A Comprehensive Guide to Feminist Theory: 20 Essential Reads

posted October 23rd, 2013 by Janet Graham - Leave a Comment

Sheer joy…..with a little dash of pride…..was what I felt when I saw the title of an essay written by Elizabeth DiEmanuele, posted on her facebook page with the link to the essay itself. The title of her essay is the title of my post today “A Comprehensive Guide to Feminist Theory: 20 Essential Reads.”


Elizabeth’s post gave me hope too!!  You see I had convinced myself that the younger generation had lost interest in “feminism” and Elizabeth proved me wrong. She is a university student and to study and understand and write about feminist theory (which is more than I had done before declaring to the world whenever the opportunity arose that I was one, a feminist that is) gave me hope that young women were interested in understanding and carrying on the valuable and hard work feminists had done and continue to do on behalf of women today and the generations of women to come after them!!


Elizabeth’s essay begins with the following words:


“There is more to feminism than the, nowadays, simplistic “equal rights among the sexes,” or the inaccurate assumption that the feminist is a ‘man-hater’. While the latter is a product of the extremism that follows every significant civil rights movement, it is, unfortunately, the memorable argument that arises in the anti-feminist debate. However, contrary to much popular belief, feminist literature is much more complicated than the simple opposition of feminist (man-hater) or non-feminist (man-lover). Looking at society in all its complexity, the feminist theorist puts a magnifying glass to the economies of everyday action, voicing a need for awareness, and in some cases, a need for change.


“Unfortunately, most feminist literature remains hidden from everyday society. Often tedious, feminist literary theory can be inaccessible and perhaps, elitist, in its complex use of language and analysis. As Gloria Steinem once said, “Nobody cares about feminist academic writing. That’s careerism. These poor women in academia have to talk this silly language that nobody can understand in order to be accepted.” With an absolute love and respect for the extremely accomplished and wonderful Gloria Steinem, it seems there is a need to repair the disconnect between the masses and academia. Feminist literary theory is important because, like any study of injustice, it exposes the illogical format of the arguments that support prejudice and discrimination. Furthermore, it provides a point of reason—and thus, understanding—for those who are unaffected. Here is a list of essential feminist theory reads, with some brief analysis for your awareness.”


Thank you, Elizabeth!! Just reading your words brings a huge smile to my face!! For those of you who want to read Elizabeth’s entire wonderful piece, you can do so by following the link below




I would love to hear your thoughts!! Please share your comments below in the Comments section.

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