Not Your Mama's Feminist Book Club

You’re sitting there, scratching your head, wondering how to be a better human in the world. We hear you. 2017 hears you.  

So you start with a personal inventory: 

  • Working hard on the bod?  
  • Twerking hard on the floor?
  • Being kind to your fellow dancers (and neighbors and coworkers).  (and )
  • Keeping up on feminist literature to show up for your sisters and brothers when their rights and freedoms are challenged? Che...well. Almost.

Never fear, we’re here to help. ((305)) founder Sadie Kurzban shares her favorite feminist books for every age.


when you're not a girl, not yet a woman

                  The Babysitter's Club Best for: The Elementary School Kween   The gist: Ann. M Martin cooked up a rag tag bunch of girls who band together to form a small business in their suburban Connecticut town. Throughout a series of novels, they tackle the challenges of growing up, becoming women, and learning how to be true to themselves.  From Sadie: "I'm so happy I grew up with these books. A group of diverse girls, with a variety of personalities, socioeconomic and racial backgrounds all working to run a successful business. These books emphasize female friendships over relationships with boys; they prioritize work ethic over beauty standards." 

          

       The Babysitter's Club

Best for: The Elementary School Kween  
The gist: Ann. M Martin cooked up a rag tag bunch of girls who band together to form a small business in their suburban Connecticut town. Throughout a series of novels, they tackle the challenges of growing up, becoming women, and learning how to be true to themselves. 
From Sadie: "I'm so happy I grew up with these books. A group of diverse girls, with a variety of personalities, socioeconomic and racial backgrounds all working to run a successful business. These books emphasize female friendships over relationships with boys; they prioritize work ethic over beauty standards." 

            Full Frontal Feminism Best for: The Just-Got-Her-License Teen The gist: You don’t have to burn your bra to be a feminist. (But you totally can if you want to.) Jessica Valenti, founder of feministing.com, wrote this book to introduce aspects of feminism to not-yet-subscribers who aren’t familiar with the many ways feminism affects our lives. From Sadie: "This was the first book that turned me on to feminism. I supposed I was always a feminist at heart, but this book gave me the language I needed to voice my feelings at 18. I read it after my first boyfriend dumped me. Predictably, like many broken-hearted, Brown-bound 18 year-olds, I chopped off most of my hair. I love Jessica Valenti. 

            Full Frontal Feminism

Best for: The Just-Got-Her-License Teen
The gist: You don’t have to burn your bra to be a feminist. (But you totally can if you want to.) Jessica Valenti, founder of feministing.com, wrote this book to introduce aspects of feminism to not-yet-subscribers who aren’t familiar with the many ways feminism affects our lives.
From Sadie: "This was the first book that turned me on to feminism. I supposed I was always a feminist at heart, but this book gave me the language I needed to voice my feelings at 18. I read it after my first boyfriend dumped me. Predictably, like many broken-hearted, Brown-bound 18 year-olds, I chopped off most of my hair. I love Jessica Valenti. 

       Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women         and the Rise of Raunch Culture Best For: The College Student The gist: What do you get when you mix competing political theories, years of female oppression, and a confusing sexual revolution? If you ask Ariel Levy the answer is “raunch culture.” And we are loooving it.  From Sadie: "I read this back in college and it's really stuck with me. It's a book that has totally shaped the way I view myself and my sexuality and also, was a huge inspiration behind ((305)). A really empowering book that makes a clear distinction between being proud to own your sexuality versus continuing to put your sexuality on display for the male gaze. It made me see things in a totally new light."   

       Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women         and the Rise of Raunch Culture

Best For: The College Student
The gist: What do you get when you mix competing political theories, years of female oppression, and a confusing sexual revolution? If you ask Ariel Levy the answer is “raunch culture.” And we are loooving it. 
From Sadie: "I read this back in college and it's really stuck with me. It's a book that has totally shaped the way I view myself and my sexuality and also, was a huge inspiration behind ((305)). A really empowering book that makes a clear distinction between being proud to own your sexuality versus continuing to put your sexuality on display for the male gaze. It made me see things in a totally new light." 

