Feminist books to read

I’ve been on a feminist-authored book kick lately.

Personally, it took a while before I even began casually embracing the “f-word”.

Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen feminism exalted as one of the most important movements in our world today. Or regarded as yet another –ism on the brink of overexposure and suffering from crippling contradictions.

Maybe things went south after feminism went Hollywood. When the Taylor Swifts and the Amy Schumers decided to plant their flags on the matter. I don’t mean to point fingers but mass media hasn’t always made it easy for us to stand by women who claim they’re for feminism.

I can’t justify why a woman would go on national television and give a seemingly female-empowered speech about owning your accomplishments when, in fact, she had approved lyrics by a rapper saying he made her famous.

At the same time, I can’t justify why I enjoy listening to such rappers. Or why I like making fun of “Real Housewives” stars. Or why 42% of women helped elect a widely-perceived misogynist.

Maybe there is no wrong or right way to be a feminist. And if there is, then it probably starts by understanding that feminists come as complicated as any other underserved group in our society.

While there are tons of news and scholarly articles on the topic, I’ve dedicated the last few years to reading strong contemporary narratives from women around the world.

The list of books below are ranked from least to most favorite and I’ll be updating it regularly.

  1. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  2. #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso
  3. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
  4. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  5. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Next, I’ll be reading Difficult Women by Roxane Gay, The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry and  The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae.