10 Must-Read Books to Expand Your Feminism
Start writing a post

10 Must-Read Books to Expand Your Feminism

Because your feminism should be intersectional or it will be bulls***.

10 Must-Read Books to Expand Your Feminism

Everyone should be a feminist, and everyone's feminism should be intersectional. Put simply, intersectionality is recognizing the identities, the privileges or disadvantages associated with that identity, and how multiple aspects of an identity can shape the human experience. Feminism cannot be separated from race, class, religion, disability, gender, etc.

So as we approach the tail end of Women's History Month, here's a list of diverse reading material to broaden your mind and expand your feminism for years to come. Dig in!

1. "Bad Feminist" by Roxane Gay

Click here to buy.

In these insightful and funny essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman of color while also providing sharp commentary on the state of feminism today. Being a bad feminist means that you allow space for mistakes to happen so you can improve. If you're just getting into intersectional feminism, this is the perfect book for you.

2. "Sister Outsider" by Audre Lorde

Click here to buy.

These essays explore and illuminate the roots of Lorde's intellectual development and her deep-seated and longstanding concerns about ways of increasing empowerment among minority women writers and the absolute necessity to explicate the concept of difference—difference according to sex, race, and economic status. Lorde's prose reflects the nuanced oppression felt by a lesbian woman of color, but ultimately delivers a message of hope.

3. "Gender Trouble" by Judith Butler

Click here to buy.

If you took a Gender Studies course, you'll probably recognize this book from your syllabus. But it's worth another look, considering the book was written in the '90s, a time where talk about gender and sexuality was pretty groundbreaking.

4. "Reading Lolita in Tehran" by Azar Nafisi

Click here to buy.

Not every book has to be a heavy academic read. In fact, reading personal accounts is a great way to dig into perspectives that aren't your own. Nafisi's empowering memoir recounts the time in her life where she left her job as a university professor in Tehran due to the repressive policies she continually faced. She and a few of her female students formed a secret book club, which covered Western classics by Jane Austen, Vladimir Nabokov, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and others––all of which were forbidden by the government. Nafasi delivers a powerful message to every female student: knowledge is power.

5. "Blood Poems" by Eliana Wong

Click here to buy.

Written six months after leaving a toxic relationship, Blood Poems is an Appalachian Asian, disabled, and transgender poet's response to the complexities and contradictions of love. This is about the art of survival and rebirth.

6. "Sex Workers Unite" by Melinda Chateauvert

Telling stories of sex workers, from the front lines of the 1970s sex wars to the modern-day streets of SlutWalk, Melinda Chateauvert illuminates an underrepresented movement, introducing skilled activists who have organized a global campaign for self-determination and sexual freedom that is as multifaceted as the sex industry and as diverse as human sexuality.

7. "Woman, Native, Other" by Trinh T. Minh-ha

Click here to buy.

Although Minh-ha's writing style can take a bit of getting used to, the message of this work is simple yet powerful: feminism needs to make room for cultural, racial, national, and gender differences. She, like many intersectional feminists, believes that carrying the "sign" of woman should not be used as a universal "sameness." Minh-ha argues that we must speak out against white feminists who re-appropriate language, traditions, and culture of post-colonialism in the name of feminism.

8. "Chicana Feminist Thought" by Alma M. Garcia

Click here to buy.

Chicana Feminist Thought brings together the voices of Chicana poets, writers, and activists who reflect upon the Chicana Feminist Movement that began in the late 1960s. With energy and passion, this anthology of writings documents the personal and collective political struggles of Chicana feminists.

9. "Women, Race, & Class" by Angela Davis

Click here to buy.

Women, Race, & Class is another great starter for anyone interested in the history of the women's movement. Beginning with slavery and the abolitionist movement to the women's suffrage movement, Davis explores the fight for reproductive rights, labor struggles, housework and domestic work, and more. She exposes the racism and classism of popular feminist icons like Susan B. Anthony and the women's movement at large.

10. "On Intersectionality" by Kimberlé Crenshaw

Click here to buy.

This reading list wouldn't be complete without the woman who defined the concept of intersectionality in the first place. This anthology of essays and articles covers the evolution of the meaning of intersectionality over the course of two decades and how this concept has radically changed the face of social justice activism.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

College 101: How To Ease The Back To School Blues

Getting back into the school groove when you just can't seem to let go of summer.

Beyond The States

With fall classes just beginning, many of us find ourselves struck with summer withdrawals. Especially for those who refrained from taking courses over the summer, it can be quite difficult to get back in the swing of things. Fortunately, there are various ways to help make the transition back to college as smooth as possible.

Keep Reading... Show less
Dating Apps

We Met At A Bar

Salvage what you can; if you can't, it's alright to walk away.

We Met At A Bar
Anne Waldon

We met at a bar.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Mets And Me

They may be the worst sometimes, but this baseball team has given me more than I could ask for.

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

On September 3rd, 2001, a sea of children littered my home's navy-carpeted den to watch baseball during my dad's 40th birthday extravaganza. A baseball game flickered on the TV, and a red and blue bubble of a scoreboard sat in the bottom right corner of the screen. The New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies were in a wild game at Veterans' Stadium. As I, a five-year-old boy with a jumble of curly blonde hair, sat in the back of the kid clump, I wondered which team I should root for. After a long debate with myself, I decided that I should root for the team that's winning (duh). But, as the ninth inning rolled around with the Phils maintaining a 7-5 lead, some magic occurred. The Mets put up five runs in one frame, stunning the Phillie fans in the room and winning the game 10-7.

Keep Reading... Show less

Which BTS Member You Are Based On Your Star Sign

If you love BTS, I'm sure you relate to one or many of them in several ways. This star test will help you learn more about which member you are most connected to.

Which BTS Member You Are Based On Your Star Sign

Astrological signs tell a lot about a person. Do you ever wonder what your BTS bias star sign is? Is it the same as yours, or or are you more like one of the other amazing members? Take a look and find out what yours (and the members of Bangtan) says about you.

Keep Reading... Show less

Hittin' the Road Playlist

With the end of August approaching more quickly than many of us would like, the preparation for school is happening in more ways than just one.


The car is all packed. The money you saved (and didn't spend online) from your summer internship is secured quietly in your bank account. The immediate reunion with your long-distance college friends is set. The real question on everyone's minds is: do you have the perfect melody to jam to as you journey back to school? 

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments