A collage of different books on feminism
With these picks, delve deeper into what the evolving term 'feminist' means. Photos courtesy: Peguin Random House, Seal Press, Macmillan, HarperCollins


Smash the Patriarchy: Book Recommendations to Help You Understand Feminism

From a dose of laughter with essays on feminism, to the lack of it in a horrifying dystopian world.

Do you remember the first time you identified with the word “feminist?” For many, aligning with the movement for equality is often not a conscious process but one that comes with much learning and unlearning along the way. 

Whether you are or aren’t a feminist (I mean it’s almost 2021, what are you doing?), understanding the nuances of everything that comes under the umbrella term of feminism can help you delve deeper into your own identities and introspect your opinions.

As we wind down to the end of this tumultuous year, here are some book recommendations around feminism that will intrigue, educate and entertain you. 

“We Should All Be Feminists” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The cover of we Should All Be Feminists

Adiche’s book is a must-read for anyone looking to learn about equality. Photo courtesy: Penguin Random House

Adichie’s book is an adaptation of her TEDx talk on the same topic. She discusses the importance of being a feminist in the 21st century and the role of awareness and inclusion on the road to equality. Adichie talks about her own experiences throughout the world, encouraging a shift in the perspective of people to create social change. 

“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood

The cover of the Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Atwood’s dystopian fiction might hit closer to reality than you think. Photo courtesy: Penguin Random House

Exploring a dystopian society in the future, “The Handmaid’s Tale” is a chilling tale of what the author, Margaret Atwood believes the future could look like. Atwood’s novel talks about a society where women have no rights and are reduced to the purpose they serve, which is mostly reproduction. The eye-opening read is worth exploring simply for how it foretells some of the legislation around women’s bodies that is currently changing in many countries.

“Bad Feminist” by Roxane Gay

The cover of Roxane Gay's book Bad Feminist

Gay explores what it means to be a feminist and whether there is an ideal. Photo courtesy: HarperCollins

This humorous collection of essays reflects on Gay’s evolution as a feminist and woman of colour. The book delves into being a feminist while experiencing ideas that may not necessarily fit the mold of the ‘ideal feminist.’ It provides insights for feminists to not feel guilty for their choices, ideas, and decisions.  

Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity” by Julia Serano 

The cover of the book Whipping Girl by Julia Serano

The book captures the distinct perspective that Serano has as a trans woman. Photo courtesy: Seal Press

A collection of personal essays, this book gathers the experiences of Serano as a trans woman. It explores gender and femininity and makes the case that transphobia takes root from sexism. The book sets the record straight on why transgender activism is core to the feminist movement. 

Also read: Women Reflect on What Gender Equality Will Look Like in 2030

The Moment of Lift” by Melinda Gates

the cover of melina gate's book The Moment of Lift

The book focuses on the possibilities of changing the lives of women across the world. Photo courtesy: Macmillan

The co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation shares stories from her journey in philanthropy and how the progress of the world depends on the development of women. From struggles of women especially in third-world countries to success stories of how one innovative idea can bring about a cycle of positive change in communities.

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Smash the Patriarchy: Book Recommendations to Help You Understand Feminism