Walking in Women's Shoes
It’s a “man’s world.” You hear it all the time. And while recent movements like #METOO have successfully pulled back the shroud on masculine hegemony, there certainly is way more work ahead of us than behind. As a cis male during #METOO, I realized I honestly have no clue how the “other half” lives. So, to wake myself, even a little, I started gathering reading materials to submerge myself in the life experience of women. The experience of walking in women’s shoes is one all males should have. It is an infuriating and frustrating perspective that needs to be shared.
"Men Explain Things to Me," by Rebecca Solnit
In her comic, scathing essay “Men Explain Things to Me,” Rebecca Solnit took on what often goes wrong in conversations between men and women. She wrote about men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don’t, about why this arises, and how this aspect of the gender wars works, airing some of her own hilariously awful encounters.
"Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution," by Laurie Penny
Smart, clear-eyed, and irreverent, "Unspeakable Things" is a fresh look at gender and power in the twenty-first century, which asks difficult questions about dissent and desire, money and masculinity, sexual violence, menial work, mental health, queer politics, and the Internet.
"Sex Object: A Memoir," by Jessica Valenti
Author and Guardian US columnist Jessica Valenti has been leading the national conversation on gender and politics for over a decade. Now, in a darkly funny and bracing memoir, Valenti explores the toll that sexism takes from the every day to the existential.
"Sex Object" explores the painful, funny, embarrassing, and sometimes illegal moments that shaped Valenti’s adolescence and young adulthood in New York City, revealing a much shakier inner life than the confident persona she has cultivated as one of the most recognizable feminists of her generation.
"The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women," by Jessica Valenti
The United States is obsessed with virginity — from the media to schools to government agencies. In "The Purity Myth" Jessica Valenti argues that the country’s intense focus on chastity is damaging to young women. Through in-depth cultural and social analysis, Valenti reveals that powerful messaging on both extremes — ranging from abstinence curriculum to "Girls Gone Wild" infomercials — place a young woman’s worth entirely on her sexuality. Morals are therefore linked purely to sexual behavior, rather than values like honesty, kindness, and altruism.
"Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture and What We Can Do about It," by Kate Harding
Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s arrest. Congressman Todd Akin’s “legitimate” gaffe. The alleged rape crew of Steubenville, Ohio. Sexual violence has been so prominent in recent years that the feminist term “rape culture” has finally entered the mainstream. But what, exactly, is it? And how do we change it?
"We Should All Be Feminists," by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
With humor and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century—one rooted in inclusion and awareness. She shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviors that marginalize women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics. Throughout, she draws extensively on her own experiences—in the U.S., in her native Nigeria, and abroad—offering an artfully nuanced explanation of why the gender divide is harmful for women and men, alike.
"Educated: A Memoir," by Tara Westover
"Educated" is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes and the will to change it.
"Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman," by Lindy West
Coming of age in a culture that demands women be as small, quiet, and compliant as possible--like a porcelain dove that will also have sex with you--writer and humorist Lindy West quickly discovered that she was anything but.
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