Just in time for International Women's Day...
Here at Marie Claire, we’re all about taking action, but in order to do this, we must first educate ourselves. ‘Knowledge will bring you the opportunity to make a difference,’ human rights activist Claire Fagin once said, and what better knowledge than through feminist books from the women who have paved the way.
Women and Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard,
was £6.99 now £5.03 | WH Smith
Women and Power is made up of two essays based on Mary’s hit lectures, ‘The Public Voice of Women’ and ‘Women in Power’. Analysing Homer and Ovid, this manifesto traces the roots of misogyny back to Athens and Rome, looking into how history has treated powerful women.
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, £5.99 | Waterstones
We Should All Be Feminists is an essay adapted from Nigerian author Chimanda Ngozi Adichie’s 2012 TEDx talk, breaking down the definition of feminism for the 21st century.
That’s why we asked our Features Editor, Jenny Proudfoot, to collate her favourite feminist book recommendations. And with works from Simone de Beauvoir and Gloria Steinem to Laura Bates and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, there’s no shortage of inspiration.
We’ve also included some of our favourite new releases, with works by Emily Ratajkowski, Saba Sams and more. There is something for everyone, from personal essays, informative short stories and unforgettable memoirs that you won’t want to put down. If you’re looking for another way to show your support, don’t forget to check out our round up of International Women’s Day gifts and the best feminist slogan t-shirts. Happy International Women’s Day fellow change-makers!
Best feminist books to buy now:
Invisible Women is a groundbreaking book that exposes the gender data gap based on Caroline Cried Perez’s research. From iPhone size to publicised heart attack symptoms, this book breaks down all the ways that the world has been designed for men, and not women.
My Body is a collection of essays by Emily Ratajkowski that explores feminism, sexuality, power, men's treatment of women and women's rationalizations for accepting that treatment. They cover moments from Ratajkowski's life while investigating many important issues, such as the perverse dynamics of the fashion and film industries.
Rodham is an alternative US history novel imagining a world where Hillary ‘Rodham’ Clinton had never married former President Bill Clinton and had pursued her own political career instead.
This instant New York Times bestseller follows the story of a girl who learns to live - and then escape - an invisible life. Qian Julie Wang's memoir is an unforgettable account of what it means to live under the threat of deportation as she moves from China to New York with her family.
Hood Feminism is an important piece of modern text, analysing the failings of the mainstream feminist movement and how we can save it.
This book is made up of ten short stories that document the young female experience in the modern world.
Girl, Woman, Other follows the lives of 12 women in the United Kingdom over the course of several decades. Divided into four parts, each section focuses on a trio of women whose lives are woven together, looking at how race, sexuality and gender among other themes intersect to shape their experiences.
The Second Sex (or Le Deuxième Sexe) is an iconic piece of feminist literature by French existentialist Simone de Beauvoir, discussing the treatment of women throughout history.
Newsnight's Emily Maitlis takes you behind the scenes of some of her biggest news stories, and what really happened when the camera stopped rolling.
From the author of Everyday Sexism and Girl Up, Laura Bates brings us a shocking account where she goes undercover to expose vast misogynist networks and communities.
Outspoken features 50 speeches by iconic women who spoke out even when they weren’t being listened to. From Joan of Arc and Greta Thunberg to Michelle Obama and Jameela Jamil, all of these women are using their voices to make change.
The Truth Will Set You Free But First It Will Piss You Off is an illustrated collection of Gloria Steinem’s most empowering essays and outrageous quotes throughout her life.
Ok, so this isn't technically a book, but podcasts count, right? This IWD, Net-A-Porter are launching the next series of their 'Incredible Women' Podcast, titled ‘The Disruptors’, that celebrates the barrier-breaking women of today. They have incredible guests including Arlo Parks, Laverne Cox and Supriya Lele, and the best news is that during the 8-14 March, for every listen of the first episode NET-A-PORTER will donate £1 to charity partner Catalyst, a global non-profit organisation which works with over 800 companies around the world to build workplaces for women and help advance them in their careers.