Best Feminist Books

This is a list of books any feminist, new feminist, or a soon-to-be feminist should read. Let me know what books you feel should be added to this list!
101

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3.94 avg rating — 1,665 ratings
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102

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3.77 avg rating — 132,726 ratings
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103

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3.95 avg rating — 1,010 ratings
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104

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3.73 avg rating — 41,581 ratings
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105

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4.11 avg rating — 500 ratings
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106

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3.54 avg rating — 3,774 ratings
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107

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3.90 avg rating — 2,017 ratings
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108

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3.78 avg rating — 916 ratings
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109

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3.65 avg rating — 574 ratings
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110

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4.01 avg rating — 1,827 ratings
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111

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4.14 avg rating — 1,946 ratings
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112

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3.91 avg rating — 328,450 ratings
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113

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4.11 avg rating — 66,924 ratings
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114

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3.63 avg rating — 162,251 ratings
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115

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4.13 avg rating — 39,617 ratings
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116

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4.08 avg rating — 2,579 ratings
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117

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3.95 avg rating — 9,768 ratings
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118

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4.01 avg rating — 2,731 ratings
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119

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4.20 avg rating — 2,446 ratings
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120

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4.25 avg rating — 12,752 ratings
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121

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4.15 avg rating — 1,424 ratings
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122

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4.25 avg rating — 720 ratings
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123

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4.16 avg rating — 4,318 ratings
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124

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3.87 avg rating — 29,351 ratings
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125

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4.03 avg rating — 21,110 ratings
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126

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3.83 avg rating — 10,963 ratings
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127

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4.23 avg rating — 286,571 ratings
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128

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3.74 avg rating — 171,830 ratings
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129

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3.52 avg rating — 2,491 ratings
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130

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3.82 avg rating — 39,113 ratings
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130

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3.96 avg rating — 84 ratings
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132

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4.02 avg rating — 1,184,328 ratings
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133

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3.88 avg rating — 91,521 ratings
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134

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3.92 avg rating — 104,651 ratings
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135

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4.08 avg rating — 29,851 ratings
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136

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4.31 avg rating — 9,845 ratings
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137

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3.82 avg rating — 1,932 ratings
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138

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4.35 avg rating — 680 ratings
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139

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4.22 avg rating — 159,700 ratings
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140

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3.88 avg rating — 1,245 ratings
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140

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4.13 avg rating — 87,770 ratings
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142

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3.92 avg rating — 610 ratings
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143

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3.76 avg rating — 26,861 ratings
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143

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3.90 avg rating — 96,689 ratings
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145

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4.03 avg rating — 157,512 ratings
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146

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4.17 avg rating — 133,165 ratings
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147

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4.03 avg rating — 1,715,790 ratings
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148

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3.94 avg rating — 53,277 ratings
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149

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3.91 avg rating — 41,060 ratings
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150

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3.71 avg rating — 17,454 ratings
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151

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4.29 avg rating — 1,064 ratings
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152

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3.72 avg rating — 1,059 ratings
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153

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4.36 avg rating — 720 ratings
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154

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4.19 avg rating — 127,062 ratings
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155

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3.75 avg rating — 13,682 ratings
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156

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3.66 avg rating — 20,684 ratings
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157

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3.94 avg rating — 1,221 ratings
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158

by
3.48 avg rating — 30,356 ratings
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159

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3.96 avg rating — 320,279 ratings
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160

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3.63 avg rating — 22,211 ratings
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161

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3.67 avg rating — 19,311 ratings
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162

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3.89 avg rating — 55,681 ratings
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163

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4.06 avg rating — 383,860 ratings
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164

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3.82 avg rating — 1,082 ratings
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165

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3.92 avg rating — 162 ratings
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166

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4.19 avg rating — 1,951 ratings
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167

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3.87 avg rating — 1,708 ratings
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168

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3.66 avg rating — 1,637 ratings
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169

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3.54 avg rating — 5,580 ratings
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170

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3.85 avg rating — 101 ratings
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171

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4.04 avg rating — 1,137 ratings
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172

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3.98 avg rating — 1,307 ratings
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173

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3.87 avg rating — 55,619 ratings
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174

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3.88 avg rating — 4,261 ratings
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175

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4.06 avg rating — 167,889 ratings
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175

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4.76 avg rating — 2,429 ratings
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177

by
3.75 avg rating — 35,321 ratings
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178

