13 Brilliant Feminist Authors Who Will Empower You During Trump's Presidency
As tensions soar and initiatives addressing social justice, reproductive rights, immigration, economics, and much more gain momentum across various organizations, everyday people are turning to books to help them consider how to fight back against the Trump administration. And there is an entire array of feminist authors to provide you guidance under Trump. After all, no one can do it alone.
On the subject of gender and liberation, many Americans find themselves in contention with the president; from the possible ramifications Trump's health care poses for women to his tendentious conditional support for Planned Parenthood, Trump has been criticized for his politics on women's autonomy.
During this time, feminist authors are an immemorial source of inspiration, direction, and hope. And hope is probably the most critical thing many Americans are seeking right now. Activists from all walks of life incorporate a lot of theory from reading resources into their political activism because of how rich, relevant, and referential books, essays, articles, and even poems can be. You might find these easy-to-read and easy-to-understand voices helpful for making sense of how America got here and where to go from this point on. For those seeking feminist guidance, this list attempts to derive resources on the political intersection of race, class, gender, and more.
1. Angela Davis
African-American political activist, academic, and author Angela Davis has provided some of the most brilliant commentary on feminism, race, class, incarceration, and more since the 1960s. One of her most critical undertakings is in Freedom Is a Constant Struggle, which offers detailed essays on black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism. Perhaps the most powerful element of her book is the emphasis on connecting institutions of oppression to highlight how repression perpetuates itself in society.
2. Deepa Kumar
With Trump's revised travel ban on six Muslim-majority countries in place, the nature of Islamophobia in American politics has become even more apparent. Deepa Kumar, associate professor of media studies and Middle Eastern studies at Rutgers University, has analyzed various anti-Muslim policies under George Bush as well as Barack Obama. In her book, Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire, she examines the 900-year-old relationship between anti-Muslim racism and imperialism along with its repercussions on gender.
3. Kimberlé Crenshaw
Kimberlé Crenshaw, law professor at UCLA and Columbia, blessed us with the crucial term "intersectionality." She's also the author behind the 1989 paper titled Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, and Antiracist Politics. In her article, Crenshaw discusses how black women are kept out of conversations on feminism and anti-racism. She further notes that simply including black women in these conversations is not enough; the need is to understand how misogyny and anti-blackness intersect to harm black women.
4. Rebecca Solnit
The American writer, Rebecca Solnit, explores the politics of environmental justice, culture, and women's rights. In her book, Hope in the Dark, she takes on the task of calling for hope after George Bush's re-election. As despair skyrockets for many Americans, this book offers solid analysis and actionable advice for progressive movements on tackling political regression.
5. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
American historian, writer, and feminist, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, won the 2015 American Book Award for penning the phenomenal and historical book titled An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States. This book is particularly significant for those attempting to understand the #NoDAPL protests.
6. Michelle Alexander
Michelle Alexander, associate professor of law at Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, and civil rights advocate, took on the herculean task of explaining systematic racial discrimination in the United States that followed after the Civil Rights movement. In her book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, she states that legal and penal activities of the current United States legal system is comparable with that of Jim Crow laws of the 19th and 20th centuries.
7. Silvia Federici
Italian American scholar, teacher, and activist Silvia Federici offers a material analysis of economic policies and how they affect women. In her book, Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle, Federici analyzes the intersection of gender, class, and women's struggle.
8. Sara Ahmed
Sara Ahmed is a British-Australian scholar who explores the intersection of feminist theory, LGBTQ rights, and critical race theory along with the histories of postcolonial nations. In her book, Differences That Matter, Ahmed discusses the role of feminism in the modern age.
9. Roxane Gay
Roxane Gay, associate professor of English at Purdue University, authored The New York Times best-selling essay collection Bad Feminist in 2014 and has since won praise for addressing cultural and political issues concerning feminism. Her writing is simple and direct containing a broad range of insights on politics, empathy, womanhood, and more.
10. Gloria Jean Watkins AKA Bell Hooks
Author, feminist, and social activist bell hooks has influenced thousands of readers with her work on misogyny, classism, racism, art, history, mass media, and a whole lot more. In her book, Feminist Theory: From Margin To Center, she coined the term "white supremacist capitalist patriarchy" to criticize and offer solutions for racism, class oppression, lack of justice, and more in American society.
11. Cherríe Moraga
Cherríe Moraga is a Chicana feminist activist, poet, and scholar at Stanford University. In her book, Loving In The War Years, Moraga explores the meaning of being Chicana and lesbian in the United States, and offers hope against homophobia, LGBTQ rights repression, misogyny and more.
12. Naomi Klein
Naomi Klein, Canadian author, filmmaker, and social activist, penned This Changes Everything which tackles the relationship between capitalism and our natural environment. She argues for the need of a mass social movement that provides an economic model that prioritizes the wellness of the earth and its people over corporate profits. What's even better is how the book reveals the conflict between patriarchy and mother earth.
13. Toni Morrison
Sometimes some of the best inspiration for political activism comes from the genre of fiction. Toni Morrison, novelist and professor at Princeton University, wrote Paradise which is about a small community of women living on the outskirts of a predominantly black town in Oklahoma. Many feminists have turned to this politically inspiring and lyrical book to address racism, social mobility, gender, and sex.
This list is by no means the only list to follow. There are dozens and dozens of feminist activists who continue to write about women's liberation and empowerment, but this list can help you expedite the process of equipping yourself with the necessary knowledge to face Trump's presidency and continue being proactive.