I think I’ve always been a feminist but maybe didn’t realize that there was another way to be. It definitely started with my interest in the intersection of health and society. I have always felt strongly about the fact that I do not like other people, particularly older white men in government, telling me what I can and cannot do with my body. From there, I have learned more about the gaps at work, in healthcare, and other places between men and women. I believe we are progressing, but I don’t think fast enough.
The three books below were amazing reads and taught me a lot; I highly recommend all three! Titles link to Goodreads.
Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall
This is definitely a book that I think all women and all feminists should read. Some of the things that Kendall talks about or stories she shares are ones that I knew, but kind of on the periphery. Listening to the stories, many of them personal stories from Kendall herself, really made me stop and really open my eyes/ ears. And Kendall presented everything in a really easy way to absorb. And I loved her voice! This book is important and I hope that people continue to read this and really learn that even in feminism there are still gaps. Mikki Kendall does a really good job in showing how feminism connects to things like housing and maternal health and how it is different for white women vs women of color. I also hope that this book helps people see a clear difference between being privileged and not.
Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Pérez
This book made me angry. Angry at the world and institutions that still do not put any kind of priority on the lives of women. Particularly in healthcare. The fact that many women are told that pain is in their head simply because all the normal tests come back fine. The fact that many pharmaceutical companies don’t do tests with women enough or never try to find out if there is a way to use a drug just for women instead of writing it off because it didn’t do anything to the male participants. And so many more instances and not just in healthcare! Perez’s voice is great in this book and is woven with a lot of intelligence and poise. I love that she really dug into this issues and the various studies that she cites. This is another great eye opener and I believe a must read.
Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America by Ijeoma Oluo
Another writer with a great voice! Oluo looks at a different angle of where race and feminism meets when diving into the white supremacy and legacy here in the US. Oluo does a great job at laying everything out in a clear and accessible way to show just how much white supremacy, especially white, male supremacy, is woven into every fabric of our lives and the society we live in. And we all saw it after the 2016 election. As the blurb states, Oluo without a doubt showed how white men have been able to hold onto positions of leadership and power continue to undermine women of all races and marginalized communities. This book makes me wonder how I’m not a complete man hater.