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The 7 Feminist Books To Read In 2019

Let’s make 2019 the biggest feminist year of all!

2019 is the year we make Feminism even greater. Not that we had a bad year in like, ever, but this one is gonna be special.

Right now, our political and cultural views are threatened like never before. We must remain vigilant against any movement that is against equality! Movements that might, potentially, set back the progress for our struggle for human rights by decades.

In 2019 it is necessary, more than ever, to spread the word of what feminism is all about. To inspire minds and hearts all around the globe to reject hatred, and strive to accept every human being as equally valid regardless of their gender.

Keep the fires of social justice burning bright by reading the most feminist books 2019 has to offer.

#1 The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf

Although published in 2002, it is a must -read for everyone, especially nowadays. The author tells about where stereotypical ideas about feminine beauty come from and why they limit women’s freedom no less than the patriarchal “domestic slavery”.

The main idea of the work is that beauty standards are a socially determined construct, in which the decisive role is played by the patriarchal component. Wolf compares the standards of beauty with the medieval instrument of torture, arguing that any woman who deviates from the given stereotypes is immediately punished, both physically and psychologically.

Physical perfection becomes an obsession for women, and discrepancy to it becomes a source of suffering. But even having reached the ideal, a woman still loses, because she sacrifices her natural beauty, health, energy, sexuality, and sometimes life to the generally accepted standard of appearance. The author claims that in the modern world a woman herself is capable of deciding how she wants to live and look, without regard to the dictates of the ruthless myth of beauty.

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#2 Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Several years ago, one of the greatest writers of our time (according to the ex-president of the United States) Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from her childhood friend, who had just become a mother. In this letter, a friend asked Adichi to tell her how to raise a daughter a feminist in the only true understanding of the word.

This book is Chimamanda’s response letter with 15 clear, funny and very sensitive advice on how to raise a daughter to a truly strong and independent woman. This book beats straight to the heart, because it answers perfectly to all questions about what it means to be a woman these days.

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#3 Melissa and Kasho by Camilla Chance

The novel set in Italy in the 1950s, traverses class, gender, and power dynamics. The story begins by introducing shy teenager, Melissa who feels lost in a transnational high society world that drives her into the depths of despair following a sexual assault. It is only when she connects with Kasho, a native man whose values are in-line with hers, that she finds a kindred spirit who truly sees her, but Kasho doesn’t dwell physically on Earth. It is her attraction to the very human Kasho, who has snippets of philosophy to impart, which enables her to develop her own strengths.

As Melissa begins to develop her own strengths, conflict arises, as she is expected to walk, or is bullied into walking, a certain path required of her class, including marrying a certain man. The story heightens when the male suitor her parents have selected for her to marry arrives unexpectedly to court her. As Melissa navigates the world she knew versus the new world she has discovered, the story emphasizes that there is always a way of making your life better.

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#4 The Land of Sunshine and Hell by Maxene Raices

Scared. Lost. Lonely. These adjectives characterize how Maxene felt at seventeen years old in 1964 when she and her boyfriend disclosed to his parents that she was pregnant. The Vietnam Era was a time when sex was not discussed at home or at school and children were left in the dark to fend for themselves. It was a time when there was no such thing as a legal abortion.

Thus, began a difficult journey to hide the truth. Maxene was sent alone to a town sixty-miles away to give up the child for adoption and was told to get on with her life afterwards. She tries to move forward with her life with her boyfriend afterwards never acknowledging the pain of giving up their child.

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#5 Dear Beautiful:: A Self-Empowerment Book for Black Women by Gail L. Thompson

This book is utterly superb. While written for Black women and full of information I can imagine Black women loving (and thinking, “Hooray! Someone is covering these topics in a way to which I can perfectly relate!”), I also got so much from this book as a White woman. Along with a better understanding of challenges and opportunities other women face, I felt incredibly empowered by this book. This powerful book is an absolute must-read for all women, and for anyone who wants to enhance empathy for women.

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#6 Superhero of Love by Bridget Fonger

To me a feminist book is one that empowers a woman. Superhero of Love: Heal Your Broken Heart & Then Go Save the World guides women on the journey to uncover all that is stopping her from finding her own love for herself far more sparkly and tantalizing than any love or attention coming from outside. This allows her to love and be loved more than ever, and have as powerful and kick ass a life as she wishes.

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#7 The Exile by Gregory Erich Phillips

The Exile is the story of a young Colombian American woman who escaped from a violent past in Latin America but faces the threat of deportation. It is a compelling story of a strong, minority woman navigating her way through the subtle and not so subtle racism and sexism in corporate America. The Exile is a heart-warming and heart-wrenching love story that crosses cultures and borders, shedding light on the challenges faced by Hispanic immigrants living in the United States.

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Contributors to this article
Sonia Bell from SmartPillWiki

Cassidy Colarik from Austin Macauley

Jenny Grant Rankin from Dr. Jenny Grant Rankin

Bridget Fonger from Superhero of Love, LLC

Gregory Erich Phillips from Gregory Erich Phillips

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