If your day is filled with emails, phone calls, and the harsh glare of a computer screen, coupled with the constant bombardment of news headlines, it can be really difficult to take a step back and escape from it all. But in order to maintain our sanity, we’ve got to take care of ourselves. Admittedly, this is easier said than done!
I know a lot of women who feel guilty—myself included—when they take time just for themselves. However, it is imperative that we start putting ourselves and health first. Whether it’s by watching a movie, going to the gym, lounging in the park, or taking a long bath—do something that makes you feel good!
One of my favorite ways of self-care is to unplug and pick up a good book.
The impact female authors have on us is profound. There’s a long history of their perseverance to write, often authoring under male pen names, slyly inserting feminist ideals into what otherwise could have looked like an ordinary romance novel, and finally taking a stand, demanding that their voices as women be heard. Where would we be without female authors and novels such as Wuthering Heights, Passing, Little Women, Middlemarch, or the Harry Potter series?
When we read their words, we are not only transported to a new world, but we receive their sacrifices and determination though the pages, and are motivated to make a difference ourselves.
Reading these books is like recharging your feminist batteries.
So kick back, put down the phone, pick up a book and let yourself relax! Here are a few of my most treasured ones, ranging from novels and poetry, and essays to plays, written by and for women.
10 Female Authors to Inspire Your Inner Feminist
Anne Waldman, Fast Speaking Woman
An exploration of feminine energy through poems and chants by one of the most prolific female beat writers.
Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique
THE book that’s credited with starting the movement of second-wave feminism.
Eve Babitz, Slow Days, Fast Company
Sexual freedom stirred by the SoCal heat and Santa Ana winds in the 1960s and 1970s.
Nella Larsen, Passing
1920s Harlem sees two friends dancing around the practice of “passing,” with an underlying hint of homoeroticism.
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
An extended essay regarding women’s space, literally and figuratively, and as writers and autonomous people.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
Adapted from her TEDx talk, an essay which examines the harm of the gender divide and what it’s like to be a woman in the 21st Century.
Sylvia Plath, Ariel
Direct, unflinching poems that greet the patriarchy and feminine dichotomies, sexuality, motherhood, marriage, betrayal and death.
Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis
A memoir told in the style of a graphic novel about a young girl growing up war-torn Iran during and after the Islamic Revolution.
bell hooks, Ain’t I A Woman
From suffrage to the 1970s, an in-depth look at racism and sexism regarding black women.
Eve Ensler, The Vagina Monologues
Collected stories that explore consensual & non-consensual experiences of women through race, age, and sexualities.
Emily Greene works in Promotions for CBS and NBC affiliates in the Augusta, Georgia and North Augusta, South Carolina areas. She has a BA in Art, and is finishing a second degree focusing on Women’s Studies, Criminal Justice, and English. Active in promoting social justice, especially the awareness of women’s issues, she is the Chair of the Women’s Caucus of the Young Democrats of Georgia, as well as their Communications Director, the Vice President of the Young Democrats of Augusta Richmond County, Membership Chair and Committee Member of the Columbia County Democratic Party, and a volunteer for Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Services. Emily’s work has appeared in McSweeney’s, The Cult Collective, Washington State University’s literary journal, LandEscapes, and PLACE (SACRED SPACE) Without Beginning or End, a book about weaving by Rachel Snack of Weaver House Company.