Five Inspiring Books on the Women’s Rights Movement & Empowerment

22nd November 2019

With International Women’s Day still top of mind, there’s no better time to immerse yourself in the literary works of some of the most inspiring authors of our time, as they delve into discussions about sex, gender and contemporary society. While it’s important to never forget the trials and experiences chronicled in their pages, it’s perhaps more important to extract and live by their ideas and examples: that modern women, and those who identify as such, are empowered and equal by every measure.

Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman

While most of us can probably relate to what it’s like to be judged (or at least, think we’re being judged) on a daily basis, most of us cannot know firsthand what it’s like to be a celebrity living in the public eye. A compilation of essays curated by Buzzfeed’s Anne Helen Petersen, Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman, takes a long, hard look at the power and weight of the adjective, “too” when used to reference some of Hollywood’s biggest female stars such as Nicki Minaj, Serena Williams and Melissa McCarthy. Though their stories may be unique, these famous women are connected by their experiences of being labelled too-anything, a figurative yoke that continues to objectify and oppress.

All The Lives I Want

Alana Massey’s first foray into the paperback world, All The Lives I Want, is a collection of essays examining the lives of various celebrities living in the public eye. Though she doesn’t know any of them personally, Massey writes creatively and intimately about some of Hollywood’s most powerful women, and masterfully connects her most personal experiences with some of her subjects’ most public ones. A refreshing page-turner, All The Lives I Want is a reality check for those who doubt that beneath the glitz and glamour of fame, real women reside experiencing and working through relatable issues.

Votes for Women! American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot

For those with an interest in history, Votes for Women! American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot provides the reader with an accurate re-telling of the history of the battle for women’s rights in the United States. This read provides a great deal of context to the contributions made by the principal players who were responsible for securing voting rights for women, and how these actions influenced some of history’s greatest events, including the Civil War and the First World War.

I Am Malala

I Am Malala is a heart-wrenching re-telling of an 11-year-old girl’s harrowing tale of taking on the Taliban. Born of incredible courage, Malala spoke out against the archaic regime and demanded that girls be allowed to attend school. As a result of her criticism of Taliban rule, Malala was savagely gunned down on her way home. After many months of recovery, Malala once again fearlessly took up the mantle of women’s rights, ultimately receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. A true beacon of women’s rights and heroism, Malala’s experiences serve as a reminder that even the tiniest of stones is capable of altering the course of the largest of rivers.

The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help

In Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help, the taboo of asking for help as an empowered woman is cast aside, revealing that there is no harm in seeking out aid when you need it. Palmer also discusses why surrounding yourself with a supportive community of like-minded individuals is the key to breaking through many of the psychological and emotional barriers that have traditionally plagued the women’s movement.

In truth, the empowerment movement is continuously gaining momentum. The books listed in this article represent just a fraction of those that can be found in your local bookstore or favourite online bookshop. Having said that, these five books are a great place to start for those looking to improve their knowledge of history’s, arguably, most important movements. Consider picking one up today at where you can find thousands of books for as low as $5.

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