Women have seen a lot of progress at various points during the last century and are certainly still pioneering progress today. Though improvements have been made, we are still fighting regularly for a more equal society, not only when it comes to women’s rights but also insofar as equality applies to everyone from race to sexuality to gender. I once had a teacher who regularly repeated the phrase “the personal is political” through the entirety of her course and I have come to view that phrase as essential to improving the equality of the world.
Today, I’d like to take a moment to appreciate all the female authors out there, especially those who have attacked the foundations of marginalization. Each story that has been told in order to further progress on building a world in which all people are treated equally deserves celebration. And so, I’m going to take a brief moment to mention a few books that I personally believe uphold these values and I’m happy to have read.
The first book on my list is The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton. Not only does this book destroy the beauty expectations of society, it addresses issues of race and marginalization as well. I frankly believe this book should be on everyone’s read list for how it manages to exceptionally capture a large number of deeply disturbing issues that many people are forced to deal with every single day. This book calls attention to the darkness in the beauty industry (most prominently), racism and slavery, and horrors that are forced upon people who are not heterosexual.
Secondly, I’d like to also mention The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, which follows the perspective of a young African American girl who witnesses the murder of her friend by a white cop. I don’t really think I need to get into why this book is so important, especially as it has been discussed extensively for quite some time now. The woman who wrote this book is an amazing person and calls out a horrible and disgusting truth that people of color are forced to face today and ultimately everyone should read this book.
I also wanted to recommend Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. There are a number of reasons for this, firstly that it is a fantastic book, secondly that it addresses issues of sexuality, and third because the Bechdel test has become incredibly essential in our world today. Any film, show, or book that does not pass the Bechdel test really needs to take a closer look at how they’re representing women, especially if that movie, show, or book is meant to portray strong female characters.
And finally, I couldn’t write a post like this without mentioning my book love The Wendy by Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown. I’ve said for a while now that I believe this book is super important as far as strong female characters fighting to overcome the constraints society places on them goes. I stand by that now. I truly believe that The Wendy deserves all the love in the world and I cannot even begin to express how much I love it. Wendy is one of the strongest female characters I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. She never backs down and always fights for her right to be seen as she is and not as her gender. She’s a wonderful role model for young girls to have.
And that’s all for now! Happy reading, everyone!