Challenging the patriarchy has never been an easy task and sometimes we need a good laugh to build a little resilience. Here are 6 books that will keep you entertained while providing the inspiration you need to tackle gender inequality.
In her book, Feminasty, comedian and podcast host Erin Gibson delivers sensational wit while pointing to the ways in which people try to control women. She goes to incredible lengths to highlight the hypocrisy and absurdity of our current social and political climate with enough jokes to make you truly laugh-out-loud. Discussing a number of feminist issues from sexual violence on campuses to the problems that exist within the beauty industry, Gibson does an excellent job at encouraging feminist activism. Feminasty is educational, enraging and hysterically funny. This book will make you proud to be a woman.
Essayist and author of nearly 20 books on feminism, Rebecca Solnit isn’t shy when it comes to conversations about misogyny and the dreadful “mansplaining”. Using sharp and clever humour, Solnit confronts big issues of gender and power in Men Explain Things to Me. She incorporates a number of hilarious personal experiences that are more than relatable. Her influential ideas centered on the violence experienced by women are guaranteed to ignite a feminist rage from within. Men Explain Things to Me will keep you laughing as it empowers you to claim your voice and put an end to the silencing of women.
A humorous guide to female liberation, Feminist Fight Club points to the very real issues of sexism and misogyny that continue to exist in the workplace. Jessica Bennett, an American journalist who writes on gender and culture, shares her expertise on how to deal with the subtler forms of sexism that could be holding you back from achieving your career goals. Contributing her personal stories with support from powerful research and statistics, she provides knowledgeable and witty advice on how to challenge the gender gap using purposeful strategies and female camaraderie. Feminist Fight Club is the ultimate manual-meets-manifesto that every professional woman should have handy.
Brave, wild and distinct. Writer and performer Lindy West provides a clever, thought-provoking commentary on the role of women in society and the injustices that accompany this in her book, Shrill. Touching on childhood memories, her difficult journey from fat-shaming to fat-acceptance, and her ongoing battles with her toughest (and often male) critics, West narrates her life with raw humour and total emotion. Advancing feminist discourse through comedy, West is all about speaking for those who have been silenced and shutting up people who think discussing gender and politics is a tedious task. She gets to the heart of some of the toughest subjects, teaching women how to succeed in a world where we are not always treated equally. Shrill should be required reading for any feminist.
Blogger and comedian Sarah Cooper brings charm and truth in this must-read. Known for dissecting corporate culture and the tech industry in true comedic fashion, Cooper addresses the very real (and depressing) issues that plague the workplace for women today. Relatable and relevant, the book challenges the unrealistic expectations professional women are often subject to while confronting sexist stereotypes of the ideal female leader. An accurate portrayal of what it’s like to be a woman in a male-dominated industry, How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings is the ultimate guide on how to achieve your goals and become the most successful version of yourself (without harming the male ego, of course).
A freelance writer and author, Alida Nugent is painfully funny and sincere in her collection of essays entitled, You Don’t Have to Like Me. Discussing the struggles she faced in growing up as a biracial woman with an eating disorder, Nugent shares many personal anecdotes that highlight the insecurities and vulnerabilities young women feel when growing up. She encourages us to talk about the tough situations that we are often too afraid to bring up and stresses the importance of coming to terms with and embracing our imperfections. A quick and captivating read, this collection of essays tells it like it is. It’s smart, unapologetic and dangerously funny.