Showing posts with label feminism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label feminism. Show all posts


7 Stunningly Gorgeous Feminist Coffee Table Books

Look, I'm a cover snob. I have no problem admitting it. I will straight up buy way too many copies of beautiful books that I may not even love that much because of the pretty. I have also eschewed buying books I loved because I really hate their cover aesthetic. What can I say? I'm judgy. At least when it comes to the items that adorn my shelves. I don't want my books to be merely pleasing to the eye, I want them to matter to me, to say something about me. I want people to come over to my home and see the enticing pile of books on my coffee table (and side tables, and bookshelves, and teetering near the couch on the floor) and really get me. I want to impress people with my brain and my taste by the simple expedient of proudly displaying the books I want to share with the world. So feminist coffee table books are definitely up my alley. Seriously, my "Books" list on Amazon is really skewed towards gorgeous feminist coffee table books (and children's picture books...). Gorgeous and feminist. Have I said that enough? Okay, good. Now that y'all are on board let's explore your options from bringing a few feminist jewels to your own home!

Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World by Ann Shen Illustrator Ann Shen's first book is stunning. This book profiles famous and infamous women who rocked the history books. We've got Josephine Baker, Lilith, Abigail Adams, Ching Shih, and Dolly Parton just to name a handful of the 100 bodaciously radical babes inside. Check out her website for even more of her gorgeous art.

Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History by Kate Schatz and illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl A follow-up to their Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future!, Schatz and Klein Stahl have once again compiled a beautiful and informative book accessible to all ages. The subjects range from the ancient Sumerian princess Enheduanna to Colombian street artist Bastardilla and from Beyoncé-approved Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to 16th Century Irish Chieftain Gráinne Mhaol (aka Grace O'Malley). Check out Stahl's website for more fantastic art.

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky Women in STEM fields! One of the prettiest books I've held in my hands in ages! Ignotosky's drool-worthy illustrations accompany pages on Hypatia, Ada Lovelace, Patricia Bath, Katherine Johnson, Marie Curie and 45 other brilliant dames. Head to Ignotosky's website for more artwork (and a downloadable screensaver!)

i am enough: An Adult Coloring Book for the Feminist in All of Us by Melissa Dojcsak of Penwomanship How about an inspiring, beautiful, feminist book you can color as you please? With a cover this gorgeous and illustrations to make your colored-pencil loving heart sore, I can't think of any reason why this doesn't belong on your coffee table. Check out Penwomanship for even more fantastic art from Dojcsak.

Feminist Ryan Gosling: Feminist Theory (as Imagined) from Your Favorite Sensitive Movie Dude by Danielle Henderson Maybe you prefer a touch of humor for your company to peruse as they perch on your sofa? Or maybe just some good old fashioned eye candy? Henderson doesn't disappoint with this book spun off from her insanely popular (now mostly defunct) tumblr. Take it from me, on a bad day "Hey girl"s from the maybe Mr. Eva Mendes will brighten your day.

In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs by Grace Bonney Slated for release in early October 2016, this one is already on my holiday list. Beautiful photographs accompany interviews with, like the title says, over 100 women. Women who have forged their own paths in the entrepreneurial world. Chefs, designers, writers, restauranteurs, and artists fill the pages of Bonney's book. As lovely as it is inspiring; add it to your lists now.

The Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things by Anna Holmes Jezebel's founding ladyship has created the perfect hybrid between reference and coffee table book here. Covering the ABCs of womanhood - Abortions, Barbarella, and Casting Couches, that is - this book is full of tidbits about everything that affects the "fairer" sex. Honestly, this one really made me stop and consider how many, seemingly disconnected, objects, trends, and people affect how women are perceived by society.


Feminist Primer

So you're digging feminism and want to find out more? Excellent! I know it seems daunting to stare into the face of women's studies literature and to come out the other side more informed and confident instead of sobbing with overwhelmed emotion, but you can do it. Just like feminism is a lot simpler than people try to make it out to be - it is, after all, only "the radical notion that women are people"* - the world of feminist non-fiction need not be over-challenging. Below are my suggestions for where to start your reading - many of these are newer titles because I personally feel like the dialog is more relevant than some of the classic feminist books and I also find them easier to read. Feel free to leave your own suggestions or questions in the comments!

