Current Feminist Writers
There are many diverse feminist voices writing right now. This list—from books to TEDTalks—will help direct you toward some of these voices. Feel free to share recommendations in the comments below.
Caitlin Moran has been on a roll since her book How To Be A Woman was released in 2011. Since then she has also published Moranthology (2012), How To Build a Girl (2014), and most recently, Moranifesto (2016). One of the first lines of the introduction is that Moran didn’t used to write about politics and feminism because she thought that was for the Serious Political or Professional Feminist People. Eventually, she felt we should all feel empowered to voice—or write—our opinions. Her very manageable short essays are wildly political and feminist from page 103-184, but you should read the rest because she’s also just very funny.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie gave a TEDTalk titled “The Danger of a Single Story” in 2009 which was about her nationality and people’s perceptions that there is one kind of African and her own perception that there is one kind of American. A TEDx talk in 2012 she titled “We Should All Be Feminists” (maybe you’ve heard a clip of it in Beyonce’s “Flawless”) was then adapted to a very small book so that we can all carry her words around. This talk focused on how she reconciles her femininity with her feminist ideals and how much work still needs to be done for equality. She presents all too familiar anecdotes to illustrate her points.
How To Win at Feminism was published in 2016, authored by women at the popular Onion-type website Reductress. The tongue-in-cheek humor had me laughing out loud with sections like “How To Take Up More Space, But Not Too Much Space” and “How to Do More with 23 Cents Less”. Please make sure the less-informed people in your life realize that this is comedic and you will actually be taking up as much space as you need.
Kate Bornstein has been an LGBTQ pioneer since the 1980s when she had “the surgery” and in 2013 her very important book My Gender Workbook: How to become a real man (1998) was updated and rebranded as My New Gender Workbook: A step-by-step guide to achieving world peace through gender anarchy and sex positivity. It is a must-read for every young (or old) person struggling to identify and come to peace with the fluidity of gender identity and sexual orientation.
2 Dope Queens is a popular podcast hosted by Jessica Williams, former correspondent on The Daily Show and Phoebe Robinson. Robinson recently published a collection of her essays called You Can’t Touch My Hair about intersectional feminism (key phrase to know) and being black and a woman. Robinson is very in touch with popular culture so the essays comment on her own experience as well as what is presented in the media. She is a comedian so the essays are humorous even when addressing serious topics of abuse and stigma. Williams wrote the foreword but I’m waiting for her to release her own book—keep us posted, Jessica!
The Feminist Press at CUNY has an incredible list of books that they reprint and new authors that they publish. One of those new books is The Crunk Feminist Collection: essays on hip-hop feminism. You can watch the authors of these essays in conversation at the NYPL Schomburg Center talk about growing up with hip-hop as a soundtrack to their lives and as a jumping off point to understanding all forms of oppression, including sexism.
- Living a Feminist Life by Sara Ahmed
- Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the rise of raunch culture by Ariel Levy
- Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay
- Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
- All the Single Ladies: Unmarried women and the rise of an independent nation by Rebecca Traister
- Why I Am Not a Feminist: A feminist manifesto by Jessica Crispin
- If you're looking for novels with a feminist bent then you cannot go wrong with anything from Emily Books, an imprint of Coffee House Press. Another librarian recommends Problems by Jade Sharma, and I concur.
Feminist-related NYPL Blog Posts
- Know Your Feminisms by Lynn Lobash
- Feminist YA Fiction by Anne Rouyer
- 365 Books by Women Authors to Celebrate International Women’s Day All Year by Gwen Glazer