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3.81 avg rating — 868,745 ratings
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179

by
3.96 avg rating — 680 ratings
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180

by
4.19 avg rating — 55,726 ratings
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181

by
3.88 avg rating — 468,382 ratings
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182

by
4.15 avg rating — 1,333 ratings
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183

by
3.89 avg rating — 135,409 ratings
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184

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4.26 avg rating — 14,029 ratings
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185

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3.74 avg rating — 289 ratings
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186

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3.78 avg rating — 1,026 ratings
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187

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4.24 avg rating — 1,757 ratings
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188

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4.41 avg rating — 2,213 ratings
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189

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3.76 avg rating — 21,346 ratings
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190

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4.07 avg rating — 8,608 ratings
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191

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3.81 avg rating — 1,595 ratings
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192

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4.12 avg rating — 2,283 ratings
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193

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4.05 avg rating — 605 ratings
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194

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4.02 avg rating — 791 ratings
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195

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3.47 avg rating — 65,415 ratings
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196

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4.21 avg rating — 494,638 ratings
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197

by
3.81 avg rating — 152 ratings
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198

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3.89 avg rating — 6,828 ratings
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199

by
4.08 avg rating — 4,747 ratings
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200

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4.09 avg rating — 12,487 ratings
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1210 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Lissette 115 books
44 friends
jenna 350 books
41 friends
Amy 920 books
5 friends
Wealhtheow 3529 books
616 friends
Natasha 484 books
21 friends
Bryan 2047 books
65 friends
Jessica 390 books
223 friends
Jennifer 1830 books
49 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-44 of 44) (44 new)

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message 1: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Please add 'Manifesta' and 'The Body Project' both excellent feminist reads.


message 2: by Merry (new)

Merry I would also add "Flux: Women on Sex, Work, Love, Kids, and Life in a Half-Changed World" by Peggy Orenstein


message 3: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn I am disappointed that bell hooks' name is not represented correctly.


message 5: by Jill (new)

Jill P.S. Great list!!


message 6: by mazal (new)

mazal bohbot berrie Is there an easy way to adopt this list, or keep a file of it handy? I'm starting a feminist library at work. This list is a fantastic start. Kudos


message 7: by Derya (new)

Derya Anyone, who's interested in feminism must read Virginia Woolf. Especially, her groundbreaking essays, such as; A Room of One's Own and "Professions for Women".


message 8: by Dusty (new)

Dusty Gone WIth The Wind? King Lear? Just because a book has a "strong female lead" doesn't make it feminist!


message 9: by Rita (last edited Mar 18, 2011 02:38AM) (new)

Rita Surpriced to see that The War Against Women wasn't on the list until I used the added function...


message 10: by Anna (new)

Anna Kļaviņa A Woman of No Importance

I added this one


message 11: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Sex Wars by Marge Piercy & The Price of Motherhood: Why the Most Important Job in the World is Still the Least Valued Ann Crittenden


message 12: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Tried voting on the whole list, but 'Too many books, remove one before you add another.' sigh.


message 13: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie How the hell did Atlas Shrugged get up there?


message 14: by Lynne (new)

Lynne Lowe Kathryn wrote: "I am disappointed that bell hooks' name is not represented correctly."

I agree. People spell it wrong all the time.


message 15: by Lynne (new)

Lynne Lowe julian wrote: "this list is too white+western+second wave"

I have to disagree with you. There are a lot of books here representing all women. You should look a bit closer.


message 16: by Richard (new)

Richard It may seem strange that a male would want to add to a feminist book list but the lady for whom I authored the book NOT AGAIN (Amazon Kindle) is, to my mind, the most inspirational person I've ever encountered and I would like to add her to your list, as an inspiration to other ladies.

The background to her story can be found at http://askdavid.com/reviews/book/insp... and the description can be found on Amazon: UK http://tinyurl.com/ct5xqx9
USA http://tinyurl.com/cxv9c9x


message 17: by Lapsus (new)

Lapsus Linguae Much to my astonishment, I didn't find The Tenant of Wildfell Hall so I added it.


message 18: by Fatin (new)

Fatin hmm, I'm a huge fan of Jane Eyre but I'm not sure I'd call it the best "feminist" novel. But then, I haven't read it in a long while and the details aren't very clear to me.

Here's a great poem I read, I have no idea who it's by but it's great.