Sexy Feminism: A Girl's Guide to Love, Success, and Style by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong & Heather Wood Rudúlph

As a bonafide feminist killjoy who's into glitter, makeup and fashion, I jumped for joy at this title. There is still, yes still, a huge misconception that ALL feminists are unshaven bra-burners who hate men. None of which are actually part of the description of feminism. Believing that we're just as human as men doesn't mean we don't like traditionally feminine trappings. Sexy Feminism covers this alleged dichotomy, being a conscientious consumer and being kind to other women.

I mean, when the titular essay was originally published in 2008, it went viral, and the responses prompted the feminist Internet to coin the now easily recognizable portmanteau, "mansplaining". You could easily entertain yourself for hours by searching out comment threads and reading the male objections to the article, where they all manage to do exactly what the article was discussing in the first place. Men Explain Things to Me contains, of course, that first, historically important essay, along with six other perfectly matched essays. 

Colonize This!: Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism by Daisy Hernandez (Editor), Bushra Rehman (Editor), Cherrie Moraga (Foreword by)

Did you know that women come in more colors than just white? Well, the feminist movement doesn't always appear to know. Colonize This! is important for many reasons, but giving voice to the non-white population is the most important. Mainstream feminism tends to ignore or marginalize issues of race, and that's just not cool.

This is a new one and it's getting a ton of press for a very good reason: despite the multiple waves of feminism to sweep through the last century, a single woman is still an object of pity to too many people. This book helps break through so many preconceptions about what it means to claim your life for yourself. I think this is an important read for everyone, single, dating, married. Because, ultimately, you can't define yourself by your relationship status, and you shouldn't have to defend that status to anyone.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

It's not the longest, but it makes a compelling argument. That's probably why we got Adichie's badass Tedx Talk finally printed for mass consumption and distribution. I adore Adichie's point of view because it's not specifically American or western; the fact that she hails from Nigeria helps expand the feminist conversation to the rest of the world. The problems are everywhere and we need to recognize and accept this fact if we're going to move forward.

So here's the thing, feminism sucks if we're not including every woman in it. That means transsexual women, gay women, queer women, women of color, and straight woman. Serano is one of the leading voices in this incredibly important call to action. If your feminism isn't including and respectful of everyone I just listed and if you don't take their special circumstances into consideration, this needs to move to the top of your TBR stack, ASAP.

Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay

This essay collection deals with the flaws in us all, especially women, and how we can fixate on what we’re doing wrong instead of embracing all that we’ve done right. Let’s be honest, I think each and every of us has lamented how bad we are at fulfilling all the ideals we claim to support and embody. Gay’s exploration of this theme is cathartic and incredibly resonant. “Bad Feminist” is also a product of a mind that follows pop culture and maintains a strong social media presence, making her inconsistencies and struggles all the more real. 

SLUT: A Play and Guidebook for Combating Sexism and Sexual Violence by Katie Cappiello, Meg McInerney, Jennifer Baumgardner (Preface by), Carol Gilligan (Afterword)

I can honestly say that I have never spent so much time discussing, raving, sharing, dissecting, and meditating on one book before or since reading SLUT. This book contains the titular play (a must-see, watch the Talks at Google here), a background and guide for presenting the play, and several essays pertaining to the subject material. Vitally important for everyone to read, doubly so if you work with teens.

Leora Tanenbaum has been a leading voice on the topic of slut-shaming for years now. This is her newest book on the subject and it's incredible timely. The internet has radically changed the way we interact with and judge one another. Specifically, it has removed a lot of accountability people feel when dealing with others and has led to a generation of teens and young adults being threatened and verbally and emotionally assaulted online.

Also, just go ahead and check out,, BUST Magazine and Bitch Magazine. Honestly, just subscribe to those last two. 

