here:smile.amazon.com
3 A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
You've heard of William Shakespeare, but what about his sister? In this famous and revolutionary book, Virginia Woolf creates a character, Shakespeare's sister, who is equally as talented as her immortalized brother. Yet, she is ultimately forgotten because she never had the means to express her creativity. In order to enjoy freedom of expression, Virginia argues that a woman must have a fixed income and a room of one's own—the way any man would. Buy it here:smile.amazon.com
4 A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
You could say that this is the book that started it all. Published in 1792 by an independent woman and well-known writer (she was among the ranks of William Blake and Thomas Paine), calling A Vinidcation of the Rights of Woman anything other than revolutionary would be an insult. Wollstonecraft argued that men only wanted women as slaves and play things, but that women could free themselves from objectification through education. Buy it here:smile.amazon.com
5 We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This is a great quick-read to keep in your purse to read while riding the subway or waiting in a long line. In this best-selling novel, Chimamanda explains why everyone needs feminism and why it makes the world a better place. There's also a Ted Talk of the book that you can watch here:
Sheryl Sandberg knows what it means to be a boss and she knows how it feels to be called bossy. She knows that our culture discourages women from aspiring to powerful top-tier positions because we still view certain roles as "men's jobs." That's why Sheryl uses this book as a platform to encourage women to lean in and demand respect. Women have to sit at the table to be part of the conversation; for Sheryl that table just happens to be at Facebook's headquarters. Buy it here:smile.amazon.com
7 I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
By now, you've probably heard the story of one of the youngest, most important feminists of this generation. To summarize, a Pakistani school girl called Malala Yousafzai was shot by terrorists when she was 15 because she advocated for all girls' right to education. She survived the gunshot to the head and since then has continued fighting for education equality, won a nobel peace prize, made a documentary, and written this book. Did I mention she hasn't even celebrated her 19th birthday yet? Buy it here:smile.amazon.com
Now how can men ever say women are inferior after reading these incredible works? I hope these books help you grow as a woman and a feminist. Which one do you look forward to reading most?