Books to Dismantle the Patriarchy

During these times of social distancing, I wanted to share some book recommendations you can read/listen to during your time spent at home. Let me know if you have read any of the books and we can start a virtual book club among strangers!

Kicking off Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I want to give you a list of some of my favorite books to smash the patriarchy. A lot of these books are about rape. I promise I’m not weird, I do a lot of work with survivors. Most of these books just get me hyped and proud to be a feminist. These are written by some smart, bad-ass women.

  1. Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture and What We Can Do about It by Kate Harding

While some of these examples are outdated because we have entered into the era of #MeToo (even through Me Too has been a thing but we weren’t as threatened when a white woman got angry), Asking For It has lots of great commentary about why our society is as messed up as it is. Since I work in the field, I’m all about that laugh-to-keep-from-crying and Kate will give you all the bitter chuckles.

2. Unladylike: A Field Guide to Smashing the Patriarchy and Claiming Your Space by Cristen Conger, Caroline Ervin, & Tyler Feder

I listened to the audiobook version of this book, but there were lots of fun illustrations in the PDF enhancement. This book is great for providing context on what it means to be a feminist today who get ish done! I thought it was going to make me throw up a little in my mouth from mayo feminism, but it was intersectional, and I thoroughly enjoyed!

3. What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape by Sohaila Abdulali

A book in the voices of survivors. What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape is both personal and intellectual. If you want to think about the hard questions around this topic, read this book.

4. Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good by adrienne maree brown

If you think pleasure is only connected to sex and has nothing to do with activism, you’re wrong! I loved this fresh perspective on harnessing the power of pleasure to move toward liberation. I technically haven’t finished this book yet (as you can see from my currently reading on the side of the page), but what I’m taking my time to relish all this good pleasurable stuff!

5. Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America by Melissa V. Harris-Perry

Another book I technically haven’t finished. I got this book in grad school (for free) and as soon as I saw the title, I knew it was the one for me. Political? A reference to For Colored Girls? It’s a whole match! It’s been a minute (2 years), but I’m going to get back to it!

6. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

You really have no excuse not to read this book; you can read it in like a day. Every man, woman, child, and non-binary peeps (Yeah, I know Chimamanda said some problematic stuff about trans women, but I’m gonna be inclusive) need to read and learn how they can do their part.

That is my non-comprehensive list. I’m sure I will make another list of feminist books again and I’m sure these books will show up on other lists. What books would you add to the list?

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