Feminism TBR

I haphazardly compiled a TBR list on feminism the other day because a few months ago I made reading more about feminism a goal for this year. I don’t know why developed an interest in the subject. It must have something to do with the increased media coverage. Emma Watson’s role in the ‘He for She’ movement and her Goodreads feminism reading group was the tipping point for me. Plus, I see the bloggers and YouTubers I follow mention the subject constantly and recommend books on feminism. So, let’s talk about herd-mentality…, which in this case is not that it’s a bad thing. I think every woman should read books about feminism. So here I am, doing just that.

The first book I read on the subject was A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf and I am hooked, I want to read more. Why? Am I suddenly a feminist? Should I be one? Should every woman be one? I definitely, feel that as a woman I should be one, but since until recently I haven’t given the subject much thought, I repeat, should I be a feminist? I hope that by reading the books on this list I will be able to figure out where I stand.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is an author I heard of a lot in the last couple of years, mainly because of her book, Americanah. But lately, her book, We Should all be Feminists, has been all over social media and the bookstores. The book is based on Adichie’s TEDx talk and I decided to listen to it. I thought, maybe this will clarify my thoughts on the subject. And I think it did, somewhat…

In the TEDx talk, Adichie gives ample examples of why we should all be feminists. She comes from Nigeria, so her examples are culture-specific, but as I listened to her talk I realized that I can relate to many of her examples. I grew up in Eastern Europe, in Romania, and even though you would think that the two cultures (Romanian and Nigerian) are completely different, and they are, some things are more or less the same. Especially, the relationship between men and women, their position within the society.

Culture is so embedded in our personality/upbringing that we many times take certain things as immutable facts. We never question them, and if we do, what we are told is that that’s just the way things are. But what if those things are wrong, should we just accept them? Should we always ‘bow’ before our men, just because our mothers and grandmothers did so? Is my place in the kitchen just because I am a woman? Should I be the one who does all the work around the house just because I am a woman? Should I change all the diapers because I am a woman? Should I have less salary for the same job because I am a woman? Should men not shake my hand when they enter the room, just because I am a woman? Is my main goal in life to get married and have children just because I am a woman? …

As I listened to Adichie talk I realized that I do not want to accept these things, many women before me did. …as I did, and probably still do in some ways, simply because it is the way I was brought up. I don’t live in Romania anymore. I live in Denmark, where the culture is starkly different when it comes to equality between men and women. For example, it is not expected of me to cook and clean all by myself anymore.

Here are the books on my feminism TBR. The list is compiled of titles I found through a quick Google search of tn the subject. They are in no particular order, and the list is by no means complete. The ones I read I will mark with a date, I will highlight them and in case I write a review I will link to it.

  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (October, 2017)
  • A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf (March, 2017)
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker (April, 2017)
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (July, 2017)
  • Sexual Politics by Kate Millett (DNF)
  • The Awakening by Kate Chopin (July, 2018)
  • The Female Eunuch by Germaine Green (DNF – this is a widely known book and I recommend reading it if you, like me, want to get better acquainted with the subject, but I simple could not tolerate Germaine Greer writing style. I felt it to be patronizing and judgemental. )
  • The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan (June, 2018)
  • Ain’t I a Woman by Bell Hooks
  • The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
  • Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay (March, 2018)
  • The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
  • Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
  • Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
  • The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
  • Leftover Women by Leta Hong Fincher
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (April, 2017)
  • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
  • How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
  • The Power by Naomi Alderman (October, 2017)
  • Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates (April, 2018)
  • Brave by Rose McGowan (September, 2018)

Happy reading,

Amalia

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