You have seen it while scrolling on your news feed begging for co-equality. You have heard the cries of the advocates marching in the streets. You have felt the impacts of the movement which began many decades ago. Now, you can read all about it.
Here are a few authors, books, and poems to enliven the feminist within you.
Speak by Laurie Anderson.
The young adult novel was a 1999 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature. The novel tells the story of a high-school student who was sexually assaulted and is afraid to advocate for herself, relaying the importance of speaking up for what you believe in.
"Speak up for yourself--we want to know what you have to say."
"To Be Liked by You Would be a Calamity" by Marianne Moore
Arguing is more interesting than conforming. The full poem is below:
ATTACK is more piquant than concord," but when
You tell me frankly that you would like to feel
My flesh beneath your feet,
I'm all abroad; I can but put my weapon up, and
Bow you out.
Gesticulation—it is half the language.
Let unsheathed gesticulation be the steel
Your courtesy must meet,
Since in your hearing words are mute, which to my senses
Are a shout.
"Fantastic Breasts and Where to Find Them" by Brenna Twohy
Full of sexual innuendo from the Harry Potter series. A portion of the poem is below. Definitely an eye-opener.
"It looks like 24/7 live streaming, reminding me that men are going to f*ck me whether I like it or not, that there is one use for my mouth and it is not speaking, that a man is his most powerful when he's got a woman by the hair."
How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
"We need to reclaim the word 'feminism'. We need the word 'feminism' back real bad. When statistics come in saying that only 29% of American women would describe themselves as feminist — and only 42% of British women — I used to think, What do you think feminism IS, ladies? What part of 'liberation for women' is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? 'Vogue' by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good shit GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY?"
Cristina Perri Rossi
Latin American author best know for La nave de los locos (1984), El amor es una droga dura (1999), and Evohé (1971).
"Mrs. Dalloway" by Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf, in "Mrs. Dalloway," beautifully represents the desires of a female which go beyond sex, male dependency, and the inclination to uphold a respectable reputation. This short-story written in the Modernist literature movement is packed with symbols which reflect a time of American history when women were slowly gaining a voice and mental health
"Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself."
Mexican-American author of "The House on Mango Street" (1984) and "Woman Hollering and Other Stories," a short story collection.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
It is not very often that a male author does such a fantastic job of expressing the opinions of women, but Hosseini does just that. A Thousand Splendid Suns tells the story of two women, Mariam and Laila, who are impacted by the oppressing Arab government. The story is about self-sacrifice, faith, love, and enduring through danger.
"10 Honest Thoughts On Being Loved By A Skinny Boy" by Rachel Wiley
An excerpt of the poem by Rachel Wiley on body positivity:
"I say, 'I am fat.'
He says, 'no, you're beautiful.'
I wonder why I cannot be both."
"The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Confinement and isolation are no match for a determined woman. The short story is eerie, yet realistic because it portrays the mental impact of corrupt traditions and oppression on women.
Here is a short excerpt from the story: "It becomes bars! The outside pattern, I mean, and the women behind it is as plain as can be. I didn't realize for a long time what the thing was that showed behind, that dim sub-pattern, but now I am quite sure it is a woman. By daylight, she is subdued, quiet. I fancy it is the pattern that keeps her so still."
Maxine Hong Kingston
Kingston is an Asian-American writer who often concentrates on immigration. Her memoir, "The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts," received a National Book Critics Circle Award for general nonfiction in 1976.
Paradise by Toni Morrison
If you are a feminist, you must read Toni Morrison's work. Morrison is one of the most powerful feminine voices in Contemporary/ post-modern literature. Specifically, you must read Paradise, a novel which takes place in a patriarchal town in Oklahoma. Race, religion, and gender are major themes of this novel.
"They shoot the white girl first. With the rest they can take their time."
"The Period Poem" by Dominique Christina
A section of the poem is below. Be sure to check-out "The Period Poem" on YouTube presented by Christina.
"Should any fool mishandle the wild geography of your body... then just bleed boo. Give that blood a biblical name."
"Pretty" by Katie Makkai
A section of "Pretty" is provided below. It tells the struggles of maintaining feminine expectations within society but is about so much more.
"This is about the self-mutilating circus we have painted ourselves clowns in. About women who will prowl 30 stories and six malls to find the right cocktail dress but who haven't a clue where to find fulfillment or how to wear joy."
A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.
― Irina Dunn