The Ultimate Fierce Feminist Writers List

Inspired by Linzi Brooks’ call to arms for books on feminism, womanhood, being a mother and mental health here are some of PMUK’s favourite books by fierce feminist writers.

On Womanhood. The writers who say it all for us.  

  1. Ariel – Sylvia Plath

“A living doll, everywhere you look. It can sew, it can cook, It can talk, talk, talk.   It works, there is nothing wrong with it. You have a hole, its a poultice. You have an eye, its an image. My boy, its your last resort. Will you marry it, marry it, marry it.”

Sylvia Plath, Ariel

  1.  We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozo Adichie

“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

  1. The Awakening- Kate Chopin

“The bird that would soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings. It is a sad spectacle to see the weaklings bruised, exhausted, fluttering back to earth.”

Kate Chopin, The Awakening

  1.  Alice Walker – The Colour Purple

“I am an expression of the divine, just like a peach is, just like a fish is. I have a right to be this way…I can’t apologize for that, nor can I change it, nor do I want to… We will never have to be other than who we are in order to be successful…We realize that we are as ourselves unlimited and our experiences valid. It is for the rest of the world to recognize this, if they choose.”

Alice Walker, The Color Purple

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  1. Misconceptions- Naomi Wolf

    “It is not biology alone but heroism too that drives women to find the will and grit and creativity to put one’s own impulses aside to serve the needs of a tiny creature around the clock—especially in an environment in which that heroic choice is only casually acknowledged, much less honored, cherished, or assisted. I believe the myth about the ease and naturalness of mothering—the ideal of the effortlessly ever-giving mother—is propped up, polished, and promoted as a way to keep women from thinking clearly and negotiating forcefully about what they need from their partners and from society at large in order to mother well, without having to sacrifice themselves in the process.”

    Naomi Wolf, Misconceptions: Truth, Lies, and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood

    1. Milk and Honey- Rupi Kaur

    “i want to apologize to all the women i have called beautiful
    before i’ve called them intelligent or brave
    i am sorry i made it sound as though
    something as simple as what you’re born with
    is all you have to be proud of
    when you have broken mountains with your wit
    from now on i will say things like
    you are resilient, or you are extraordinary
    not because i don’t think you’re beautiful
    but because i need you to know
    you are more than that”

    Rupi Kaur

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    1.  Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal – Jeanette Winterson

    There are times when it will go so wrong that you will barely be alive, and times when you realise that being barely alive, on your own terms, is better than living a bloated half-life on someone else’s terms.”

    Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

    1. Feminism is for Everybody – Bell Hooks

    “Simply put, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression. I liked this definition because it does not imply that men were the enemy.”

    bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics

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    1. The Meaning of Freedom and Other Difficult Dialogues – Angela Davis

    “This invisible work of racism not only influences the life chances of millions of people, it helps to nourish a psychic reservoir of racism that often erupts through the utterances and actions of individuals, as in the cases previously mentioned. The frequent retort made by such individuals who are caught in the act—”I’m not a racist. I don’t even know where that came from”—can only be answered if we are able to recognize this deep structural life of racism.” Angela Davis, The Meaning of Freedom

    1. Men Explain Things To Me – Rebecca Solnit

    “Every woman knows what I’m talking about. It’s the presumption that makes it hard, at times, for any woman in any field; that keeps women from speaking up and from being heard when they dare; that crushes young women into silence by indicating, the way harassment on the street does, that this is not their world. It trains us in self-doubt and self-limitation just as it exercises men’s unsupported overconfidence.”

    Rebecca Solnit, Men Explain Things to Me

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About Heather 6 Articles
Bibliophile. Introvert. Retired Riot Grrl. Straight Edge Mum. As much of an activist as I can be with a baby strapped to my chest.

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