Okay, so it’s December already and the pressure to show your nearest and dearest that you love them — even if you never message first — is ON … Here’s our completely arbitrary list of five feminist classics which everyone needs in their life. Whether the festive season has you strapped for cash or you just don’t want to be adding fuel to the ‘capitalist machine,’ these should be easy to source and buy second-hand at a reduced price
1.Ain’t I a Woman? — bell hooks
— Buy this for yourself, buy this for your friends, buy this for the guy who lives next door. I cannot stress enough that this is E-S-S-E-N-T-I-A-L reading. Examining the intersection of sexism and racism in the lives of black women, jump-starting feminism’s third wave in the process, this is one of the most influential texts of the 20th century. Great for those beginning their feminist journey, seasoned feminists, or anyone who appreciates good writing.
2.We Should All be Feminists — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
—The TEDx talk it’s based on has more than three million views, it’s been sampled by Beyoncé and it’s in the process of being given to every sixteen-year old in Sweden…need I say more?
3.Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel
—Drawing on the literary phenomenon of folletín (popular romance novels) to create a love story interweaving three generations and told via traditional recipes, Esquivel subverts the sexist assumptions surrounding ‘women’s writing’ and ‘women’s work’. A modern classic, a best-seller and a touch-stone in reconsidering the female contribution to the Mexican Revolution, Like Water for Chocolate is full of beautiful contradictions.
4.Bad Feminist — Roxane Gray
— A series of essays published in 2014 critiquing popular culture via the feminist gaze… That makes it sound kind of dry, but in reality it’s anything but: it’ll make you lol one minute and well up the next. Completely spot-on: culturally relevant, accessible, and genuinely insightful. Buy it for a friend then get them to lend it to you.
5.The Yellow Wallpaper — Charlotte Perkins Gilman
— Condemning Victorian gender roles and the ways in which medicine was being abused to silence women and reinforce their inferior societal position, it’s a heavy read but also a pretty important one.