Feminist is a word we are constantly exposed to, one that's bandied around all over news stories and social media in both positive and negative lights.
Whatever kind of feminist you define yourself as, there is no denying the importance of exploring what feminism means to women around the world. This, after all, is a subject that continues to play a huge part in political debates, our daily behaviour and our experience of the society we live in. It forms our history, and it will undoubtedly shape the future of many countries, worldwide.
Want to educate your younger sister? A partner? Yourself? These feminist books are the best in fiction and non-fiction to get you thinking about issues of equality, freedom of speech, restricted voices and open honesty when it comes to women.
What We’re Told Not to Talk About (But We’re Going to Anyway)
Women’s Voices from East London to Ethiopia
Author: Nimko Ali
Taboo-breaking Nimko Ali breaks the conversation on female bodies wide open, as she presents stories from women around the world and discusses issues such as Female Genital Mutilation, good and bad orgasms, the difficulties of menopause and periods and how experiences of pregnancy vary widely across communities.
Dear Ijeawele: A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions
Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This is a pretty perfect place to start. If you've ever been confused about feminism and what you should think, or just want to learn a little more about the world for women and how to articulate your experiences, this heartfelt letter from Chimamanda to her daughter will lay it out for you - plain and simple.
Feminists Don't Wear Pink: and other lies
Author: Curated by Scarlett Curtis, an essay collection of some of our most celebrated women - from outspoken celebrities we know and love like Emma Watson to the female activists leading the way for change today.
From Scarlett's captivating and grounding introduction to angry quick-read poems on the stigmas of female masturbation, and a a short history on feminist theory that is digestible, accessible and breaks down the waves of the movement across the decades, this book has a bit of everything. I guarantee you'll end up reading the full, illuminating collection, and you'll quite possibly finish it knowing more about your own personal stance than you imagined.
Royalties of each copy of Feminists Don't Wear Pink (and other lies) sold go to Girl Up, the initiative UN Foundation that has changed the lives of over 80,000 women worldwide.
Slay In Your Lane
Authors: Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené
Covering topics from modern dating challenges to work culture and progression, this incredibly inspirational and informative guide highlights the challenges faced and spectacular waves made by black British women. An eye-opening, representative and humorous book, it's not just an educational read, but an essential one.
Everything I know About Love
Author: Dolly Alderton
You'll blitz through this one like there's no tomorrow, but that's no excuse not to pack it for a weekend trip. Every woman I talk to finds something incredible relatable, side-splittingly hilarious and humanly heart-breaking in what is an (ultimately) uplifting, grounding and charming debut from this podcast queen and journalist extraordinaire. This autobiographic tale of the modern millennial experience will open your mind.
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Author: Maya Angelou
The essential coming-of-age story, this first book in Maya Angelou's 7-part autobiography series tracks her journey from a young female victim of racism to an articulate, dignified and proud young lady who challenges prejudice and responds to her critics. An exploration of identity through the eyes of a young black woman in America, it tackles extremely challenging and harrowing topics with grace and intelligence, showing how literacy can have a profound and lasting impact on changing one's circumstance.
The Second Sex
Author: Simone De Beauvoir
This is essential reading for anyone studying gender, a ground-breaking psychoanalytic existentialist study of women in society that still resonates nearly 70 years after publication. Proving her intellectual equality to her beloved Sartre, De Beauvoir interrogates the way women think and hope, feel and suffer, in overwhelmingly eloquent prose. Not a light read, but a very important one, written before 'feminism' was the commonplace phrase it is in many societies today.
We Should All Be Feminists
Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
So talented at expressing the realities of feminism, we couldn't resist including a second Chimamanda offering. This short essay, an adapted version of her empowering Tedx talk, discusses the definition of feminism in today's world, the integral importance of awareness and inclusivity, understanding and challenging. This is a stocking filler/secret santa/pocket-size articulation of exactly why feminism should be supported by everyone.