I fight like a girl who refuses to be a victim.
I fight like a girl who is tired of being IGNORED & HUMORED & BEATEN & RAPED.
I fight like a girl who’s sick of not being taken seriously.
I fight like a girl who’s been pushed too far.
I fight like a girl who OFFERS & DEMANDS RESPECT.
I fight like a girl who has a lifetime of ANGER & STRENGTH & PRIDE pent up in her girly body.
I fight like a girl who doesn’t believe in FEAR & SUBMISSION.
I fight like a girl who knows that THIS BODY & THIS MIND are mine.
I fight like a girl who knows that YOU ONLY HAVE AS MUCH POWER AS I GRANT YOU.
I fight like a girl who will never allow you to take more than I offer.
I fight like a girl who FIGHTS BACK.
So next time you think you can distract yourself from your insecurities by victimizing a girl, THINK AGAIN. She may be ME and I FIGHT LIKE A GIRL.


message 19: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Hall How about some Alice Walker?


message 20: by Fatin (new)

Fatin Cindy wrote: "How about some Alice Walker?"

I LOVE LOVE LOVE The Color Purple. I think it's great not just as a feminist novel that goes to the very core of feminism, but also as a piece of literature about religion.


message 21: by Annette (new)

Annette Hurst Please add Intercourse by Andrea Dworkin


message 22: by Kate (new)

Kate S I'm with Stephanie, how the hell did Atlas Shrugged end up on here?


message 23: by Tom (new)

Tom Webster No Joan Wallach Scott, no Helene Cixous?


message 24: by Davina (new)

Davina Rhine There is a lot to be added to the list. How can readers do that?


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Fatin wrote: "hmm, I'm a huge fan of Jane Eyre but I'm not sure I'd call it the best "feminist" novel. But then, I haven't read it in a long while and the details aren't very clear to me.

Here's a great poem I ..."


I was wondering why Jane Eyre was on here. What did I miss? She should have smacked Rochester up the side of the head. Read Wide Sargasso Sea.


message 26: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Rodning I know that I'm responding to an old post by a deleted user, but I believe that Jane Eyre is on here because Jane (and the woman who wrote her) was an independent woman caring for herself in every way (including monetarily) in a time when that was extremely uncommon. Also, the author, Charlotte Bronte, was a very loud voice for women in that very early time period in which few women spoke up. Yes, Rochester was a cad, but thankfully he wasn't the whole focus of the novel.


message 27: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Rodning ALSO, I agree with Stephanie -- I do not understand why Atlas Shrugged is on here. If someone can explain that, please do. If not, I'm going to come back in a few days and delete it, if that's okay with everyone...


message 28: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Starling Great list of books!I wanted to recommend a book I think that deserves to be on the list called "The Pedestriennes" by author Harry Hall (http://www.pedestriennes.com/). During the Industrial Revolution the sport of endurance walking was taking off (of course it was hugely dominated by men) until a group of women, calling themselves the Pedestriennes, took over. Endurance walking was a BEYOND difficult sport that required the competition to last for days and weeks. Madame "Ada" Anderson (top walker among men and women) walked 1,008 miles and it took her one week. Her feet were so swollen they had to wrap them in turpentine and raw beef! The book tells the story of many successful women endurance walkers and the controversy and difficulty that followed their career choices. I cannot recommend this book enough. It is a fascinating look into a sport I had no idea existed!


message 29: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Why on earth is Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus on here?!


message 30: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Rodning Sarah wrote: "Why on earth is Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus on here?!"

Yeah, I have no idea. It definitely doesn't belong here.


message 31: by Kaion (new)

Kaion There's a whole lot of questionable books on this list. I mean, what's supposed to be feminist about Atlas Shrugged or Pride and Prejudice, for that matter?


message 32: by Booklovinglady (last edited Nov 24, 2015 07:39PM) (new)

Booklovinglady Kaion wrote: "There's a whole lot of questionable books on this list. I mean, what's supposed to be feminist about Atlas Shrugged or Pride and Prejudice, for that matter?"

I can only answer for Pride and Prejudice, as I haven't read Atlas Shrugged. I haven't voted for it myself, but I can see why people thought Pride and Prejudice to be feminist. Just look at the behaviour of Elizabeth: She definitely showed a feminist streak in those days :-) And although she is rather an empty-headed girl, one can also argue that Lydia shows signs of feminism in her behaviour... (considering the era the book was written in). And after all, the description of the Listopia does say "This is a list of books any feminist, new feminist, or a soon-to-be feminist should read." Seen in this light, I don't think Pride and Prejudice should be missing on this list.


message 33: by Erik (new)

Erik Kaion wrote: "There's a whole lot of questionable books on this list. I mean, what's supposed to be feminist about Atlas Shrugged or Pride and Prejudice, for that matter?"
Seriously. I balked when I saw those on here!


message 34: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer I would add The Death Of Feminism by Phyllis Chesler.


message 35: by Veronica (new)

