Feminist Movement and Theory

By Skokie Staff Adult Services

The feminist movement has been around for many decades and has had strong voices in each generation. The following titles focus on the issues that have gained momentum in recent years, with an emphasis on including the perspectives of all people.

  • Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World


    "This collection deconstructs stereotypical notions of feminism, teaching readers that feminism is more than just transcending gender norms. Through the multiplicity of stories, readers learn that feminism is a personal statement that expresses itself differently for each individual." (Kirkus) Recommended by Becca.

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  • Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot

    2020 by Kendall, Mikki

    Of the Chicago-based author's book, Kirkus says, "Kendall manages to draw a clear picture of what true intersectional feminism looks like. This hard-hitting guide delivers crucial insights for those looking to build a more inclusive movement." Recommended by Allyson.

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  • Bad Feminist: Essays

    2014 by Gay, Roxane

    This refreshing and funny book is packed with insightful essays outlining the current state of feminism in our culture. Through Roxane's journey as a woman of color growing to understand herself in our world, you'll discover the meaning of feminism in all its forms. Recommended by Allyson.

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  • Our Stories, Our Voices: 21 YA Authors Get Real about Injustice, Empowerment, and Growing up Female in America


    In this collection of essays, young adult authors explore their experiences of injustice, empowerment, and growing up female in America. They explore the intersection of race and gender, women and weight, first sexual experience, the devastation of rape culture, and much more. Recommended by Becca.

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  • White Tears Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color

    2020 by Hamad, Ruby

    The Washington Post calls this "A stunning and thorough look at white womanhood that should be required reading for anyone who claims to be an intersectional feminist." Recommended by Allyson.

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  • Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality

    2018 by McBride, Sarah

    In 2016 at age 26, Sarah McBride became the first transgender person to speak at a national political convention. Now, she's one of the nation's most prominent transgender activists and advocates for inclusive legislation. "Tomorrow Will Be Different is at once a memoir, a road map to liberation, and a love letter to anyone feeling the faint flicker of doubt as the fight for equality goes on." (Ms. Magazine) Recommended by Allyson.

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  • Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger

    2018 by Traister, Rebecca

    "In this resounding polemic against political, cultural, and personal injustices in America, Traister studies [the usefulness and appropriateness of] women's anger as a tool for change." (Kirkus) Recommended by Chris.

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  • The Selected Works of Audre Lorde

    2020 by Lorde, Audre

    "A collection of Lorde’s groundbreaking prose and poems on race, injustice, intersectional feminism, and queer identity. A trailblazing Black lesbian writer and activist, Lorde (1934-1992) produced a prolific and profound body of work. In this compilation, Gay presents a selection of representative texts from among Lorde’s prose and poetry." (Kirkus) Recommended by Chris.

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  • All the Women in My Family Sing: Women Write the World


    "With this collection of essays, editor Packer provides a glimpse into the lives of dozens of women of color living, working, and writing in America today." Each short essay explores "what it means to be a woman of color in the current social and political environment." (Library Journal) Recommended by Lukie.

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  • Redefining Realness

    2014 by Mock, Janet

    "Janet Mock's honest and sometimes searing journey is a rare and important look into la vida liminal, one that she manages to negotiate remarkably well, with grace, humor, and fierce grit. Mock doesn't only redefine what realness means to her, but challenges us to rethink our own perceptions of gender and sexuality, feminism and sisterhood, making this book a transcendent piece of American literature." (Raquel Cepeda) Recommended by Louise.

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  • Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Women's Guide to Why Feminism Matters

    2007 by Valenti, Jessica

    "Valenti is a third-wave feminist reacting, in her book, to the reluctance of young women to identify themselves as feminists. She wants to persuade them that feminism is 'needed and relevant, but damn cool.' A feminist blogger, Valenti addresses many issues of consequence to young women: sex, birth control, abortion, sexual harassment, employment discrimination, beauty, and consumption." (Library Journal) Recommended by Lukie.

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  • Stop Telling Women to Smile: Stories of Street Harassment and How We're Taking Back Our Power

    2020 by Fazlalizadeh, Tatyana

    The author uses her arresting street art portraits to explore how women experience hostility in communities that are supposed to be homes. She addresses the pervasiveness of street harassment, its effects, and the kinds of activism that can counter it. The result is a cathartic reckoning with the aggression women endure and an examination of what equality truly entails. Recommended by Lukie.

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  • Women, Race, & Class

    2011 by Davis, Angela Y.

    Black women have been doubly oppressed by race and sex and doubly marginalized by the feminist and civil rights movements. Before intersectionality was a term, Davis was calling for the inclusion of their voices in social justice movements. Recommended by Lukie.

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  • We Should All Be Feminists

    2014 by Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi

    I loved this tiny, accessible, and charming book. School Library Journal calls it, "An eloquent, stirring must-read for budding and reluctant feminists," and Library Journal calls it, "concise, common-sense, inclusive feminism." Adichie's perspective is primarily that of a Nigerian but, some cultural differences aside, it is relatable and relevant to all. Recommended by Lukie.

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  • The Mother of All Questions

    2017 by Solnit, Rebecca

    Solnit's latest collection of feminist essays "is not a book about women's experience alone but about all of ours: men, women, children, and people who are challenging the binaries and boundaries of gender." Solnit names white supremacy, the silencing of women's voices, and toxic masculinity as creating a culture of violence. "Full of references to the work of women at the forefront of contemporary feminist thought, Solnit's essays will stir minds and spark further investigation," says Publishers Weekly. Recommended by Lukie.

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  • A Woman Is No Man

    2019 by Rum, Etaf

    Etaf Rum weaves together the stories of three generations of Palestinian-American women living in Brooklyn. Issues of patriarchy, suppressed desires, domestic violence, and the courage to speak up are spread throughout this compelling and culturally diverse story. Recommended by Paul.

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  • If I Had Your Face

    2020 by Cha, Frances

    With the increased popularity of K-Pop and K-dramas over the past few years, the obsession with "aesthetic beauty" has skyrocketed in South Korea, especially with women. Plastic surgery, suicide, strict social hierarchies, and oppressive beauty standards have eroded female individuality. This novel both confronts and gives insight into what many South Korean women face every day. Recommended by Paul.

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