A coming of age memoir, the fight for sex workers’ rights and miosgynoir… books have helped to initiate productive feminist conversations. Here are five top picks essential for every women’s rights advocate.
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton
Journalist and former Sunday Times dating columnist, Dolly Alderton, vividly recounts falling in love, getting dumped, and the value of female friendship in this intimate memoir. The powerful debut weaves together personal stories and satirical observations before eventually concluding that you alone are enough. Covering Alderton’s entire life, thus far, the book is guaranteed to strike a chord with women of every age.
Revolting Prostitutes by Juno Mac and Molly Smith
Sex-workers-turned-authors Juno Mac and Molly Smith contribute an original perspective to the sex work debate in their debut. As the adult industry has been perturbingly excluded from mainstream feminism, Mac and Smith’s words are emblematic of the gaping need for those within this line of work to be heard. The pair answer for how the law harms sex workers, whether clients should be criminalised and if the police can truly bring justice. Mac and Smith both situate their effort within the wider frameworks of migration, racism, sociology, and feminism. Its impact is indispensable for anyone seeking to make their feminism fully intersectional.
Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall
In this part-memoir-part-social critique, Mikki Kendall interrogates the multiplicity of having an intersectional identity. Kendall draws on her own experiences of growing up as a Black woman in Chicago’s hood to advocate for the dismantling of white supremacy. She also reflects on her own unconscious biases against the trans community to push for a feminism which is inclusive of all identities.
Women, Race and Class by Angela Y. Davis
In this feminist classic, Angela Y. Davis traces the intertwined histories of slavery, the women’s suffrage movement, and more contemporary injustices to offer a critical view on Black female struggles for liberation. Davis examines how white feminism has maintained white supremacy.
Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates
After experiencing a series of escalating sexist incidents, Laura Bates launched the Everyday Sexism Project. The online blog transpired into this book, which probes everything from street harassment to misogyny in the workplace. Bates uses the lived experiences of women who have submitted their own stories to the Everyday Sexism project to prove just how permeating female-based discrimination is. “A storm is coming”, writes Bates. Indeed, Everyday Sexism is a manifesto for change.