Want to tap into that inner feminist? Here are some of the best introductions’ to learn about the diverse struggles women and girls around the world face. Whether it’s in the past or current day issues, read their stories of adversity and how they powered through. Comment and add more books to this amazing list.
- Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
Made up of a collection of essays, Solnit shares varying forms of patriarchy women are facing in their every day lives. From victim blaming, sexual assaults, and historical events of oppression, she calls women to join the movement for awareness and change for gender equality. It’s a wonderful book that truly ignites a passion for readers to join the movement.
“Feminism is an endeavor to change something very old, widespread, and deeply rooted in many, perhaps most, cultures around the world, innumerable institutions, and most households on Earth- and in our minds, where it all begins and ends. ”
- The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston
By focusing on the stories of five women, Kingston weaves the story of history and myths to share her memories of growing up as a Chinese immigrant in San Francisco. Her stories demonstrate the cultural confines women have faced and how she learns to use them to navigate into her new home.
“Those of us in the first American generations have had to figure out how the invisible world the emigrants built around our childhoods fits in solid America.”
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Imagine a dystopian future where women are being forced to live as concubines under a dictatorship, “The Handmaid’s Tale” explores the possible consequences brought upon by gender inequality and its evolution.
“A rat in a maze is free to go anywhere, as long as it stays inside the maze”
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Follow this one of a kind story about an African American woman, Celie, who experiences abuse and prejudice in southern America. Read as she battles her way through hardship and reunites with her long lost sister. A truly captivating tale about a woman of color living pre-civil rights movement in the Deep South.
“And not being tied to what God looks like, frees us.”
- Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay
A collection of essays about every women’s modern battle they face between being a feminist and wanting equality but also indulging in things that go against the concept. Would it be bad for a feminist to love pink or want to be lavished with gifts from their dates? Read this hilarious yet insightful take on the guilt women face in today’s world.
“I believe feminism is grounded in supporting the choices of women even if we wouldn’t make certain choices for ourselves.”
- The Diary of A Young Girl by Anne Frank
If you read this epic diary as a teenager in high school, then read it again. And if you missed out the chance to read it before then make sure to pick up this book now. Definitely, don’t lose out the chance to read this intense diary by Anne Frank as she hides with her family for two years from the Nazi occupation in the Netherlands.
“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything. I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
- I Am Malala: The Girls Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
After taking a bullet for speaking up about children’s educational rights, Pakistani Activist’ Malala has become an international phenomenon. Read her inspirational tale since birth for her fight for education. The consequences for speaking up for girls like her and how she continues to spread her message for education availability for all.
“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.”
- Lean In: Women, Work. and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
Most known as the COO of Facebook and one of the few leading female figures in the billionaire tech industry, Sherly Sandberg shares her experiences in the field. Read her message encouraging women to become role models take on more leading roles.
“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”
- Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros
Nothing beats an immigration story, read this semi-autobiography by Sandra Cisneros about being recognized as a first generation Mexican American living in Chicago. Born in a big family, join Sandra in her growth as women.
“The soul never ages, the soul. All of light tethered to that nuisance the body.”
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett
It was a bestseller and received many nominations for its film adaptation as well. “The Help” shares a one of a kind tale about racial tensions of the 1960’s. It highlights the struggles domestic workers and women come upon. It’s insightful and laid with funny moments to make this story relative to any person.
“Don’t waste your time on obvious things. Write about what disturbs you; particularly if it seems to bother no one else.”
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
This fictional dystopian youth book can capture anybody’s attention. The book carries more in depth look into Katniss Everdeen’s fight to survive as the rebel icon for a starving destitute nation. The novel has moments of sacrifice but also the love triangle between Katniss, Gale, and Peeta brings some steamy romantic moments into the story.
“You don’t forget the face of the person who was your last hope.”
- Little Women by Louisa May
A must read about a household of four sisters trying to navigate life after their father leaves for the American Civil War. Raised under the roof of their strong willed mother, the girls share their stories of womanhood under a patriarchal world.
“Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.”