Feminist Non-fiction Recommendations

You may have noticed from other posts, but I love reading about feminism.  While fiction can provide a creative outlet to explore topics related to sexism in today’s society, there are several excellent non-fiction works and essay collections that I read recently and want to share:

  • The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley – 4 stars, review
    • A great essay collection about sexism in Science Fiction and the struggles of being a woman author.
  • Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West – 4.5 stars
    • I love, love, love Lindy West after reading this.  She is hilarious, sharp, and manages to talk about sensitive topics in a way that’s both relatable and incredibly insightful.
  • Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett – 4.5 stars, review
    • A must read for anyone in the working world.
  • We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – 5 stars
    • I loved Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah, so I had to read this essay adapted from Adiche’s TEDx talk.  It gives a great definition of feminism and highlights the problems with how both feminism and masculinity are portrayed in today’s culture.
  • Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit – 4 stars
    • The titular essay is the best in Solnit’s collection, and I know so many woman who have experienced “mansplaining.”  My great-aunt is happy there’s finally a word for it after she’s experienced it for most of her 70-odd years.
  • Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture and What We Can Do about It
    by Kate Harding – 4.5 stars

    • One of the main reasons I read this book was because I am unfortunately from Steubenville, Ohio (I got the hell out of there as soon as I could).  Harding has no problem calling out Steubenville for it’s disgusting treatment of the victim, from slut-shaming to accusing her of ruining the rapists’ athletic chances.  I am still ashamed by my hometown for that.  Steubenville is just a small part of the story, though, and Harding takes a critical eye to all of the causes of today’s rape culture.
  • The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women by Jessica Valenti – 5 stars, review
    • This is an important book for everyone, male and female, to read.  The idea of a woman’s worth being tied to her hymen is way too archaic to still exist in today’s America, and hopefully Valenti’s critical analysis of abstinence only education and “traditional” women’s roles can empower today’s young women to push back and demand to be seen as humans, not reproductive organs.

Any other books I should check out?  Let me know in the comments!


4 thoughts on “Feminist Non-fiction Recommendations”

  1. This is such a great list, a lot of these were already on my radar but I will check out the ones I haven’t heard of! Have you read any of Roxane Gay’s nonfiction? I’m sort of apprehensive after reading and hating one of her novels, but I feel like she’s such a contemporary feminist icon that I should give her another shot…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t read her nonfiction yet, but I just bought Bad Feminist. One of my friends loves it, and it’s supposed to be a contemporary classic so I feel I have to read it. I haven’t read any of her novels, but her short story collection Difficult Women was pretty good.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good to know, thanks! I read An Untamed State and really did not like it, but I keep hearing good things about Difficult Women. And I definitely want to try her nonfiction at some point.


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