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Here's what to read in your feminist book club

Dian Arthen
Dian Arthen

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Tue, April 5, 2016  /  01:21 pm
Here's what to read in your feminist book club

A quote from '#Girlboss' by Sophia Amoruso: “It’s cool to be kind. It’s cool to be weird. It’s cool to be honest and to be secure with yourself.” (Shutterstock/-)

These past few years, the terms “gender equality”, “feminism” and “feminist” have been commonplace not only in the media but also in our day-to-day conversations. 

In the 21st century, it is time for women to be treated equally with men, and for them to understand that it’s okay to be a successful, independent and educated individual who can voice her opinions freely without being called names. 

With that in mind, we present five books that talk about women’s empowerment and girl power.

“Bossypants” by Tina Fey

A memoir by the queen of comedy and SNL alumni Tina Fey shows readers her early days as a comedian and later as the first female writer for Saturday Night Live. 

In this funny and engaging book, she also talks about how the comedy world used to be dominated by men, her childhood upbringing, parenting, body image and LGBT issues. 

Quote: “So, my unsolicited advice to women in the workplace is this. When faced with sexism, or ageism, or lookism, or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: ‘Is this person in between me and what I want to do?’ If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then, when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you.”

“My Life on the Road” by Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem is a journalist, activist, feminist icon and once a Playboy bunny -- the latter a role that she took on to write an article about how women were treated at those clubs. 

She has written many books in the past and in her latest work “My Life on the Road” she focuses on how travelling and meeting people on her journeys have shaped her as an individual. From her first social activism among women in India to the founding of Ms. Magazine, Gloria shows how living with an open mindset can make a difference in how one sees the world.

Quote: “Not even in a movie had I ever seen a wife with a journey of her own. Marriage was always the happy end, not the beginning. It was the 1950s, and I confused growing up with settling down.”

“#Girlboss” by Sophia Amoruso

A must-read book for women out there who wish to start their own business. 

Sophia Amoruso is not by any means a typical female CEO who was born with silver spoon in her mouth; she dropped out of school and was homeschooled. The first item that she sold on eBay was a stolen book, which got her kicked out of the website, and she later launched retail website Nasty Gal. 

The book, which was published in 2014 and is now listed as a New York Times bestseller, shows that being successful is not based on how popular you were in school or your educational background, rather it’s about believing in yourself.

Quote: “It’s cool to be kind. It’s cool to be weird. It’s cool to be honest and to be secure with yourself.”

“I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” by Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai

In this work the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate chronicles her life, from her birth in Pakistan – a country that still sees women as second-class citizen – how her father encouraged her to get an education, her efforts in championing education for women that led to her to be shot by the Taliban when she was on a school bus.  

The 18-year-old now lives in London and is still continuing her work fighting for female education.

Quote: “If one man can destroy everything, why can't one girl change it?”

“We should all be Feminists” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

A book-length essay adapted from a popular TEDx Talk by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie opens the mind of its reader about what it means to be a feminist in the 21st century. 

She tells her personal stories, talking about understanding sexual politics, gender equality and what the word “feminist” actually means.

Quote: “A woman at a certain age who is unmarried, our society teaches her to see it as a deep personal failure. And a man, after a certain age isn’t married, we just think he hasn’t come around to making his pick.” (kes)