Female Empowerment Book Club
“I would venture to guess that Anon who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman”.
There is perhaps no more important feminist text, than A Room of One’s Own.
One of the most significant writers of the 20th c, Woolf fearlessly explains the marginalization of women in private and public spaces.
In A Room of One’s Own, Woolf taught us how to ask to be listened to, how to demand space, and how to empower ourselves.
Sexologist Gigi Engle’s book is an essential guide to womanhood.
With chapters titled “Living Your Sexy AF Life”, “Stop Taking Other People’s Sh*t” and “STIs and the Real Sh*t You Need To Know”, from diseases to sex toys.
Engle tells you everything you need to know about life that your mum never tells you.
Female rage. The birth of a feminist. Hating Men. #Metoo.
In ‘Fight Like a Girl’, Clementine Ford covers every issue that is of importance to young feminists today.
Given’s book is a modern feminist manifesto.
Fearless, empowering, and incredibly relevant.
Given’s book is essential reading for every woman out there.
As women, we’ve all been sold the lie of perfection.
The perfect woman, the perfect girlfriend, and, the perfect feminist.
‘Bad Feminist’ debunks myths about feminism as it delves through the zeitgeist, unpacking cultural moments and explaining internalized sexism and patriarchy.
These essays are an essential articulation of what it means to be a feminist, and indeed a woman, in the modern world.
Taddeo’s book accounts female pleasure in a way that is honest, real, and has completely never been done before.
For so long, female sexuality has been ignored in public spheres, but Taddeo delves deep into the intricacies of female desire.
Telling the stories we have long been dying to hear, but no one has been brave enough to say out loud before.
Alderton’s book is a love story of female friendship. It’s no wonder that the book and Alderton herself, have garnered bible-esque significance for young women today.
The book is a rallying cry that there is more to life than romantic love and that in our female friendships we find love.
“It’s work I’d advise most young women not to be bothered with, in the knowledge that young women not to be bothered with, in the knowledge that their human value is not and never will be contingent on being someone’s girlfriend.
It's just not worth it.
We have to get on with saving the world, after all, and we can’t do it one man at a time”, writes Penny, in the chapter, Love and Other Chores.
In 2015 we were all talking about Chanel Miller.
We just didn’t know her name. We knew her as Emily Doe when she stunned millions with her letter after her rapist - Brock Turner - was sentenced to just six months in prison. In her book, Miller reclaims her voice and her identity.
Her book is one of strength, vulnerability, and kindness that is completely overwhelming, as much as it is seminal.
Miller writes about pain with humor and resilience in a way that makes it both an instant classic, and tells the truth of being a survivor.
“To know love we have to tell the truth to ourselves and to others”, write Hooks, in ‘All About Love’.
Her writing is inspiring and enlightening, provoking necessary debates and conversations about feminism, love, and the patriarchy.
No one writes like Nora Ephron.
Her collections of essays, ‘I Feel Bad About My Neck’, tells truths about womanhood that are completely unparalleled in modern literature.
The Falconer is like a literary cousin of The Catcher in the Rye, if Holden Caulfield was a badass Jewish Italian basketball-playing 17-year-old girl.
A unique and fiery coming of age story.
The Falconer is beautiful and addictive.
Adichie is without question, one of the most talented and important writers today.
Americanah is an original, addictive, and fascinating story, telling both the experience of racism in America and of a young woman finding herself.
Americanah shows someone able to carve out space for themselves in a world where everything seems against them.
Aphra Behn was the kind of woman even the most ingenious fiction writer could not craft.
The first-ever woman to be paid for her writing, and a spy for the king, Aphra Behn is an icon, and women today owe her more than we realize.
The Rover was first published in 1677, and in spite of the years that have passed since Behn first wrote it, it is completely timeless.
Atwood’s seminal novel, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is one of the most famous books of all time.
First released in 1985, Atwood’s feminist dystopian novel reached unprecedented levels of popularity after the election of Donald Trump, when the fictional land of Gilead started to feel a little less fictional.
To me, ‘Sweetbitter’ goes out to every girl who has ever felt confused, lost, or stupid. It tells the story of Tess, 22 who is working in a New York restaurant.
It is a coming of age story that is relatable as it is heartbreaking and overwhelming.
Solnit’s book is the best example of feminist writing - it makes you angry, and it inspires you to fight for change.
Ranging from marriage equality, mansplaining, and rape culture.
Solnit tackles some of the biggest issues for women today, and the result is a book that is equal parts rage, hope, and beauty.
Words by Marni Rose McFall
Illustration - Frankie Stevens