 

When you want to do that grown up thang

                                          Lean In Best for: The Young Professional The gist: Sheryl Sandberg is the yuppy millennial's fairy godmother. She knows a thing or two about shattering glass ceilings—and she knows it isn’t easy. Her playbook for raising your voice and leaning into the conversation will have you outlining your next move ASAP.  From Sadie: "I know there's been a lot of controversy over this book. But I'd like to throw Sheryl Sandberg a big bone here. This book is incredible. It needed to be said. No, Sheryl Sandberg is not speaking to all women in Lean In. She is speaking to her experience, which like mine, is an experience of racial and socioeconomic privilege. But I adore the message which is this: lean in. Demand a a seat at the table. Work your ass off and make yourself known. I adore this book and the simple message was very powerful for me as I was graduating school." 

                                          Lean In

Best for: The Young Professional

The gist: Sheryl Sandberg is the yuppy millennial's fairy godmother. She knows a thing or two about shattering glass ceilings—and she knows it isn’t easy. Her playbook for raising your voice and leaning into the conversation will have you outlining your next move ASAP. 

From Sadie: "I know there's been a lot of controversy over this book. But I'd like to throw Sheryl Sandberg a big bone here. This book is incredible. It needed to be said. No, Sheryl Sandberg is not speaking to all women in Lean In. She is speaking to her experience, which like mine, is an experience of racial and socioeconomic privilege. But I adore the message which is this: lean in. Demand a a seat at the table. Work your ass off and make yourself known. I adore this book and the simple message was very powerful for me as I was graduating school." 

                                            BabyGate Best for: The Soon-To-Be Working Mom The gist: Dina Bakst knows that new moms face plenty of challenges, what with your body doing contorting to host another human for nine months and everything. She also knows it’s hard as hell to be a working mom. Her straight talking guide will have you making plans and taking names (and not just from the baby name book). From Sadie: "With so many books out there on parenting, this is one of those rare no-bullshit books on how to navigate being pregnant or having a child while also navigating your career. Is it totally f*cked up that it is 10x harder for a mother to pursue her career than for a father? Yes, it is! This book at least helps you understand your rights as a new parent. It's a great read for anyone generally interested in how we can make the workplace more friendly for moms, too."  

                                            BabyGate

Best for: The Soon-To-Be Working Mom

The gist: Dina Bakst knows that new moms face plenty of challenges, what with your body doing contorting to host another human for nine months and everything. She also knows it’s hard as hell to be a working mom. Her straight talking guide will have you making plans and taking names (and not just from the baby name book).

From Sadie: "With so many books out there on parenting, this is one of those rare no-bullshit books on how to navigate being pregnant or having a child while also navigating your career. Is it totally f*cked up that it is 10x harder for a mother to pursue her career than for a father? Yes, it is! This book at least helps you understand your rights as a new parent. It's a great read for anyone generally interested in how we can make the workplace more friendly for moms, too."

 

when you're all about that grace

                                      Bad Feminist Best For: Adult Women of All Ages The gist: Author, writer, feminist badass, and social commentator Roxane Gay will make you laugh. She’ll make you think. She’ll make you mad as hell sometimes, and that’s the point. Her book of essays covers many grounds of intersectional feminism and will leave you thirsty for more. From Sadie: "I loved these essays. They were funny, entertaining, and honest. I found myself relating with a lot of the ways that I "show up short" as a feminist."   

                                      Bad Feminist

Best For: Adult Women of All Ages
The gist: Author, writer, feminist badass, and social commentator Roxane Gay will make you laugh. She’ll make you think. She’ll make you mad as hell sometimes, and that’s the point. Her book of essays covers many grounds of intersectional feminism and will leave you thirsty for more.
From Sadie: "I loved these essays. They were funny, entertaining, and honest. I found myself relating with a lot of the ways that I "show up short" as a feminist." 

 

                             I Feel Bad About My Neck Best for: Mama or Grandma The gist: The anti-aging industry is alive and well, but is so Nora Ephron’s spirit. Her hilarious tale of aging into the wonder-woman storyteller she came to be will have you laughing, crying, and thinking a little less harshly about those laugh lines. From Sadie: "Nora Ephron was one of my all-time heroes. Her words are disarming, painfully honest, and wonderfully funny. There are no politics per se in this book, but it's an honest, real take on what it is to be a woman and to age."   

                             I Feel Bad About My Neck

Best for: Mama or Grandma
The gist: The anti-aging industry is alive and well, but is so Nora Ephron’s spirit. Her hilarious tale of aging into the wonder-woman storyteller she came to be will have you laughing, crying, and thinking a little less harshly about those laugh lines.
From Sadie: "Nora Ephron was one of my all-time heroes. Her words are disarming, painfully honest, and wonderfully funny. There are no politics per se in this book, but it's an honest, real take on what it is to be a woman and to age."