Women Who Lead, Read

By: Ebony Taylor

Women’s Center Library, 105 Haag Hall

Since starting college, there has been little time, if at all, that I have gotten to sit down, pick up a book, and read. No distractions, no emails, no assignment deadlines, just me and the smell of printed paper.  As a book lover, I came across a list of feminist-written reads that I had to share. If you have already been introduced to the world of feminist writing, or are just getting started, this list is compiled with reads from feminist thinkers and novelists to poets and producers of feminist pornography. There is something for all. I have picked 7 books that I think I would want to pick up, but you should visit Esquire to get the entire list.  If you want even more feminist reading, don’t forget to check out our Women’s Center library, located in our office at 105 Haag Hall! 

 This collection of essays and poems are from women of color who raise awareness for issues that women continue to face. This book is said to connect with women of all ages, race, and genders.  

This witty, humorous collection of stories recounts memories from the author’s life and identity as a Native American woman.  Midge reflects on feminism, tweeting presidents, and white-bread privilege. Enjoy Midge’s urban-Indigenous identity and how it has impacted her ideas on culture, race, media, and feminism. 

Rana el Kaliouby is entrepreneur and scientist, working in the field of emotional intelligence, Emotional AI,  and cofounder and CEO of Affectiva, a start-up company spun off of MIT Media Lab. This book is a memoir that highlights the conflict between her Egyptian upbringing and her goals in life. 

This book shows how men express emotions in different stages of life, status, and ethnicity and how toxic masculinity skews men away from an important part of themselves. It discusses men’s concerns, like the fear of intimacy and their role as patriarchs in society.  

 We already know stories of magical creatures and witches, but Circe recreates the sorceress from Homer’s Odyssey in a feminist light. The overlooked character of Circe gives rise to her independence in a male-dominated world.   

A collection of writings from feminists in the adult entertainment industry and research by feminist porn scholars. This book investigates how feminists understand pornography and how they produce, direct, act in, and buy a into a large and successful business. Authors of these writings also explore pornography as a form of expression where women produce power and pleasure.  

Serano writes about her journey before and after transitioning, expressing how fear, suspicion, and dismissiveness towards femininity molds society’s view on trans women, gender and sexuality. Serano also proposes that feminists today and transgender activists must collaborate to embrace all forms of femininity.  

bell hooks: Intersectional feminist

By Matiara Huff

bellhookbell hooks, her name is powerful enough. If you don’t know how she is, this post will serve as an introduction.

bell hooks or Gloria Jean Watkins was born September 25, 1952 and has basically been an intersectional feminist ever since. She is most well known for her feminist theory that recognizes that social classifications (e.g., race, gender, sexual identity, class, etc.) are interconnected, and that ignoring their intersection creates oppression towards women and change the experience of living as a woman in society. bell hook’s most famous book, Ain’t I a woman?: Black women and feminism addresses the effects of the intersection of racism and sexism on black women, and how the convergence of sexism and racism have contributed to black women having the lowest status in American society. hook has also written a long list of other feminist books including children’s books, chapters in other people’s books, and articles in peer reviewed journals.

Aint I a women? completely changed how the world perceived black women when it came out in 1981, and is still very relevant today. Without her work, black women would be far more oppressed. bell hook was one of the intersectional feminist who brought race (and other marginalized identities) into feminism; thus, making feminism more inclusive and applicable. bell hook has made such a huge impact on feminism as we know it today, and we will forever be grateful for her contributions.