69 Books Every Feminist Should Read, From Mary Wollstonecraft To Roxane Gay

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As bell hooks once wrote, feminism is for everybody. Coming to embrace feminism can be relief, but a challenge, too. Once you've identified as feminist, you might have questions about the history or what's happening within the movement. What does "third-wave feminism" mean? What about the goals of feminists of color? Can I wear high heels and be a feminist?

I've pulled together a list of some essential feminist texts for you to read at your leisure — although it may not look exactly like what you think. For instance, it's not just theory — there are novels and memoirs on here, too. There are names you'll recognize, and some you may not. Perhaps some of the second-wave texts may seem contradictory, and even extreme, but I believe it's important to represent the evolution of the feminist movement over the last two centuries.

And, of course, this list is long, but it isn't exhaustive by any means. What people deem essential is different for each person (and that's actually part of what makes feminism so beautiful). Pick and choose from this list as you see fit; feminism is for everybody, but that doesn't mean it's one-size-fits-all.

Here's my hope, though: All feminists will see themselves somewhere in these selected texts. I've tried to make this list as inclusive and intersectional as possible, but if you feel I've missed your experience, I want to know. Let's talk about it.

Image: Fe Ilya/Flickr

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