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My Feminist Reading List
This week's rant comes in the form of some book recommendations. For the second time in my life recently, I've found myself in an on-line argument over the history and aims of feminism. It's one of those subjects people seem willing to sound off about at the drop of a hat, and to my dismay a lot of these people seem to have a very narrow perception of the subject, or to have no idea how much ideas have changed and developed since, say, 1965.
In my own little personal attempt to rectify this situation, here are some books that I have in my library that I think make useful background reading on the subject. This is by no means an exhaustive bibliography; my main intent in this to get people to realize that there is a huge variety of ideas within this philosophical tradition.
Meyers, Diana Tietjens, ed. Feminist Social Thought: A Reader. Routledge. New York, 1997.
39 essays by a wide variety of authors, on an array of subjects. Very theoretical bent and heavily modern.
Kahn, Karen. Frontline Feminism, 1975-1995: Essays from Sojourner's First 20 Years. Aunt Lute Books.
New York, 1995.
Where did the modern women's movement come from? These women were there. This is a very wide-ranging collection, and quite inspiring.
Ramazanoglu, Caroline. Feminism and the Contradictions of Oppression. Routledge. New York, 1993.
A challenge for modern feminism has been to recognize and overcome its own flaws and failures as a movement. This book addresses the problems of internal division within the movement; black/white, straight/lesbian, middle-class/poor.
Ehrenreich, Barbara. For Her Own Good: 150 Years of the Experts' Advice to Women. Anchor Books. New York, 1978.
Just an overall good history, and I'm a huge fan of Ehrenreich's. This book is a good introduction to her work. Her essay collections are also marvelous.
Spretnak, Charlene, ed. The Politics of Women's Spirituality: Essays on the Rise of Spiritual Power Within the Feminist Movement. Anchor Books. New York, 1982.
Where did all these witches come from all of the sudden? This collection serves as a good introduction to the vast spectrum that includes the recent resurgence in Goddess worship along with women's explorations of more "traditional" religious options.
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© 1999 Rebecca J. Stevenson