Feminist Literature

In July I will be presenting at a conference about feminism in literature and ways we can teach it in the classroom. So, here is my round-up of literature that has me excited for feminism and reading!

“As hard as we have worked and as far as we have come, there are still so many forces conspiring to tell women that our concerns are petty, our opinions aren’t needed, that we lack the gravitas necessary for our stories to matter.”
Not That Kind of Girl – Lena Dunham

“She wanted to understand the world, and she made a habit of chasing down information to its last hiding place, as though the fate of nations were at stake in every instance.”
The Signature of All Things – Elizabeth Gilbert

“Then, people expect women to be that easy to understand, and women are mad at themselves for not being that simple- When in actuality, women ARE complicated. Women are multifaceted. Not because women are crazy . But because people are crazy, and women happen to be people.”
Rookie Magazine – Tavi Gevinson

“Don’t let the bastards grind you down.”
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

“All we are is eyes looking for the unbroken or the edges where the broken bits might fit each other.”
How to be Both – Ali Smith

“I’m more than just a piece in their Games.”
The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

“Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words. I don’t believe in “sadness,” “joy,” or “regret.” Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I’d like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, “the happiness that attends disaster.” Or: “the disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy.” I’d like to show how “intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members” connects with “the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age.” I’d like to have a word for “the sadness inspired by failing restaurants” as well as for “the excitement of getting a room with a minibar.” I’ve never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I’ve entered my story, I need them more than ever.
Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

“In the end, I go where I always go when I need information on something baffling, poisonous, or terrifying: the library.”
How to Build a Girl – Caitlin Moran

“But behind each player stood a line of ghosts unable to win. Eve. Ashputtel. Marilyn Monroe. Rapunzel slashing wildly at her hair. Bessie Smith unloved and down and out. Bluebeard’s wives, Henry VIII’s, Snow White cursing the day she left the seven dwarves, Diana, Princess of Wales. The Sheepish Beast came in with a tray of schnapps at the end of the game and we stood for the toast -“fay wray”- then tossed our fiery drinks to the back of our crimson throats. Bad girls. Serious ladies. Mourning our dead.”
The World’s Wife – Carol Ann Duffy

Images:
1. Kim Dorland
2. Lover’s Eyes
3. Vilhelm Hammershøi

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