Fierce Feminist Friday: 5 Fantastic Feminist Books I Read in 2017

I started this blog just over a year ago, in direct response to Trump’s election. I believe that reading can be a meaningful and important part of resistance.

Book Open’s first year was spotty and inconsistent. I moved to a new place, started a new job, adopted a dog, and started writing for Book Riot (which, I admit, captured all of my blogging energy for a while). I’ve settled back into a stride now and I’m excited to make blogging a priority in 2018. I’ve been posting a lot of reviews, which I enjoy immensely because writing about a book helps me untangle and articulate my thoughts about it. Hopefully, they’re also useful and enjoyable for you to read.

But I don’t want to loose sight of why I started this blog in the first place: as an act of resistance. Reading alone is not enough–if we all sat in our little corners reading and never discussed or acted on anything we read, books wouldn’t do much good. But books are a powerful platform; they have the ability to change lives and shift perceptions.

So in that spirit, I bring you my newest weekly feature: Fierce Feminist Friday. Each Friday, I’ll highlight five books on a feminist theme. I’ll aim to mostly highlight the voices of women who are often marginalized within mainstream feminist circles–trans and queer women, women of color, and poor and working-class women.

Beyond reading these books to expand your understanding of intersectional feminism, I hope this weekly feature will inspire you to buy these books and support the women writing them, and to talk about them with the people in your life: your friends, your colleagues, your children, your extended family. Conversations are a place to start.

Fierce Feminist Friday

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

In which Maggie Nelson brilliantly explores queer family and the unruly, shifting nature of identity.

Trainwreck by Sady Doyle

In which Sady Doyle illustrates, with devastating clarity, the brutal, dehumanizing and degrading lens through which we view women in the public eye, the appalling standard of behavior we hold them to, and many ways this causes real and lasting harm–to women, and to everyone.

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

In which Roxane Gay is smart and funny and reminds us that we are allowed to hold contradictions within ourselves, and still be (and act as) feminists.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

In which Charlotte Bronte is a badass.

In all seriousness, what struck me, upon finally reading Jane Eyre last year, was the fact that Jane’s desire drove the action from page one. Sure, she wanted a man, but she also wanted independence and respect. She wanted a man on her own terms, and she refused to compromise. For a book published in 1847, it seems downright miraculous. Even today–when women’s desires are still not considered as important or meaningful as men’s–it’s an important takeaway.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

In which black queer women in the rural South in the first half of the twentieth century get a happy ending.


Is there a theme or topic you’d be interested in reading about on Fierce Feminist Friday? Drop your ideas in the comments!

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