8 Feminist Books on my TBR #IWD2019

At university, I discovered feminism, or rather I discovered that feminism wasn’t just the dictionary definition of the pursuit of women’s rights (anyone who tells you that lacks nuance and understanding…). Instead I learnt that the word was political, changing and multifaceted. Fourth-wave feminism is in fact far closer to egalitarianism than first-wave feminism – where the definition originates – ever was.

I took two modules relating to this at university: Transnational Feminism which opened me up to a global, intersectional perspective on the topic and North American Women Writers which reminded me of how pale, male and stale the traditional literature canon is.

Although I read lots of articles on feminist topics, I haven’t been reading as much feminist literature since I graduated. I might lose my Woman Card if I continue this way so, in no particular order, here are the top 8 feminist books on my TBR.


Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (And Other Lies): Amazing Women on What the F-Word Means to Them  edited by Scarlett Curtis

Feminists Don't Wear Pink.jpg

This is what I needed as a teenager! When I scoffed at feminism and when I didn’t realise how many perspectives there are on the topic. There are tons of amazing contributors from Evanna Lynch to Bridget Jones (yes!) to my fave Jameela Jamil. Royalties from this book will be supporting Girl Up so it’s definitely worth a purchase.


Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love it – edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O’Shea

and

Chicks Unravel Time: Women Journey Through Every Season of Doctor Who edited by Deborah Stanish and L.M. Myles

Science fiction is a huge love of mine, but has traditionally been a masculine space. Although SF fandoms can still be full of toxic masculinity (see: the backlash for The Last Jedi), women who love sci-fi are no longer a rarity. These books celebrate and analyse Doctor Who from a female perspective and I am here for it.


Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture – Roxanne Gay

Not That Bad

Whilst this has been on my TBR for a while and I’m not 100% sure when I will be able to read. Frankly rape is a topic I find really hard to read about or watch depicted in films and TV. Rape culture is such an important topic however, so I’m keeping it on this list with the intention to read it (even if it means one chapter at a time).


Geisha, a Life – Mineko Iwasaki

Geisha, A Life

If Memoirs of a Geisha was published today I’d like to optimistically believe it wouldn’t have been as successful. Memoirs was written by a white American professor who took bits and pieces of a geisha’s life and is rife with problems of Orientalism. This is about the very same Geisha and an attempt to rectify the mistakes of Memoirs with this own voices memoir.


The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write – edited by Sabrina Mahfouz

The Things I would Tell You

A collection of short stories, essays, poetry, and a play. Having grown up in a Muslim household but since then having moved away from religion, there is definitely a gap in my understanding of what it means to be a British Muslim woman today. I want to see the variety of voices featured and fill that gap of knowledge.


Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice and LondonLauren Elkin

Flaneuse

The word flâneur is a French term that grew in popularity in the 19th Century. It describes a young, affluent man who spent his days leisurely strolling through the city. The world flâneuse does not exist. I love exploring new cities, especially on foot so this book – featuring the author’s relationships with various cities – is right up my street.


The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories – Angela Carter

The Bloody Chamber

Last, but not least is the only 100% fiction book on this list! Whilst I didn’t love The Magic Toyshop when I studied it, Carter’s writing is fantastic and how can I resist a book that is influenced by fairy tales? Carter herself has stated that these aren’t retellings but parts of the original tale that she’s coaxed out.

My intention was not to do ‘versions’ or, as the American edition of the book said, horribly, ‘adult’ fairy tales, but to extract the latent content from the traditional stories


Have you read anything on this list? Has my list inspired you at all?
Also, for anyone who enjoyed my Woman Card joke up top, if you’re interested there is an excellent art project based around the very concept you can check out here.
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8 thoughts on “8 Feminist Books on my TBR #IWD2019

  1. I’ve read Flâneuse and I really enjoyed it. I haven’t seen anyone else talk about it, so it’ll be really interesting to hear your thoughts on it! I’m ashamed to say I’ve yet to read The Bloody Chamber, both as a feminist and a fairytale-lover – but it’s on my TBR too! Loved this post 😊

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    1. It’s something a work friend was reading and it sounds so interest!
      The Bloody Chamber has been on my TBR forever, other books always come in the way…
      Thanks Aurora! 😊

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    1. Oh I would have loved to have read it in a university environment when I was learning about flaneurs! What did you think?
      Thanks Ashleigh 😊

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  2. Thank you SO MUCH for writing this post. Similarly to you, I found that once I graduated from university I tended to not make as much time as I should have for feminist works so being back at university has definitely helped bring me back to it. Like Aurora, I’ve also read some of Flaneuse as I used it for a history essay on women walking in history and really loved the parts of it that I did read.

    Also, thank you for including Mineko Iwasaki’s book. I’m ashamed to say that I have never read her autobiography and, in fact, had never even heard of it despite having both read and watched Memoirs. So thank you for bringing it to my attention, it’s been an immediate addition to my TBR.

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    1. It’s so easy to fall out of the habit. I think it’s natural to want a break from something that feels so academic or associated with academia, but obviously it’s really important to keep informed on the topic! After seeing all these comments about Flaneuse, I am really looking forward to reading it!

      I really don’t think it’s widely known, so don’t feel bad about not having heard of it – I only found out about it through someone commenting on a post where I wrote about not wanting to reread Memoirs of a Geisha.

      Thanks for your lovely comment 😊

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