Get Woke, Stay Woke: 7 Key Books On Feminism For The Trump Era
The advent of the Trump administration provoked a renewed global discussion on gender and feminism. A series of policies and statements from the new POTUS served as an awakening for women around the world. While the Women’s March that took place earlier this year foregrounded frustrations of modern feminists, it also highlighted deep divisions within feminism itself.
In today’s world, it has become more and more important to understand what feminism really means and what the movement has stood for over the years. Moreover, the need to see it from a global perspective and through the lens of different countries, religions, ethnicities, cultures, economies, legal systems and, of course, political systems, has become crucial.
So, here are 7 books that can help you jump into the multifaceted and complex conversation around gender and feminism.
1. Headscarves and Hymens by Mona Eltahawy
Eltahawy’s book chronicles the oppression of women in Arab countries. It adds depth to the conversation on topics like female genital mutilation, child marriage, and the nascent feminist movement fighting to counter these repressive cultural practices. As a Muslim feminist in the Arab world, the author describes the everyday struggles of Arab women for a Western audience, without relying on easy stereotypes, patriarchal norms, or culturally deaf shorthand.
2. Unfinished Business by Anne-Marie Slaughter
Famous or successful women are often asked how they manage to strike a balance between personal and professional responsibilities. Slaughter’s book considers whether true balance really exists and if it can actually be practiced or preached. This is an unapologetic read that places responsibility of prevailing gender discrimination and inequality on both genders.
3. Innovating Women by Vivek Wadhwa and Farai Chideya
As we shape our lives around technology and social media, we often forget that the industry behind these advancements suffers from a serious gender imbalance. This book recognizes the courageous female innovators who are gradually changing the tech industry so that it’s more inclusive, more diverse and crucially, more balanced. Women have been key to the tech industry since its inception and will continue to be a driving force. This book shows you how.
4. Excellent Daughters by Katherine Zoepf
Zoepf’s narrative offers a fresh perspective about what feminism means for the modern Muslim woman. Instead of a westernized approach to equality, Zoepf showcases how creating a balance between religious values and modern ones can be a game-changer. She uses insightful anecdotes about Arab women taking back their power by being employed at lingerie departments of shopping malls. It also discusses how girls attending religious schools could more easily be directed towards traditional learning institutes, schools, and universities.
5. All The Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister
Sisterhood, female friendship, and supportive female networks empower women to succeed and be independent. This book explains exactly how they do this by introducing historical examples of single women in the USA who helped build the nation. It tracks how the concept of female singledom has transformed over the years to become a symbol for enlightenment, positivity, empowerment, and independence.
6. Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates
Are we raising our boys differently from our girls? Everyday Sexism explores the paradoxes in society and the double standards in modern-day parenting. It takes a look at how audiences respond to female celebrities who gain weight, and how representations of women in TV and film usually fall into certain moulds. This book also provides a valid case for sex education as a strategy to counter and combat sexism.
7. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Ngozi Adichie is one of the most important feminist authors of this decade and her book is often celebrated in pop culture and media. It’s a great reminder that many battles might have been won around gender equality but we cannot and should not become complacent. One of the highlights of this book include the author’s early experiences in Nigeria regarding gender and its meaning in African society.
Discussions around gender and feminism can easily become heated and unhelpful. By reading some of the most thoughtful, informed writing around the topic, you can get woke and stay woke. Read the key insights now on Blinkist.