non-fiction feminist reading recommendations?

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melsbells
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non-fiction feminist reading recommendations?

Post by melsbells » Fri Jun 12, 3:08 2015

What would you recommend as reading material for someone new to feminism as well as not so new but interested in delving deeper?

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Re: non-fiction feminist reading recommendations?

Post by spacefem » Fri Jun 12, 5:57 2015

So I checked back on my livejournal at recent feminist books (all here: http://spacefem.livejournal.com/tag/boo ... 20feminism) and from that list I'd say:

1) Full Frontal Feminism by Jessica Valenti is the best recent feminism 101 book out there, covers a lot of topics and easy to read so it'd be a good first one.

2) Half The Sky - every human just must read this.

3) read something by Bell Hooks so you'll know how to work with and for women of all races

4) I definitely liked "Perfect Madness" by Judith Warner, about motherhood

bottom line is there's a lot to read and a lot of aspects and perspectives in feminism, you really can't go wrong, dive in and tell us what you like! I've had "cunt" on my book list for like two years, need to get there.
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Re: non-fiction feminist reading recommendations?

Post by octarineoboe » Fri Jun 12, 8:08 2015

For a feminist take on sexual issues I would also recommend Yes Means Yes, edited by Jessica Valenti and Jaclyn Friedman.

Most of my reading list is women's/gender history more than feminism, but a few from the past semester that really get at feminist issues that I think are still current:

1. When and Where I Enter, Paula Giddings - it's a history of black women and it does a really good job of parsing the relationship between racial movements and feminist movements, and the ways in which black women have constantly challenged white feminists and pulled the movement forward. Kind of a historical supplement to bell hooks.

2. Yours in Sisterhood: Ms. Magazine and the Promise of Popular Feminism, Amy Erdman Ferrell - The title pretty much says it all, but the history of Ms. is also very much the history of white second-wave feminism. Also, feminists definitely still struggle with the tension between feminism and commercialism. Honestly just the first two or three chapters will get the point across.

I've also had "Cunt" on my list for a while, especially since I picked up a cheap copy at a yard sale. But I read one page and it was like "you should love your cunt and treat it like the source of your goddess-ness that it deserves" (paraphrasing) and I found that super off-putting...you don't get to tell me what my relationship with my vagina should be, and I have some pretty good reasons not to love it.

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Re: non-fiction feminist reading recommendations?

Post by Sonic# » Fri Jun 12, 15:51 2015

Like octarineoboe, a lot of my reading list comes from history and (for me) literary criticism. I haven't read as much new work by mainstream writers on feminist issues like Jessica Valenti and Caitlin Moran, though I'm slowly changing that.

At 15 years old, bell hooks's Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics is still a great introduction to feminism, intersectionality, and related concepts. I also like readers like The Essential Feminist Reader, since they provide a selection of texts and discussions from across the span of feminist history.

I also recommend finding particular issues and areas that are interesting to you and delving in them. For instance, if you're curious about historical studies of gender and how we learn about women in a different time from archives geared to support aristocratic men, I suggest a book like Judith Bennett's History Matters: Patriarchy and the Challenge of Feminism. She writes about the importance of historical awareness to modern feminism, going from pointing out the declining connection between women's history and feminist activism and moving on to show how close historical work sheds light on problems we're facing now. A bonus - Bennett is an experienced scholar who has managed to blend the personal and the academic, so the writing is pretty accessible.

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Re: non-fiction feminist reading recommendations?

Post by Chococat » Sat Jun 13, 10:06 2015

I found Jessica Valenti's The Purity Myth really helpful for breaking down virginity as a social construct and how it's used to control feminine sexuality. I think I first read it because it was recommended here before!
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Re: non-fiction feminist reading recommendations?

Post by rowan » Sat Jun 13, 15:26 2015

If someone were interested in feminism and science I'd point to this article:
http://works.swarthmore.edu/cgi/viewcon ... ac-physics
and the references therein.
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Re: non-fiction feminist reading recommendations?

Post by chris71 » Tue Jun 16, 10:44 2015

Paula Giddings is one of my favorites. One book I'd recommend is The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf.

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Re: non-fiction feminist reading recommendations?

Post by melsbells » Mon Jun 29, 21:24 2015

Thanks for all the suggestions! "Feminism is for Everybody" was my first academic look at Feminism and at the time (maybe ten years ago), I was really put off by bell hooks' stance on feminism and religion. It would be good to read it again though.
I'm visiting my parents at the moment, so I have the opportunity to pick up a few English texts while I'm here and at least get to read them once I get home.

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