10 Books For The Budding Feminist

10 Books For The Budding Feminist

A list of books that every feminist should read

Feminism lately has become such a hotbed of misunderstanding. There are people who are using the "Feminist" label and acting like complete jerks which are tarnishing it for the rest of us. It has come to the point where many people don't want to be labeled a feminist for fear of being looped in with them. So if you are new to feminism or just want to see what it is really about, I suggest reading these books.

1. We Should All Be Feminists

Written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in 2014, this book stands as a reminder of what feminism truly is. She also dispels some dissent about why feminism is even necessary when you can just claim to be a human rights activist:

"Some people ask: 'Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?' Because that would be ... a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women."

2. The Handmaid's Tale

Written by Margaret Atwood in 1985, this book follows Handmaid Ofglen's life in a totalitarian state that has stripped women of basically every right. It has also been turned into a series on Hulu (but you should still read the book because it is amazing).

"I know why there is no glass, in front of the watercolor picture of blue irises, and why the window opens only partly and why the glass in it is shatter-proof. It isn't running away they're afraid of. We wouldn't get far. It's those other escapes, the ones you can open in yourself, given a cutting edge."

3. Bad Feminist

Written by Roxane Gay in 2014, this book delves into the feelings of a feminist who constantly finds herself at odds with feminism. What do you do when your likes and hobbies seem to contradict what you are fighting for? You write a book and put people who would call you phony in their places.

"I openly embrace the label of bad feminist. I do so because I am flawed and human."

4. Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black women in America

Written by Melissa Harris-Perry in 2011, this book is a necessity for anyone who is trying to understand why feminism needs intersectionality. It focuses on the feelings that black women have while they are struggling to be treated like first-class citizens.

“Loss of social standing is an ever-present threat for individuals whose social acceptance is based on behavioral traits rather than unconditional human value.”

5. Feminist, Queer, Crip

Written by Alison Kafer in 2013, another book that highlights the importance of intersectionality except focusing on both sexuality and disability. Kafer offers a heartbreaking read about how even people who protest about the right of everyone having agency over their own bodies sometimes don't extend that to people with disabilities.

"Decisions about the future of disability and disabled people are political decisions and should be recognized and treated as such. Rather than assume that a 'good' future naturally and obviously depends on the eradication of disability, we must recognize this perspective as colored by histories of ableism and disability oppression."

6. Redefining Realness

Written by Janet Mock in 2014, this is the incredible story of a transwoman's journey. On top of this being an amazing book for trans youth, this book makes the reader realize the true struggle that trans people have to go through.

"My story has shown that more is possible for girls growing up like I did."

7. This Bridge Called My Back: Writings By Radical Women of Color

Originally Published in 1981, this anthology is in its fourth edition. It includes essays, art, poems, and stories from feminists of color. Cherrie Moraga writes an incredible introduction that gave birth to this eye-opening quote:

"Social change does not occur through tokenism or exceptions to the rule of discrimination, but through the systemic abolishment of the rule itself."

8. More Than Medicine: A History of the Feminist Women's Health Movement

Written by Jennifer Nelson in 2015, this book serves as a reminder to not only how far we have come but how hard we had to fight to get the rights over our bodies we have today.

"Demands to satisfy basic needs cannot be separated from reproductive politics because a right to reproductive control is hollow without a right to live free of hunger, racism, and violence and without the dignity that facilitates real choices for one's own future community."

9. No Mexicans, Women, or Dogs Allowed: The Rise of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement

Written by Cynthia Orozco in 2009, follow Orozco as she takes you on a journey of the rise of the League of United Latin-American Citizens and their role in the civil rights movement.

"This story begins in South Texas."

10. I'm Judging You

Written by Luvvie Ajayi in 2016, writes a scathing review of modern feminism and how it has failed at being intersectional. She is not afraid to point out hypocrisy when she sees it. A great read to get you fired up.

"The feminist movement has sucked at being truly intersectional. It has neglected to address the struggles of women who are not straight, white, Christian (or sometimes Jewish), and cisgender... A woman who is Black, trans, or Muslim won't be represented fairly and completely in the fight for equality. Yet even with all these glaring issues, white women have claimed themselves the authority on feminism, and that is insulting."
Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.

When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...


"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"


Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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