Errr I’m gonna answer this publically so that others can pitch in. I’m really shit at reading for pleasure but I did read a few listed below in full a few years ago which I remember to be good:
- The Equality Illusion - Kat Banyard
This is very good as an introduction to feminism and current mainstream issues but since I think you know your stuff now having been on tumblr etc so long, I think this may be a bit obvious to you. However it is a very good read and was on my reading list for one of my sexuality modules last year.
- Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences - Cordelia Fine
I think you’d really enjoy this as you’re all sciencey and junk. I never actually got to the end of this book because I’m a terrible reader and I get distracted very easily. However I really wish I did get to the end of this. It’s written by a Neuroscientist who basically exposes a lot of bullshit sexist science and the ways science is used to justify sexual discrimination/sexism.
- Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism - Natasha Walter
This is a good book HOWEVER I do not subscribe or agree to everything the author paints as bad. The book is all about how sexism has been repackaged as empowerment and in this sense she does have a point. She also makes good points about sexist myths and sexist socialisation. However she is very anti pornography and sex work/pole dancing. So do be weary of that, depending on where your views lie on those issues. And while I think of it, I have the feeling that Kat Banyard’s book also has a chapter against sex work/sex industry, but presses the issue much less than Living Dolls.
- The Sexual Politics of Meat - Carol J. Adam
Again, I never got the the end of this book as I’m easily distracted. It’s quite theoretical (although I wouldn’t say that you need to have any background knowledge of anything to read it) and tbh it felt much more academic to me than the other books listed. As I know you’re veggie you may be interested, this book tries to draw similarities between society’s treatment of women with the treatment of animals. Like, our consumption of animal resources/bodies and women’s. How raped/abused women may describe themselves feeling like a ‘piece of meat’ during their abuse, and how their language shows something. Now, I do take issue personally with her likening of women’s rights and animal rights, but I do get her point. Anyway, it looks like it should be an interesting read, and it has some pictures and artwork in it YAY.
- Wetlands - Charlotte Roche
Firstly, this is a novel and not a feminist manifesto whatsoever. However I have only just started to read this book and omg it’s great. It’s a diary of a cisgirl who just describes everything so vividly about her bodily functions. For example, the first chapter literally opens with her describing her haemorrhoids in graphic detail and how they never really got in the way during vag or anal sex, but how they’ve always been there. And then there’s a chapter I’ve had read out to me by a friend a little later in the book about this girl describing her discharge and how it slides out while she wees and she can see it floating on the top of the toilet water. And it’s all very tmi and apparently the story gets very weird but omg it’s just so different and raw and it’s just all about stuff that you’ve probably never discussed with anyone before and ahhh. Again, I’ve added it to this list, not because it’s necessarily a feminist piece/manifesto, but because it’s just so real to ciswomen, ahhh.
Also, as a final note, none of these really deal with racial/class issues at all imo. But I am sure there are some good books that extend outside the Western white women’s perspective on things.
^^ tagging you two in again as you guys may be able to offer some extra suggestions :)
I really like ‘a room of ones own’ as a historical feminist book, love a bit of woolfy! Also Faustian-sterlings work on the construction of sex. potashium how was the pennie Laurie book?
haha I was just typing a reblog about how I’d been looking for books on gender and class but haven’t finished the Laurie Penny book (Unspeakable Things). I really enjoyed what I have read though!
Was also gonna suggest Fausto-Sterling! If you’re interested in gender & science then “Sciences from below” by Sandra Harding talks about science, colonialism & gender.
Obvs anything by bell hooks is a must.
For postcolonial feminist theory my recommendations are:
Mohanty, C. T. (2003). Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity.
Naravan, U. (1997). Dislocating Cultures: Identities, Traditions, and Third World Feminism
I keep meaning to read “This Bridge Called My Back” - pdf
Everyone should read some Spivak but it’s fucking hard so those might be a better place to start. Same with Judith Butler, brilliant but difficult.