I have pondered about this article for a long time now. What kind of materials do people need that are feasible and convincing enough to make them want to pay attention to women empowerment? We get it. the topic isn’t so new nowadays. You see it being talked about on social media and it’s on the headlines every now and then. But I still think that it needs a little bit more attention. Because let’s face it, women still get depreciated in the workplace. Trust me, I know so many friends ranting about it. Thus, proving that society still has a little bit of chip in their knowledge of women and the notion that we are, in fact, individuals capable of doing whatever it is we set our eyes on (as long as we work hard enough for it, of course).
As our battle for equality goes on, it’s fairly necessary to keep ourselves in-the-know with the help of these empowering books about the female of the species.
1. #GIRLBOSS BY SOPHIA AMORUSO
I’ve talked about this book in my January favourites and you probably have heard of it because the title is pretty popular. Not only does it tackle women in general, but specifically the correlation of women, personal growth, and entrepreneurship altogether. But I don’t mean entrepreneurship as in how-to-build-a-successful-business-in-ten-steps kind of thing (no shade to Amy Wilkinson’s The Creator’s Code, though). It’s more of Sophia casually talking about her own business endeavours as a memoir and general advice to #GIRLBOSSes out there daring to take risks and explore the idea of venturing the unknown.
This book is smart, funny, sassy, and is such a really light read it’s almost as if you’re reading a letter from a friend. It had so much confidence in it that when you finish reading, you’re going to want to get up and look for literally ANYTHING you can start working on.
Shop #GIRLBOSS here.
2. THE MOTHER OF ALL QUESTIONS – FURTHER FEMINISMS BY REBECCA SOLNIT
Now we’re gonna have to go a little controversial with this one. It was published just in time before the #MeToo Campaign and its recognition of the inequalities of women that we still unfortunately face today. It’s broken down into two parts, Silence is Broken and Breaking the Story, which I thought was a very strategic approach in understanding the crisis that is women and our unnecessary societal limitations. It is very powerful and thought-provoking and honestly one of the most intelligent essay collections I have ever read. It’s got everything in it: history, literature, motherhood, film, media, and an incredibly smart narration tackling all of these topics in perfect relation to women.
The Mother of All Questions “is a tour through carnage,” she writes, “a celebration of liberation and solidarity, insight and empathy, and an investigation of the terms and tools with which we might explore all these things.”
Shop The Mother of All Questions – Further Feminisms here.
3. THE HANDMAID’S TALE BY MARGARET ATWOOD
Hands down, this book is one heck of a roller-coaster ride. I remember finishing it in just the span of three days with me constantly wishing I could just easily grab the main character, Offred, out of the book and give her a nice, warm hug. In here, we are brought to a fictional world where the roles of women are reduced to… well, as good as nothing.
Let’s see: They are not allowed to read (seriously?!), write, own any sort of property, handle money, or even have decent jobs of their choice. Due to man-created viruses, fertility rates apparently went down the drain that the few fertile women, the so-called Handmaids, are now a communal “property” and each of them are moved from stations to stations to “lie on their (her) back once a month “, the synopsis read, “and pray that the Commander makes them (her) pregnant”. All this under the watchful eyes of the Commander’s wife.
Basically, in this “future” that the book tells us of, women’s (belonging to the group of Handmaids) value are dictated only by their fertility rate and they wouldn’t make so much sense in the said society unless their ovaries are viable and there’s a possibility of pregnancy. It’s sad, it’s just seriously so sad reading this book. But it’s definitely an eye-opener to most of us that hey, if we continue being oblivious to today’s injustice, then it’s highly possible that this kind of future is just within the reach and could happen any moment now.
Shop The Handmaid’s Tale here.
4. BAD FEMINIST BY ROXANE GAY
If you’re into feisty and extremely passionate essays, then this book is for you. Bad Feminist is the perfect balance between a memoir and an educational resource. It’s fascinating to see someone write about her personal identity while still managing to combine race, sexuality, and media, and life as an academic in the most flawless and suave way possible. My favourite selection would have to be “How to Be Friends with Another Woman”, where Gay humorously listed down “rules” on how to “accurately” befriend other women. Obviously, some of the examples were satirical but I absolutely appreciate the creative twist she put on the message of how empowered women empower other women.
Shop Bad Feminist here.
5. WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO MAKE A WOMAN PRESIDENT? BY MARIANNE SCHNALL
This book had a lot of controversies surrounding itself because, mainly, it’s a series of interviews with several men and women, who have distinct opinions and all that. In it, Schnall reached out to politicians, business-people, and activists, and interviewed influential figures such as Nicholas Kristof, Gloria Steinem, and Sheryl Sandberg. Since these are different people, their answers vary, too, but most of them agree that sexism still plays a major part every time women take their chance in politics. It is a little repetitive and sometimes ideas could go round and round for several times, but it did give me a refreshing idea on women and politics. Although the book was published in 2013 and some information may be irrelevant nowadays, it still made sense to me and I would totally recommend it to anyone interested.
Shop What Will it Take to Make a Woman President? here.
Hope these books find you well, and if they ever do, I would love to hear your thoughts about them!