Happy International Women’s Day! Today is important to me, not only to celebrate the amazing women and feminine people in my life, but to recognise just how important being a feminist is. Women’s rights have come such a long way, but we still have a long way to go until we can truly have equity and equality.
So this Women’s Day, celebrate with me by picking up books written by, and about, amazing women.
The Seven Necessary Sins of Women and Girls by Mona Eltahawy
I cannot understate how important this book has been to me. I received this book as a gift, and read the entire thing in one sitting. It’s a personal, conversational manifesto written by an amazingly strong woman about what it’s like to exist in a world not made for you. It made me angry, it made me frustrated, but it also made me feel liberated and connected with not only my own feminine power, but women around the world. This book is a call to arms that will stay with you forever.
Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given
You might have seen this one about because it’s one of the most photogenic books you’ll ever buy. Colourful and with beautiful illustrations, this is a collection of mantras, thoughts, and ideas about feminism and femininity in an accessible, enjoyable format. It might not be the wave-making, revolutionary prose you think of when you think of feminist literature, but this is a validating, welcoming introduction that everyone should read.
I Hate Men by Pauline Harmange
Several countries have banned this book due its controversial name. But this short collection of essays and think pieces isn’t about hating men, exactly. It’s a series of speculative thoughts that explore how sometimes, hating men, or the toxic versions of masculinity that have threatened women for ages, is a survival method, a way to stay safe. After all, men who aren’t a threat know they don’t count when we say, “I hate men.”
Now for some fiction …
Am I Normal Yet? By Holly Bourne
Holly Bourne is a feminist icon for so many reasons, but her YA fiction just hits on a whole new level. AINY follows three teenage girls as they try to navigate growing up in a world not made for them. It addresses body image, eating disorders, sexism, friendships, expectations, and more in a genuine and honest way. I think most of us can find some catharsis and companionship in this story.
Thirty Things I Love About Myself by Radhika Sanghani
Sanghani’s writing is bold, brave and brilliant. The story follows Nina, who wakes up on her 30th birthday in a jail cell and realises she can’t even name three things she likes about herself. She goes on a journey to fall in love –- with herself. It’s a beautiful, affirming, and empowering story about daring to love yourself in a world that profits from our self-loathing.
Oh Sister by Jodie Chapman
Now, this one isn’t actually out until April 2023, but I had to mention it because I think it’s going to make waves this year. This book follows three women who have spent their lives in an oppressive, misogynistic, religious community and now find themselves on the outside. While this is a fictional story, it’s so rooted in real life that it’s horrific. It shows the struggles women may be suffering through under your nose. But it also reminds us that we are powerful, especially when we join together as a sisterhood.
I hope you all have an amazing women’s day, and an even better one the year after. Happy reading!
Feature Image by Nguyen Thu Hoai on Unsplash