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Feminist recommendations

March 4, 2013

One of my lovely postcards from the 20sb Postcard Exchange came from Cassie. It was a fantastic vintage NYC postcard with a darling message. Cassie asked for some feminist book recommendations, and she’s not the first. I thought sharing my favorite feminist books would make for a good blog post.

I always recommend people new to feminism to check out Jessica Valenti’s Full Frontal Feminism. It’s an accessible primer to all things feminist. As you read it, you’ll likely realize you’ve been a feminist all along, but now you’re able to articulate it.

For privileged young white women like myself, I always recommend Courtney E. Martin’s Perfect Girls Starving Daughters. I read it as a college senior and the part that stuck out most to me was the idea that our generation has been raised by feminist mothers who told us we can do and be anything we want to do and be. However, we heard them say that we have to do and be everything we want to do and be. We’re overwhelmed and hyperachieving and this book breaks down why from a feminist perspective. It might be my favorite book of all time. However, it is very specific in its audience and not generalizable for everyone.

If you’re up to speed on feminism and want to branch out, I recommend Diane Negra’s What a Girl Wants. This book is a feminist critique of postfeminist pop culture, a phenomenon that considers all of feminism’s goals as achieved and discusses consumerism as a (poor) form of empowerment.

For a feminist perspective on masculinity, I recommend anything by Jackson Katz, specifically his film Tough Guise, as well as Susan Bordo’s The Male Body. Sexism and patriarchy hurt men, too, and these texts focus on that. Does a dude in your life want to know more about feminism? Try Michael Kaufman’s and Michael Kimmel’s excellent book called The Guy’s Guide to Feminism. It’s absolutely fantastic.

What about some good feminist pop culture?

My favorite feminist YouTube series is Smart Girls at the Party (see above!).

My favorite feminist blog is Feministing. Duh.

My favorite feminist television comedy is Parks and Recreation.

My favorite feminist television drama is Friday Night Lights.

My favorite feminist film comedy is Legally Blonde.

My favorite feminist film drama is Mona Lisa Smile.

My favorite feminist documentary is Miss Representation.

My favorite feminist young adult novel is Graceling by Kristin Cashore.

My favorite feminist novel (not YA) is The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.


I love introducing people to feminist texts. Are there any I missed? Leave them in the comments. Want more recommendations? Let me know!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 4, 2013 10:41 am

    I looove this! So glad you decided to make a blog post out of your recommendations. I can’t wait to check some of these out. And thanks for your lovely postcard – it made my day. 🙂

  2. March 18, 2013 7:18 am

    I always seem to end up back at Julia Kristeva or Helene Cixous whenever I’m writing about literature with a feminist slant. But I love that you have included a section on feminist pop culture ~ accessibility is so important! (Julia Roberts in Mona Lisa Smile is my teaching idol). For a comedic view, Caitlin Moran’s How to Be a Woman is also worth a read! x

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