13 Feminist Books EVERYONE Should Read

Everyone should be a feminist

Photo: Pexels

Photo: Pexels

Everyone should be a feminist. To be one simply means that you believe that women are equal to men, which we are. The fact that the topic is still up for debate, and that we still have to fight for this recognition is incredible. Yet here we are.

Thankfully, there are feminist books that will help inform everyone about what feminism is, the history of the fight for women, and how women of different races, backgrounds, and religions have fought for equality. These books on feminism are must-reads, so we can understand and embrace intersectional feminism, and work together to fight injustice. Add them to your fall reading list, share them with loved ones, and spread the word.


The Feminine Mystique, by Betty Friedan

The Feminine Mystique is Betty Friedan’s groundbreaking 1963 book on what it means to be a woman. The bestseller is credited with launching second-wave feminism, and questioned why women were supposed to be happy solely being mothers, wives, and caretakers of the home. This is a classic in the library of feminist books.

Available at amazon.com, $8.23


Gender and Our Brains: How New Neuroscience Explodes the Myths of the Male and Female Minds, by Gina Rippon

A newer publication that takes a look at how women and men are often separated by false information is Gina Rippon’s Gender and Our Brains. In it, the professor of cognitive neuroimaging utilizes neuroscience to uncover the truth about women and men’s brains.

Available at penguinrandomhouse.com, $17


Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches, by Audre Lorde


Audre Lorde is a Black lesbian poet and feminist writer, whose book, Sister Outsider, is a must-read feminist book. It contains 15 essays and speeches that explore the topics of racism, ageism, homophobia, sexism, and class. Sister Outsider is often required reading in many universities.

Available at amazon.com, $12.99


We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Another feminist book you should add to your reading list is We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The New York Times bestseller is a short read, adapted from Chimamanda’s TEDx talk bearing the same name, and which breaks down inclusive feminism in modern times.

Available at target.com, $7.99


Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women that a Movement Forgot, by Mikki Kendall

Mikki Kendall addressed a huge issue in the feminist movement in her book Hood Feminism. The feminism movement has often not included the narratives and struggles of non-Anglo women, and that means that the feminism movement hasn’t truly been complete. Hood Feminism speaks on this through Mikki Kendall’s own experiences, shared in the form of personal essays.

Available at amazon.com, $15.62


Can We All Be Feminists?: New Writing from Brit Bennett, Nicole Dennis-Benn, and 15 Others on Intersectionality, Identity, and the Way Forward for Feminism

Good books on feminism won’t just introduce the topic of feminism, or trace its history. They will challenge how the movement has worked–or hasn’t, who it’s included–or hasn’t, and will make you think. Can We All Be Feminists? is such a book. Essays by 17 writers of different backgrounds offer a multifaceted perspective of feminism and what that means.

Available at amazon.com, $13.96


Women, Race, & Class, by Angela Davis

Angela Davis’ 1981 book, Women, Race, & Class is a necessary feminist book every self-proclaiming feminist needs to read. It traces the history of the women’s liberation movement, pointing out that it has often been both racist and classist.

Available at bookshop.com, $15.59


The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions, by Paula Gunn Allen

To be a true feminist, you need to understand a feminine perspective from as many different identities and experiences as possible. Including that of Indigenous cultures. Paula Gunn Allen’s The Sacred Hoop shares the role that females have had in Indigenous traditions in what is now the U.S.

Available at amazon.com, $24.25


Bad Feminist, by Roxanne Gay


Roxanne Gay’s Bad Feminist is a book of essays in which the author speaks on feminism, criticism, and politics. She speaks on experiences of her life, on how it’s okay to love the color pink, and her thoughts on pop culture. This newer book quickly became a must-own for all those with feminist books in their library.

Available at powells.com, $16.99


The Second Sex, by Simone de Beauvoir

Another old school look at feminism comes in the form of Simone de Beauvoir’s book The Second Sex. Published in 1949, it looks at how women have been treated throughout history. It is separated into two volumes: Facts and Myths, and Lived Experience.

Available at betterworldbooks.com, $4.48


Men Explain Things To Me, by Rebecca Solnit


Credited with coining the term “mansplaining,” Rebecca Solnit dedicates seven essays to exploring misogyny, the exploitation of women, violence against women, and of course, the issue of mansplaining. It sheds light on topics many bury away and don’t speak up enough about.

Available at thriftbooks.com, $13.55


A Vindication of the Rights of Women, by Mary Wollstonecraft

This feminist gem takes us back to 1792, when Brit Mary Wollstonecraft had the guts (the ovaries!) to write and publish a book on feminist philosophy. It is an antique clap back to the published work of Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord’s report that spoke about limiting women’s education. It is a great look at what feminism, and feminists looked like in the 18th century.

Available at secondsale.com, $3.88


Fat is a Feminist Issue, by Susie Orbach

Part of feminism is recognizing and dismantling the things that are set up to make women feel like failures and less than. Like the idea of being “fat.” Men don’t have the pressure or expectation to be a certain size, while women are drilled with the idea of looking a specific way from the time we are little girls. Fat is a Feminist Issue, by Susie Orbach looks at this problem, and how it creates a bad relationship between women and food.

Available at amazon.com, $6.25

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