I’ve been called a “dirty feminist” and enough offensive words against my gender to charge up a small motor that runs on fragile masculinity. Thus, I’ve read a lot of phenomenal “woman power,” gender empowering books to fuel my fire against these easily frustrated men. So without further ado, here’s a list of some of my favorite reads if you too want some fuel to the old feminist fire.
1: “Three Women” by Lisa Taddeo
This book has mixed, but some pretty poor reviews on Goodreads and different accounts. But, I actually really enjoyed it. An author conducted interviews with three women over the course of many years and wrote this book all about their lives, focusing on their sexual desires or histories. Her message is that we focus so much on what men want, that what women want in a relationship is always second, or even not thought about at all. I liked it because it’s real and these are actual women struggling against this toxic patriarchal system of all these ridiculous men. Who, just because they’re men, are seen as smarter, better, more competent and more important, which I think that’s ridiculous. This book really fired me up and made me completely insufferable for almost two weeks, so I’d add it to your list immediately.
2: “The Bloody Chamber” by Angela Carter
If you’re not a big fan of non-fiction or more reality-based fiction, this book is for you. It’s a re-telling of many of the famous fairy tale books but with a darker, feminist edge. I had to read and write some papers on this book in my Fairytale Literature class, so I know it pretty intimately. But, it’s just one of those books that you can read again and again and again and find more symbolism and allegories that you missed the first time around. The writing is phenomenal, the story-telling makes your skin crawl at times and again, truly makes me feel like women have just completely suffered for centuries. It made me intolerable and the men in my life hate me, so it should be added to everyone’s list.
3: Literally Anything by Alice Walker
I’m a huge fan of Alice Walker and her books. I think she writes such amazing, deep, realistic characters that you often feel as though you could reach in, pull them out and they’d be standing next to you. The good thing about her is that she wrote a lot of short stories and essays, so if you don’t want to dive right into something like “The Color Purple,” you could read “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens”, a collection of non-fiction essays. She’s just a fantastic author and she truly is able to tell stories, and not just write about about the struggle of women in the 20th century, but Black women and the need for intersectionality in modern-day Feminism. If you read anything this year, grab something of Alice Walker’s, maybe even “The Welcome Table” as just nothing makes me cry more.
4: Margaret Atwood:
Okay, I know I’m supposed to be recommending books but I’m a big fan of most of Margaret Atwood’s publications. To be honest, I like some of her other books better than the famous, “Handmaid’s Tale.” Don’t get me wrong, “The Handmaid’s Tale” is good as it truly highlights how in a patriarchal society women also oppress other women in hopes of reaching a higher place in society, but in reality, we’re all oppressed by men. But it’s Atwood’s story collection, “Bluebeard’s Egg” and her novel “The Robber Bride” that truly impacted me in innumerable ways. She writes, “Even pretending you aren’t catering to male fantasies is a male fantasy: pretending you’re unseen, pretending you have a life of your own, that you can wash your feet and comb your hair unconscious of the ever-present watcher peering through the keyhole, peering through the keyhole in your own head, if nowhere else. You are a woman with a man inside watching a woman. You are your own voyeur,” in “The Robber Bride”. It’s a passage I think about all the time. Amongst the argument between women about being too basic or too “pick me.” All I can think is that all this in-fighting in gender is allowing men to go about their lives unchallenged. How unstoppable would we be as a gender if banded together?
All in all, there are a lot of phenomenal options to make you an insufferable woman to be around, so pick wisely and be completely irritating … your female ancestors would’ve wanted it that way.