Feminist Movement and Theory

By Skokie Staff Advisory Services

The feminist movement has been around for many decades and has had strong voices in each generation. These books 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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  • Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics

    2018 by hooks, bell

    In this particular work, the author makes feminist theory accessible and free of elitist jargon. While the prose isn't dense, the value is—with insights on intersectional feminism, internalized sexism, disrupting patriarchy, and utopian visions of sisterhood. Recommended by Leslie.

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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 themes on the intersections 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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  • 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. This book is a memoir, a roadmap 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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  • The Right to Sex: Feminism in the Twenty-first Century

    2021 by Srinivasan, Amia

    Philosopher Amia Srinivasan takes a wide look at feminist movement and the issues that it faces today through a collection of thoughtful and clearly written essays. Publishers Weekly says, "Throughout, Srinivasan returns to the question of who has power, and how it is wielded to protect the status quo, rather than to remake the world as a fairer and more equitable place." Recommended by Paul.

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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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  • 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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  • 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, Roxanne 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


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

    2020 by Fazlalizadeh, Tatyana

    Fazlalizadeh 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 serve to 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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  • Still Mad: American Women Writers and the Feminist Imagination, 1950-2020

    2021 by Gilbert, Sandra M.

    Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar provide a sweeping history of the feminist movement through the lives, works, and stories of so many women who have contributed to it. Gilbert and Gubar speak about the gains the movement has made and the challenges it faced and still faces. They also shine a bright light on the legacies of many second-wave feminists. Recommended by Paul.

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  • Pretty Bitches


    This collection looks at the words that are most often associated with being a woman but (despite what is highlighted in the subtitle) they aren't all negative at face value. Essays also explore how even words like "pretty" or "sweet" can be weaponized against women. As the editor, Lizzie Skurnick, writes, "I began to realize these words weren’t pinpricks. They weren’t the punishment. They were the justification for the punishment: the jobs we lost, the promotions, the houses, the money, our respect, our bodies, our voices." Recommended by Becca.

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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. "Chock-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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  • Finish the Fight! The Brave and Revolutionary Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote

    2020 by Chambers, Veronica

    I learned so much from reading this book. This revisionist look at the Women Suffrage movement shines a light on the internal struggles of the movement while also centering queer women, women of color, and Native women whose stories have been excluded from history. Recommended by Rummanah.

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