Book Club Discussion: Bad Feminist, by Roxane Gay
A fun, accessible, and relatable read that was impressive in its range and thoughtfulness. Most of all, it was thought-provoking. I wrote lots of notes while reading, including questions it inspired me to ask myself and consider. I enjoyed that it offered an introduction to feminism that was cognizant of reservations that some people may have about feminism.

My favorite essay in the book was “Not Here To Make Friends.” I appreciated the way it made me think about the perspective of our cultural art and how that perspective influences and is influenced by patriarchy and other institutional forms of oppression.

“Inevitably, on every reality television program,” explains Gay, “someone will boldly declare, ‘I’m not here to make friends.’ … They make this declaration by way of explaining their unlikability or the inevitably unkind edit they’re going to receive from the show’s producers. It isn’t that they are terrible, you see. It’s simply that they are not participating in the show to make friends. They are freeing themselves from the burden of likability, or they are, perhaps, freeing us from the burden of guilt for the dislike and eventual contempt we might hold for them.”

The patriarchy/male gaze expects women to be likable or to put effort into being likable to/for a certain viewpoint. Women on reality TV who refuse to cater to this viewpoint are disregarded or not taken seriously, as if the only way for a woman to win or succeed is to follow a man’s script for them. Women are then further scripted into stereotypes. By rejecting the rules, they are placed under stricter ones.

Wonder Woman: A Feminist Perspective - ComicsVerse
Is Wonder Woman really a feminist icon? Read our contributor's feminist perspective on The New 52 WONDER WOMAN to find out!

Wonder Woman was created during the Golden Age of Comics, before the temporary workplace gains of World War II, at a time when women were told that their only place was in the home. An Amazon princess and the most powerful warrior of her race, Wonder Woman ignored these expectations. Her comics didn’t just suggest equality of the sexes; they flat out demonstrated that every woman had innate power and that Wonder Woman was superior to her male counterparts. This was the goal for the original comics of Wonder Woman. In the first comics, she went to America with a man, Steve Travor, because she was the only hope for women there; she  must help women gain equality.

I was always curious about Wonder Woman and the comic books that told her story. I imagined her as a Feminist icon; she was, in my mind, all that women should be: free and powerful. So when I finally grabbed hold of  The New 52 Version of Wonder Woman I was extremely excited. As the pages went on I was a little disappointed in the comics because she was not what I expected, none of the women in the comics were. However, I kept going, and I found that I quite liked the series!

View on ComicsVerse…

Book Me As A Speaker!

Do you need a speaker for your university event, conference, or workshop? Looking for someone who is engaging, passionate, and an experienced new media expert? Look no further!

My rates are very reasonable and I’m flexible based on your organizations size and budget. I have a variety of talks designed that are listed below, but can also speak about other topics related to feminism, body image, body positivity, gender-based violence, and more.  If you’re interested, give me a holler!

Today is the last day of our August fundraiser for Let’s Read About Feminism!

We’re raising money to be able to help low-income members of our online, feminist book club access the books we read.

Funds raised in August go toward providing September’s book, which will be announced tomorrow along with details on how you can win a free or reduced-price copy of the winning book. 

Please donate a few dollars to the fundraiser today, and keep us in mind for future donations, as we’ll be fundraising each month. 


15 Feminist Books to Read In 2015 to Help You Stay Passionate All Year

“For 2015, I picked out 15 books that each give a vibrant take on feminism. That’s the 360-degree view of feminism — not just for the academic or the political or the reluctant ones. The stuff that’s in these pages is what’s going to keep the conversations lively, and keep feminism at the forefront of everyone’s minds in the year to come.

So, whether you’re a diehard feminist who knows what she’s all about, a confused one who’s not totally sure how to wear the term, or a person who is a bit weary of the F-word, there’s a book for you below. Pick out one for your New Year reading list.”

Read the full piece here

Feminist texts written by women of color

This list is stil a work in progress, but I really wanted to get it posted.  I have either read parts of/all of the texts below or they have been recommended to me.  Please reblog and add your own suggestions to the list.  Each time someone adds something new, I’ll go back to this original post and make sure to include them.  Thanks and enjoy!


  • Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis
  • Women Culture and Politics by Angela Davis
  • Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins
  • Borderlands/La frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldua
  • Aint I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks
  • Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks
  • Feminist Theory from Margin to Center by bell hooks
  • Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
  • Feminism without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity by Chandra Talpade Mohanty
  • Medicine Stories by Aurora Levins Morales
  • Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race, and Finding Home by Anita Hill
  • Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty by Dorothy Roberts
  • Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide by Andrea Smith
  • Pilgrimages/Peregrinajes: Theorizing Coalition Against Multiple Oppressions (Feminist Constructions) by Maria Lugones (submitted by oceanicheart)
  • Feminism FOR REAL: Deconstructing the Academic Industrial Complex of Feminism by Jessica Yee (submitted by oceanicheart)
  • Communion: The Female Search for Love by bell hooks (via easternjenitentiary)
  • Nervous Conditions by Tsisti Dangarembga (via easternjenitentiary)
  • A Taste of Power by Elaine Browne (via tinajenny)
  • Talkin’ Up to the White Woman: Indigenous Women and Feminism by Aileen Moreton-Robinson (via jalwhite)
  • I Am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism by Lee Maracle  (via jalwhite)
  • Shadowboxing: Representations of Black Feminist Politics by Joy James (via jalwhite)
  • Re-Creating Ourselves by Molara Ogundipe-Leslie (via reallifedocumentarian)
  • Chicana Feminist Thought by Alma M. Garcia (via eggplantavenger)
  • Queer Latinidad by Juana Maria Rodriguez (via eggplantavenger)
  • The Truth That Never Hurts by Barbara Smith (via sisteroutsider)
  • Pilgrimages/Peregrinajes: Theorizing Coalition Against Multiple Oppressions by Maria Lugones (via guckfender)
  • Consequence: Beyond Resisting Rape by Loolwa Khazzoom (via galesofnovember)
  • The Autobiography of My Mother by Jamaica Kincaid (via wherethewildthingsmoved)


  • Companeras: Latina Lesbians by Juanita Ramos and the Lesbian History Project
  • Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism edited by Daisy Hernandez
  • This Bridge Called My Back edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa
  • this bridge we call home: radical visions for transformation edited by Gloria Anzaldúa and AnaLouise Keating
  • Making Face, Making Soul/Haciendo Caras: Creative and Critial Perspectives by Feminists of Color edited by Gloria Anzaldua
  • Women Writing Resistance: Essays from Latin America and the Caribbean edited by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez
  • Unequal Sisters edited by Ellen DuBois and Vicki Ruiz
  • Chicana Feminist Thought: The Basic Historical Writings edited by Alma M. Garcia (submitted by oceanicheart)
  •  Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice (submitted by oceanicheart)
  • The Color of Violence: The Incite! Anthology
  • I Am Your SIster by Audre Lorde (via marlahangup)
  • Indigenous Women and Feminism: Politics, Activism, Culture edited by Cheryl Suzack, Shari M. Huhndorf, Jeanne Perreault, Jean Barman (via jalwhite)
  • Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire edited by Sonia Shah (via jalwhite)
  • Pinay Power: Feminist Critical Theory: Theorizing the Filipina/American Experience edited by Melinda L. de Jesus (via titotibok)
  • Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire edited by Sonia Shah (via titotibok)
  • MOONROOT: An Exploration of Asian Womyn’s Bodies (more Asian Pacific Islander American ones here) (via titotibok)
  • Making Space for Indigenous Feminism edited by Joyce Green via jalwhite)
  • All the Women are White, All the Blacks are Men, But Some of Us are Brave: Black Women’s Studies, more commonly known as But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women’s Studies edited by Gloria T. Hull, Patricia Bell Scot, and Barbara Smith (via jalwhite)
  • Homegirls: A Black Feminist Anthology edited by Barbara Smith (viasisteroutsider)
  • Theorizing Black Feminisms: The Visionary Pragmatism of Black Women edited by Stanlie James and Abena Busia (via sisteroutsider)
  • Black Woman edited by Toni Cade Bambara (via ancestryinprogress)