*Thank you, Marie Shear ♥


Book Style: How To Be A Woman

How To Be A Woman

I don't know why it took me so long to actually read How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. I kept looking at it and going "Me. This book was written for me," but it never quite made it to the top of my reading pile. Honestly, this is the funniest, most honest, and personally resonating book I've read in ages. It's quite literally laugh-out-loud funny. I had to stop reading it in public because my poker face is nonexistent and when I'm amused my face apparently looks like an oasis of happiness to complete strangers who never let me get back to my reading once they inquire about it... sorry, personal rant. Not that I'm opposed to discussing the glory that is Ms. Moran's book. In fact, we can discuss it for ages. We can discuss all the books written by kickass women all the time. And if by some modern miracle Caitlin - it's cool if I call you "Caitlin" right? -  is reading this right now, please know I will gladly and proudly call myself a strident feminist anytime, anywhere, anywhen.

I really just wanted to recreate Caitlin's cover look: Red and white polka dot dress, black cardigan, black tights, brown boots, and a black belt. Of course, I did add some of my own touches, mostly inspired by the book and the subject material. I had to include some wicked eyeliner since that is a staple of Caitlin's makeup repertoire and mine as well. The hat is a whimsical touch, one I deemed necessary because I love hats, and, let's face it, we don't all have hair as fab as Caitlin's. A simple yet sweet "Feminist" pin that I really want to adorn all my bags (yes plural, I might have a tote bag addiction, so what? back off!) "Rock n' Roll" guitar pick earrings, "Rock n' Roll Nugget" bracelet, and a microphone necklace are a nod to Caitlin's career as a music journalist and television presenter.  I think the phone case should be pretty self-explanatory. "Bad Romance" nail lacquer (look at the sparkle!) is a bit of an homage to one of Caitlin's and my feminist idols - Lady Gaga. Finally, although they should go on first, is this bra and panty set. It's from Lonely Lingerie which advocates women wearing pretty knickers for themselves and they are high-waisted, architectural wonders that even Ms. Moran would approve of for their bum-coverage and practicality.

Have you read it? What did you think?


Book Style: Sexy Feminism

Sexy Feminism

Sexy Feminism by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong and Heather Wood Rudúlph has been my go-to recommendation for women (and men) trying to dip their toes into women's studies and feminist reading since I first skimmed it a little over a year ago. This time I sat myself down and read it cover to cover, taking time to reflect on the end of chapter questions and action points, and digging my teeth into some of the referred web sites and literature. This time reading Sexy Feminism was a breath of fresh air for my psyche and a warm hug for my soul. I tend to be quiet about my values and beliefs because I grew up surrounded by voices that differed from mine. It's taken me most of my adult life so far to even really come to understand what my own beliefs are on several points. But I do know I believe in the radical idea that women are people who deserve the exact same rights as men. And if you believe women aren't property and shouldn't be denied basic rights because of their gender, then you too are a feminist. Saying it loud and proud is a freeing experience that I recommend to everyone. If even Taylor Swift can learn that feminism does not equal being a misandrist or being unfeminine (although it's totally cool if you want to dress, act, look more masculine) then everyone can get over the media-imposed implication of the word and start embracing it for what it actually is. Read this book. If you still have questions, send them my way. Talking openly about feminism is something I'm embracing.

This Book Style is a bit different, it's not really an outfit just a bunch of awesome lady-power oriented swag. From pro-feminism messages to clothing and jewelry from lady-run and women-friendly companies to products inspired by some of my own personal feminist icons - Lady Gaga, Wonder Woman, Frida Kahlo, the trio behind the Blogcademy (Shauna Haider, Kat Williams, and Gala Darling). Check out my own choices. Find your own. Research companies manufacturing and advertising practices to ensure they are kind to women. Throw your money at small businesses run by women. Read feminist literature. Read books by women. Buy the children in your life books by women and about women. Dress how you want because you want to. Pick a feminist hero; and yeah, they'll probably all have a flaw or two, we're all human after all.