15 Books With Feminist Life Lessons
Before you learned that feminism is the belief in the social, economic, and political equality of the sexes, you were already familiar with its tenets, thanks to the myriad books with feminist life lessons. We all grew up reading stories about strong girls and women. Even if we didn't recognize them as feminist at the time, they laid the foundation for us to embrace the radical notion that women are people.
If you search the Internet for feminist books, you're probably going to find a lot of nonfiction. Tons. Nonfiction is fantastic, but I believe it's something most people read after they've claimed the feminist moniker and want to learn more. That's why I'm all about feminist fiction, and promoting feminist novelists: because they are usually your first foray into the women's movement.
It's imperative to keep your feminism intersectional, and books can help you do that, as well. While I feel that the titles on this list address a wide range of women's experiences, I recognize that I may not have touched upon them all. So, because this list is not at all exhaustive, please be sure to share your favorite books with feminist life lessons on Twitter. Here are my top 15 picks.
1. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Take no shit from anyone, including adults and insufferable boys.
2. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
Don't wait on someone else to rescue you.
3. Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great by Judy Blume
Get outside your comfort zone.
4. A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
Materialism keeps you from appreciating simple pleasures and understanding others' necessities.
5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Never try to control another person.
6. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Keep an open mind about everyone you meet.
7. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Don't judge women in the past for not making choices based on your 21st century reality.
8. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Hiding your smarts doesn't help anyone.
9. Horton Hears a Who! by Dr. Seuss
"A person's a person, no matter how small."
10. The Giver by Lois Lowry
Homogenizing diverse societies doesn't work.
11. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
You have to acknowledge your privilege in order to understand others.
12. White Socks Only by Evelyn Coleman
Many rules were made to be broken.
13. Rosemary by Kate Clifford Larson
Making decisions for others never ends well.
14. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
People don't choose to be in dire straits.
15. Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger
Trying to guilt someone into loving you isn't fair.