Thursday, January 03, 2008

Read it and Weep

Rather than start the year with my usual moaning, I thought I'd start with a list of some of my favourite feminist reading - if the state of the railways this week is anything to go by, we'll all have the chance to catch up on a bit of reading...

1) The Women's Room
Definitely worth reading - if you're only going to read one feminist book, I'd read this. Not only did it resound within myself and my own experiences, it also illustrates that feminism is not just one theory, but lots of different strands of thought grouped together. It's one of my favourite books of all time and I've read it over and over again.

2) The Second Sex
Simone often gets overlooked, but it's not a bad book. You might want to pick and choose the chapters you read (rather than grimly plough through the whole lot) but some parts are bizarrely relevant, for all society is thought to have moved on.

3) Feminine Mystique
Yes, Betty did go a bit bonkers towards the end, but this is a good read and it's great to see what all the fuss is about. Not perfect, obviously (but who, or what, is?) and some parts are a bit outdated, still - I'd recommend it.

4) The Golden Notebook
I know Doris Lessing is a bit edgy in terms of her feminist credentials but this really is a great book. Perhaps all of you are more sane (or together) than I am, but I found some parts of this book very insightful.

Other books worth reading:
Germaine Greer - Female Eunuch
Naomi Wolf - Beauty Myth
Bell Hooks - collected writings
Imelda Whelan

And of course there are others; the only trouble with doing this when you're supposed to be doing something else (and preferably more productive)is that time is somewhat limited.

To head off the criticism that all/the majority of these are (a) middle class and white and (b) fairly old; I am myself middle class and white and I haven't been all that taken by recent books on feminism. Still, I will try to do better next time.

1 comment:

Aulelia said...

do you like feminist magazines? Subtext was a good one. i like them in addition to books. i read some of bell hooks' essays and love her style.

I have not read Germaine G yet; something I need to do for sure