A Feminist Reading List

jojo lambdin
4 min readSep 19, 2020
Photo by Arièle Bonte on Unsplash

As citizens of the United States and the global community become aware of the passing of United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a cloud of mourning has darked an already gridlocked and polarized political climate of the United States of America.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s advocacy has been lost on the Supreme Court bench, changing the face of the Highest Court of the United States of America, whose immense power as outlined in the Constitution of the United States has the ability to change the laws, codes, and even values of the nation with the final bang of a gavel.

Together, as a nation, we grieve the loss of an esteemed advocate and figurehead of legal ethics and another powerful figurehead for civil rights.

The election of President Donald Trump has been a turn for a fourth wave of feminist public action the United States. I have no doubt that Justice Ginsburg’s death will bring calls to feminist action and advocacy, especially in the days immediately proceeding the 2020 United States Presidential election.

In the frame of feminist wave theory, which follows a standard pattern of social movements, “surfacing moments” as drawn upon from Sociologist Jo Reger by Alison Crossley in Millennial Activists and the Unfinished Gender Revolution (2017), which is “the process by which an individual comes to realize his or her [or their] feminist identity.” As for the fourth wave, reproductive justice, legal protections from and socially frowned upon sexual assault and harassment, and a continued fight against rape culture.

This moment will be key for the local and state elections of 2020, in which a record number of women, LGBTQ+ folks, and people of color have run. From a liberal feminist worldview, such a push in the election will be a huge win for the goals and objectives of the ongoing fight for a feminist future.

Photo by Eliott Reyna on Unsplash

I received the news of Ginsburg’s death and could not breathe, as Justice Ginsburg has been an inspiration to my own pursuit to higher education, and my career path as a lawyer to follow in her footsteps and advocate for women at every level.

Education is key to a society which fights for the rights and justices of all within ethical contexts. Feminism has long used the written word to advocate for their goals, objectives, and causes toward a future in which the sexes are equal.

In honor of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and other civil rights leaders, here is a reading list for those interested in educating themselves about intersectional feminist history, ethics, and thinking.

Just Starting Out?
Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters by Jessica Valenti (2007)

Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics by bell hooks (2000)

The Color Purple by Alice Walker (1982)

Women, Race, and Class by Angela Y. Davis (1981)

How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective Edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (2012)

Liberal Feminisms

A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf (1929)

Ain’t I a Woman? by Sojourner Truth (1851)

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir (1949)

The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan (1963)

Radical Feminisms

Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity by Judith Butler (1990)

The Beauty Myth by Naomi Woolf (1991)

Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice by Jael Illman, Marlene Gerber, Fried Loretta Ross, and Elena R. Gutiérrez (2004)

Disposable Domestics: Immigrant Women Workers in the Global Economy by Grace Chang (2000/2016)

Intersectional Feminisms

Ain’t I a Woman? Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks (1981)

In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose by Alice Walker (1983)

Sister/Outsider by Audre Lorde (1984)

This Bridge Called my Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa (1981)

How All Politics Became Reproductive Politics: From Welfare Reform to Foreclosure to Trump by Laura Briggs (2017)

Feminist Fiction

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guinn (1969)

Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy (1976)

The Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler (1993)

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2013)

Jazz by Toni Morrison (1992)

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (2014)

Feminist Non-Fiction

Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit (2014)

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2014)

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay (2014)

Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture Edited by Roxane Gay (2018)