Two years ago I began asking if feminist was a label for me. The answer has been a gradual dawning, awakening more questions. What is feminism? What does it mean to call yourself a feminist? Why is it so controversial? It surprised me to learn that it is controversial even in “the world”. I thought that all non-ATIA mainstreamers were feminist. Why would women, who so apparently live its values, not want to be called a feminist?
To answer these questions I have sought out and gradually begun reading books influenced by feminism. Here is a list of the books I have read over the last two years (the ones I remember anyway :P)
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
Margaret Atwood, A Handmaids Tale
Jean Shinoda Bolen, Goddesses in Every Woman
Hmm, I see that I leaned heavily toward fiction,
The Bean Trees
Pigs in Heaven
I have not gotten my hands on a copy of The Poisonwood Bible, yet
Sue Monk Kidd:
The Mermaid Chair
The Secret Life of Bees
Katheryn Stockett, The Help
Rebecca Well, The Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood
Lois Lowry, The Giver
Not exactly feminist or female centric but I also read:
Jeffery Eugenides, Middlesex: A Novel
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated
I just realized that this burst in fiction reading was the direct result of shedding taboos I had about reading sexually themed or explicit content. It was about the time I made the bold move, or so it felt, to read “A Room of Ones Own” (I mean even the title sounds wrong, kids don’t need their own rooms, it just leads to hidden sin. One more good reason to have a bazillion kids and proof it really is “God’s Way”!) that I realized that at 30 something years of age I had only read (don’t laugh!) junior fiction. As I looked around our library I found old friend after old friend in the junior fiction section and none in the main fiction area. None. Well, maybe some fundy approved classics. Jane Austen anyone?
This year I would like to indulge in some scholarly feminist works as well as more fiction, starting with Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf”. I had never heard of it until I read this post at The Crunk Feminist Collective which I found via Women In Theology which I found via Julie Clawson at onehandclapping (I warned you about the bunny trails, right?) and chose to check it out.
Do you have any must read feminist classics to recommend to me? I have gift money to spend. 😉