  • “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color.” by Kimberle Crenshaw
  • The Combahee River Collective Statement
  • “Tomboy, Dyke, Lezzie, and Bi: Filipina Lesbian and Bisexual Women Speak Out” by Christine T. Lipat and others (via titotibok)
  • “Rizal Day Queen Contests, Filipino Nationalism, and Feminity” by  Arleen  De Vera (via titotibok)
  • “Pinayism” by Allyson G. Tintiangco-Cubales (via titotibok)
  • “Practicing Pinayist Pedagogy” by Allyson G. Tintiangco-Cubales and Jocyl Sacramento (via titotibok)
  • “Asian Lesbians in San Francisco: Struggle to Create a Safe Space, 1970s – 1980s” by Trinity Ordona (via titotibok)
  • “A Black Separatist” by Anna Lee (via girlsandgifs)
  • “For the Love of Separatism” by Anna Lee (via girlsandgifs)
  • “Separation in Black: A Personal Journey” by Jacqueline Anderson (via girlsandgifs)
  • “Separatism is not a Luxury: Some Thoughts on Separatism and Class” by C. Maria (via girlsandgifs)
  • “Coming Out Queer and Brown” by Naomi Littlebear Morena (via girlsandgifs)
  • “Internalising the Lesbian Body of Color” by Jamie Lee Evans (via girlsandgifs)
  • “In Search of Our Mother’s Garden” by Alice Walker (via wherethewildthingsmoved)

Other authors and poets you should know

What the stereotype of the bra-burning, hairy-legged feminist  is really supposed to suggest is that feminism, that politics itself, makes a woman ugly. That women’s liberation is a threat to traditional ideas of femininity, of a woman’s social role. Which, of course, it is, and always has been.
—  Unspeakable Things, Laurie Penny
What My High School Reading List Taught Me About Women

Things are starting to seem a little skewed, right? Men’s stories being told, not women’s.And then we were assigned our summer reading for Sophomore year. Lord of the Flies and The Jungle, both written by men. There are literally no women whatsoever in Lord of the Flies, because it is an all boys school isolated on an island. The Jungle has a male protagonist, but I do give it some credit because Marija is so prominently featured in the story, and Upton Sinclair does not condemn her when she becomes a sex worker. Still, the novel is terribly male-centric. This class focused a lot on free choice reading for most of the year, but second semester we read Of Mice and Men. Written by a man. There is one woman in this novel, and despite the adaptations, she is not actually that big of a character. And, spoiler alert, she dies. And she’s seen as “loose” and made a villain by the male community she is in.

Read more on Feminspire!

Feminist Books: Non-Fiction
  • Safe, Legal, and Unavailable? Abortion Politics in the U.S.:by Melody Rose
  • Girl Land:by Caitlin Flanagan
  • Cinderella Ate My Daughter:by Peggy Orenstein
  • Sister Citizen- Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America:by Melissa Harris-Perry
  • The Purity Myth- How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women:by Jessica Valenti
  • A History of the Wife:by Marilyn Yalom
  • Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves- Women in Classical Antiquity:by Sarah B. Pomeroy
  • Pregnancy & Power- A Short History of Reproductive Politics in America:by Rickie Solinger
  • How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America:by Cristina Page
  • The Girls Who Went Away- The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade:by Ann Fessler
  • Myths of Motherhood- How Culture Reinvents the Good Mother:by Sherry Thurer
  • Yes Means Yes- Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape:by Jaclyn Friedman
  • Half the Sky- Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide:by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
  • History of the Breast:by Marilyn Yalom
  • Virgin- The Untouched History:by Hanne Blank
  • Transgender History:by Susan Stryker
  • Women and Socialism- Essays on Women's Liberation:by Sharon Smith
  • Same Difference- How Gender Myths are Hurting Our Relationships, Our Children, and Our Jobs:by Rosalind C. Barnett
  • America's Women- 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines:by Gail Collins
  • Interracial Intimacy- The Regulation of Race and Romance:by Rachel F. Moran

16-Year-Old Mikhaila Nodel Spreading A Message Of Body Positivity & Self-Love Through Art

“Mikhaila Nodel is a 16 year-old artist committed to spreading the message of body positivity and self-love through art. She uses zines to share this incredible message through the perspective of Cosmic Cuties, a team of empowering characters of her own creation. We were so lucky to chat with Mikhaila about her art and her journey as a young activist.

Who are the Cosmic Cuties and what are they all about?

MN: I kind of invented them as a species. They’re born from space dust and slow down the universe and fight sexist crime. They’re these feminist goddesses that watch over all women and are there to protect them.

How did Cosmic Cuties start?

MN: Cosmic Cuties started as an art project. A lot of my friends are insecure and a lot of teenage girls are really insecure about their bodies. I decided that I wanted to make people’s day better so I started making zines and I left copies of them in the girl’s bathroom so that people could just pick them up. I think it’s a really cool idea to make something that makes people feel better about themselves. I think that’s really important.

