Conversations in feminism are constantly evolving. Feminism, as a political movement, seeks to address the social conditions that enable the subordination of women. As those conditions change, so do the conversations and priorities of feminists themselves. Explore these recently published books by writers and intellectuals grappling with the current state of feminism.
In The Right to Sex, noted philosopher Amia Srinivasan traces the meaning of sex in our world by reaching back into an older feminist tradition that was unafraid to think of sex as a political phenomenon to help us imagine the future of sex. She discusses a range of fraught relationships—between discrimination and preference, pornography and freedom, rape and racial injustice, punishment and accountability, students and teachers, pleasure and power, capitalism and liberation.
Blending investigative reporting, memoir, and scholarship, Melissa Febos charts how she and others like her have reimagined relationships and made room for the anger, grief, power, and pleasure women have long been taught to deny. Febos looks back on her experiences growing up and how the values that she and other women learned in girlhood failed to prioritize their personal safety, happiness, and freedom.
An incisive history of self-serving white feminists and the inspiring women who’ve continually defied them. Women including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Margaret Sanger, and Sheryl Sandberg are commonly celebrated as leaders of feminism. Yet they have fought for the few, not the many. As award-winning scholar Kyla Schuller argues, their white feminist politics dispossess the most marginalized to liberate themselves. The Trouble with White Women brings to life the 200-year counter-history of Black, Indigenous, Latina, poor, queer, and trans women pushing back against white feminists and uniting to dismantle systemic injustice. Their compelling stories, campaigns, and conflicts reveal the true potential of feminist liberation.
In this provocative analysis, Angel explores female desire, consent, and sexuality in the age of #MeToo. Women are in a bind. They are told that in the name of sexual consent and feminist empowerment, they must proclaim their desires clearly and confidently. Sex researchers tell us that women don't know what they want. And men are on hand to persuade women that what they want is, in fact, exactly what men want. In this environment, how can women possibly know what they want—and how can they be expected to?
Drawing on oral and written testimonies from academics and students who have made complaints about harassment, bullying, and unequal working conditions at universities, feminist scholar Sara Ahmed examines what we can learn about power from those who complain about abuses of power. Following a long lineage of critiques from Black feminists and feminists of color, Ahmed delivers a timely consideration of how institutional change becomes possible and why it is necessary.
African American lesbian writers and theorists have made extraordinary contributions to feminist theory, activism, and writing. Mouths of Rain, the companion anthology to Beverly Guy-Sheftall's classic Words of Fire, traces the long history of intellectual thought produced by Black Lesbian writers, spanning the nineteenth century through the twenty-first century. Mouths of Rain includes writing by Black women who theorize about and see the word lesbian as a political descriptor that disrupts and critiques capitalism, heterosexism, and heteropatriarchy.
This collection of narrative essays by sex workers responds to the resurgence of the #MeToo movement. Sex workers from across the industry complicate narratives of sexual harassment and violence and expand conversations often limited to normative workplaces–writing across topics such as homelessness, motherhood, and toxic masculinity. We Too: Essays on Sex Work and Survival gives voice to the fight for agency and accountability across sex industries.
Covering such ground as the legacy of the British feminist imperialist savior complex and “the colonial thesis that all reform comes from the West” to the condescension of the white feminist–led “aid industrial complex” and the conflation of sexual liberation as the “sum total of empowerment,” Zakaria follows in the tradition of feminist forebears. Zakaria ultimately refutes and reimagines the apolitical aspirations of white feminist empowerment in this staggering, radical critique, with Black and Brown feminist thought at the forefront.
Founded in 2012, Echoing Ida is a writing collective of Black women and nonbinary writers who, like their foremother Ida B. Wells-Barnett, believe the "way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.’ Their community reporting spans a wide variety of topics: reproductive justice and abortion politics; new and necessary definitions of family; trans visibility; stigma against Black motherhood; Black mental health; and more. This anthology collects the best of Echoing Ida for the first time, and features a foreword by Michelle Duster, activist and great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells-Barnett.
Summaries provided via NYPL’s catalog, which draws from multiple sources. Click through to each book’s title for more.