Veronica I voted Breaking Dawn. Bella would kick the asses of all heroines here. If you can include Anna Karenina who is a cheater, or Tita from water to chocolate who is a wimp and lets her man treat her badly, then Bella should be in first place.


message 36: by Linda (new)

Linda Harasim How do we add or suggest books. There are many new books and authors that could be on this list. This list is dated. Or we need a Fresh List of Best Feminist Authors. The criteria ought to be not whether xxx was a feminist or ought to be viewed as one---but is she/he one of the best?! imho.


message 37: by Gabriela (new)

Gabriela Please remove Twilight or other codependency glorifying books.


message 38: by Gabriela (new)

Gabriela Lapsus wrote: "Much to my astonishment, I didn't find The Tenant of Wildfell Hall so I added it."
How do I vote for it?


message 39: by Gabriela (last edited Dec 31, 2015 05:23PM) (new)

Gabriela Veronica wrote: "I voted Breaking Dawn. Bella would kick the asses of all heroines here. If you can include Anna Karenina who is a cheater, or Tita from water to chocolate who is a wimp and lets her man treat her b..."
Well let's see...

Anna Karenina (the book) examines the life of a woman and how she is constrained by social conventions. She attempts to escape but is eventually unsuccessful. This would be classified as a social criticism novel. The female character doesn't have to have a happy ending for the book to be feminist. The point is that her only options are dependence on men or poverty and social ostracism.

I would not necessarily classify Like Water for Chocolate as a feminist book, though it does portray the oppression of women by other women because of their gender (a son would not have the same restrictions and duties) in a negative way. The House of Bernarda Alba is, for me a better case study.

But these sort of lists end up being popularity contests where best selling, mass produced books end up with the most votes even if they actually have little to do with the subject.

Also, Twilight presents codependency and nearly abusive controlling behavior between the two main characters as normal and even desirable and romantic. One male friend once asked me why feminism still existed, if women had achieved equality . I replied that although many advances had been made, many aspects of our culture still reflect underlying patriarchal values. I only needed a one word example for him to concede "Twilight".

Being a feminist does not mean you beat people up like a comic book character. It is about self reflection and examining the values and ideas that guide your life or are present in your social environment. If you want to read about women who ARE feminists and can stand up for themselves here's a good book: Women of a Non-State Nation, The Kurds ( they also happen to be real people not fictional characters).

The only reason I got through the first two books of Twilight was because my two best friends (one just out of a codependent relationship) promised to read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall in return. After the second book, I could not take the silly Cinderella nonsense anymore and stopped. My friend ended up watching the movie and said it helped her determine she did not want to get back together with the guy.

Now I try to balance the examples my high school students get from the media by loaning them out my books like the Bell Jar, A Doll's House etc and show them that it's Okay to be with someone if you want to, but you don't owe anyone any explanations if you want to be single and concentrate on your studies or career and achieve your own goals.


message 40: by Devorah (new)


message 41: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Lockhart 'Delusions of Gender' by Cordelia Fine is a good one. Didn't see it mentioned here.


message 42: by Jana (new)

Jana Add Susan Brownmiller's "Against our will"


message 43: by Veronica (new)

Veronica You would think that a story where the heroine works hard to get what she wants in life, to overpower the wills of the stronger creatures that surround her, that stands her ground against her dad and is willing to do would be consider empowering. But no! Being a strong female doesn't mean to be heartless, doesn't mean to ignore love, doesn't mean to be a man with a vagina, doesn't mean to be willing to abort your child so you won't risk your life. It doesn't mean that you won't ever face depression or dark periods in your life, but that you will fall and then get to your feet again stronger than ever. IN my opinion, being a feminist woman means to take decisions, to fight for what you want in your life even when everyone who surrounds you is trying to deter you to live up to the consequences of them. Like Bella.

Nice to know that Tita who never stood her ground is considered a "feminist" when she never stood her ground. Nice to know that Anna Karennina is considered feminist because the book in which she appears was written by a genious writer. Not that Ana, the character did anything good. In breaking dawn is Bella who saves the day. Anna Karennina is just a wimp who whines a complain.


message 44: by Elissa (last edited Apr 10, 2016 06:34PM) (new)

Elissa to those of you questioning atlas shrugged, how many of you have read the book? The female protagnonist, Dagny Taggart, kicks butt and takes names!She is the head of the largest transportation company in the US that is being kept a float thanks to her intellect. its a long book but a great read. Not to mention it was written by Ayn Rand, a woman, who is a wickedly smart philosopher, author, and playwright.


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