It’s hard being a feminist in today’s society; you get called an extremist, bra-burning lesbian when all you really want is for men and women to have equal rights. The struggle is real, and sometimes you just want to curl up with a good book and forget the world altogether. But why not curl up with a feminist novel, with authors and characters who get where you’re coming from? These books will terrify, inspire, enlighten and change you– and your views on feminism. And no, they aren’t all boring classics. Feminist books can be found in any genre if you know where to look.
1. “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margret Atwood:
This book takes place in a terrifying dystopian society where infertility is rampant– and the unfortunate women who remain fertile are enslaved and used to bear children for the elite couples in society. Think things can’t get more horrible than that? They definitely can. A must read for everyone, feminist or not. (P.S. the TV series based on “The Handmaid’s Tale” just released on Hulu. The show is amazing, but read the book first!)
2. “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin:
I’ve definitely gotten close to engaging in fist fights with people who hate on “The Awakening.” This is an iconic feminist novel that follows Edna Pontellier, a wealthy women who goes through a sexual, spiritual and emotional awakening and learns to think of herself as an autonomous human being unconfined by social norms. Read it and be inspired to leave your shitty husband, have an affair and buy a tiny house down the street where you meet frequently with your male lovers. Truly a masterpiece.
3. “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman:
The narrator of the story suffers from postpartum depression and slowly goes insane from being locked in a room with little to no human interaction or mental stimulation. Fight back against oppression, people, or we’ll all go insane. As a side note, anyone else want to redo their room with rotting yellow wallpaper?
4. “The Harry Potter Series” by J.K. Rowling:
If you don’t know what Harry Potter is about please rethink your life choices. J.K. Rowling fills this book with feminist figures like Hermione Granger, Molly Weasley, Luna Lovegood, Lily Potter, Ginny Weasley, and so many others. Not only that, but Harry Potter wouldn’t have acoomplished shit without Hermione, and he’d also be dead.
5. “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn:
This is a murder mystery for the books, more specifically, the feminist books. On Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary, Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Passages from Amy’s diary reveal Nick’s endless series of lies, deceits, and scandals. But Amy is no cupcake, in fact, she’s kind of a psychotic evil genius who will get her revenge on Nick at any cost. This book is well written and shows what happens when a man wrongs a woman, but who’s really the villain?
6. “Game of Thrones” by George R. R. Martin:
This book is impossible to explain because George R. R. Martin has like 30 main characters with their own over detailed historical backgrounds and story lines, but in short, everyone wants to rule the realm of Westeros. But don’t think the women take the sidelines– they battle for the throne and too. From vicious queens to innocent girls and princesses remade by fire, these books will have you rooting for a queen to sit on the Iron Throne (P.S. don’t get too attached to anyone).
7. “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
This story takes place during the 17th century in a Puritan Boston town. A young woman, Hester Prynne has been accused of adultery and is forced to wear an embroidered “A” on all of her clothing. Although this book is a little darker than its movie companion “Easy A”, it’s a must read for feminists.
8. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas:
“Throne of Glass” follows a teenage assassin drafted to preform in a tournament to be the King’s champion. The main character, Celaena, adores dresses, makeup and looking at herself in the mirror, but has a horrifically tragic backstory and can gut people before they know what’s happening. A refreshing read that reminds feminists everywhere that they can be strong and vicious, but still be as “girly” as they damn please.
9. “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed:
This book is probably so awe-inspiring for me because I refuse to exercise at any time ever, but I digress. Cheryl Strayed walks the Pacific Coast Trail, a trail that few women attempt at all, let alone by themselves. This book is heartbreaking but also powerful, and shows that women can do anything that men can do.
10. “A Court of Thorns” and Roses by Sarah J. Maas:
Nineteen year old Feyre keeps her family from starving by hunting in the woods. However, when she kills a faerie disguised as a wolf, she is taken into the world of the fae, and discovers a whole new world. In the shadows, a dark blight spreads, corrupting faerie and human realms alike. When the man she loves is taken, Feyre decides she will do anything to get him back. Not only is Feyre a total badass, but she also has moments where she shows true vulnerability. She endures horrific trials to save the one she loves, and isn’t rescued by a knight in shining armor.