Why the medium of zines?

MN: I watched this documentary about a punk singer who made zines and I thought it was really cool. Also, I’m in the feminist club at my school and we had a day where we created zines. After that, I started making them monthly. They’re so easy to reproduce. You just copy them and leave them around. They’re small, too.

Read the full interview here


You had me at “They’re born from space dust and slow down the universe and fight sexist crime. They’re these feminist goddesses that watch over all women and are there to protect them.”

So cool to see The Punk Singer reference. Kathleen Hanna is such an inspiration and that movie is like a pure shot of feminist energy inspiration!


12 Memoir Books Every Girl Needs To Read Before She Turns 18

Fiction is so great, but I think a lot of people get caught up in that and ignore memoirs. You shouldn’t! You can learn so much from reading about someone else’s life, and about what they learned from dealing with their own problems and issues. We’re lucky enough to be living in a time when so many strong females are writing inspiring books, and you’d be silly not to add them to your book list. So, here are 12 memoirs every girl needs to read before she turns 18.

What goes unsaid is that women might be more ambitious and focused because we’ve never had a choice. We’ve had to fight to vote, to work outside the home, to work in environments free of sexual harassment, to attend the universities of our choice, and we’ve also had to prove ourselves over and over to receive any modicum of consideration.
—  Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist: Essays
Ms. Readers’ 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of All Time

10. The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women by Jessica Valenti Seal Press, 2009 Jessica Valenti combats a nation’s virginity complex, arguing that myths about “purity” are damaging to both girls and women. She points the way forward toward a world where women are perceived as more than vessels of chastity.

9. Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center by bell hooks South End Press, 1985 Cementing her place as one of the most influential feminist theorists, hooks’ Feminist Theory explores Kimberle Crenshaw’s conversation-changing idea of intersectionality: the way racism, classism and sexism work together to foster oppression.

8. Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks South End Press, 1999 Named after the famous speech by Sojourner Truth, this must-read by bell hooks discusses black women’s struggle with U.S. racism and sexism since the time of slavery and doesn’t shirk from how white middle- and upper-class feminists have at times failed poor and non-white women.

7. Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture by Ariel Levy Free Press, 2005 What do phenomena such as Girls Gone Wild say about feminism? This book looks at the ways women today make sex objects of themselves, and she’s not impressed. She chews out false “empowerment” based on self-objectification and offers feminist alternatives.

6. Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi Crown, 1991 This landmark book sounded the alarm about a pervasive backlash against feminism. She painstakingly refutes each insidious anti-feminist argument–for instance, that feminism is responsible for a supposed epidemic of unhappiness in women. What’s really wrong, she says, is that equality hasn’t been achieved; in fact, the struggle has only just begun.

5. Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich Metropolitan Books, 2001 Long-time Ms. columnist Barbara Ehrenreich posed undercover as a low-income worker to gain material for this empathetic portrait of how the bottom half lives. She reveals that simply making ends meet is a silent struggle for many Americans, especially for women with families to support.

4. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf Harcourt Brace, 1929 This classic from the 1920s makes a devastatingly eloquent argument with a simple takeaway: For a women artist to thrive, she must have space in which to work and some money for her efforts.

3. Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde Crossing Press, 1984 This master work by Audre Lorde, a Caribbean American lesbian feminist writer, collects her prose from the late 70s and early 80s. Many of these pieces made feminist history, including her candid dialogue with Adrienne Rich about race and feminism, her oft-quoted critique of academia “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House” and her Open Letter to Mary Daly.

2. Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio Seal Press 2002 Inga Muscio’s 2002 feminist manifesto radicalized a new generation. She argues for the reclaiming of the tarnished word cunt, and discusses her personal experiences with self-protection, sex work, abortion and solidarity.

1. Feminism is For Everybody: Passionate Politics by bell hooks South End Press, 2000 Fittingly, in Ms. readers’ favorite feminist book of all time, bell hooks argues that feminism is for everybody, regardless of race, gender or creed. She urges all to live a feminism that finds commonality across differences and makes room for impassioned debate.

Click the link for the rest of Ms. Magazine’s top 100.


Top 10 Queer and Feminist Books of 2014

2014 has been really excellent for a ton of new queer/feminist things to read. Here are some of the best.”

See the list here, including works by Daisy Hernandez, Janet Mock, Roxane Gay and more, including a “Runners Up” group!