Feminism is For Everybody

Customers often ask us which is the "best ever" feminist book or which book about feminism they should give someone new to feminism or which book they should read if they are just beginning their feminist journey. We think, as bell hooks says, "feminism is for everybody," but not every feminist book is for every person. Below is a list of our ever-evolving Charis feminist canon. This list is shaped by our personal tastes, our geographies, and our understanding of feminism as a strategy and a tool to understand and dismantle interlocking systems of oppression. This list is also primarily books which are currently accessible and on our shelves because we want you to be able to come in and pick them up today if you see something that excites you. One last caveat: this list is non-fiction and primarily on the subject of feminism. Feminists write novels and poems and books on every subject under the sun. Check out the other lists on this site to find books that we think fit the bill in those subjects. These are books more or less "about" feminism. We hope you find yourself in them and keep on searching. 

Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics Cover Image
ISBN: 9781138821620
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Published: Routledge - September 26th, 2014

What is feminism? In this short, accessible primer, bell hooks explores the nature of feminism and its positive promise to eliminate sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression. With her characteristic clarity and directness, hooks encourages readers to see how feminism can touch and change their lives--to see that feminism is for everybody.

Essential Feminist Reader (Modern Library Classics) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812974607
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Published: Kuperard (Bravo Ltd) - September 18th, 2007

Including: Susan B. Anthony Simone de Beauvoir W.E.B. Du Bois H l ne Cixous Betty Friedan Charlotte Perkins Gilman Emma Goldman Guerrilla Girls Ding Ling - Audre Lorde John Stuart Mill Christine de Pizan Adrienne Rich Margaret Sanger Huda Shaarawi - Sojourner Truth Mary Wollstonecraft Virginia Woolf

This Bridge Called My Back, Fourth Edition: Writings by Radical Women of Color Cover Image
By Cherrie Moraga (Editor), Gloria Anzaldua (Editor)
ISBN: 9781438454382
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Published: State University of New York Press - March 1st, 2015

Bronze Medalist, 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards in the Anthologies Category

Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, Fourth Edition Cover Image
ISBN: 9781879960855
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Published: Aunt Lute Books - June 12th, 2012

Literary Nonfiction. Poetry. Latino/Latina Studies. LGBT Studies. Fourth Edition. Rooted in Gloria Anzaldua's experience as a Chicana, a lesbian, an activist, and a writer, the essays and poems in this volume profoundly challenged, and continue to challenge, how we think about identity.

Women, Race, & Class Cover Image
ISBN: 9780394713519
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Published: Vintage - February 12th, 1983

A powerful study of the women's liberation movement in the U.S., from abolitionist days to the present, that demonstrates how it has always been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders. From the widely revered and legendary political activist and scholar Angela Davis.

Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology Cover Image
By Barbara Smith (Editor)
ISBN: 9780813527536
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Published: Rutgers University Press - March 1st, 2000

A classic collection of Black feminist writings returns to print-with a new preface Barbara Smith was voted one of the most influential Black women in the U.S. by Essence Magazine Praise for Home Girls: "The survival of these women and their joy makes Home Girls very satisfying."-Essence "A provocative and important new collection."-Ms.

But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women's Studies Cover Image
ISBN: 9781558618985
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Published: Feminist Press - September 1st, 2015

Originally published in 1982, All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women's Studies is the first comprehensive collection of black feminist scholarship. Featuring contributions from Alice Walker and the Combahee River Collective, this book is vital to today's conversation on race and gender in America.

Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches Cover Image
By Audre Lorde, Cheryl Clarke (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781580911863
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Published: Crossing Press - August 1st, 2007

Presenting the essential writings of black lesbian poet and feminist writer Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider celebrates an influential voice in twentieth-century literature.

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In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose Cover Image
ISBN: 9780156028646
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Published: Mariner Books - May 17th, 2004

In this, her first collection of nonfiction, Alice Walker speaks out as a
black woman, writer, mother, and feminist in thirty-six pieces ranging
from the personal to the political. Among the contents are essays about
other writers, accounts of the civil rights movement of the 1960s and the
antinuclear movement of the 1980s, and a vivid memoir of a scarring

The Feminine Mystique Cover Image
By Betty Friedan, Gail Collins (Introduction by), Anna Quindlen (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9780393346787
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 3rd, 2013

Landmark, groundbreaking, classic these adjectives barely do justice to the pioneering vision and lasting impact of The Feminine Mystique. Published in 1963, it gave a pitch-perfect description of the problem that has no name: the insidious beliefs and institutions that undermined women's confidence in their intellectual capabilities and kept them in the home.

The Second Sex Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307277787
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Published: Vintage - May 3rd, 2011

Simone de Beauvoir's essential masterwork is a powerful analysis of the Western notion of "woman," and a revolutionary exploration of inequality and otherness. Unabridged in English for the first time, this long-awaited edition reinstates significant portions of the original French text that were cut in the first English translation.

Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions: Second Edition (Owlet Book) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780805042023
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Published: Holt McDougal - October 15th, 1995

Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions--a phenomenal success that sold nearly half a million copies since its original publication in 1983--is Gloria Steinem's most diverse and timeless collection of essays.

Introducing Feminism: A Graphic Guide (Introducing (Icon Books)) Cover Image
By Cathia Jenainati, Judy Groves (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781848311213
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Published: Icon Books - September 1st, 2010

The term "feminism" came into English usage around the 1890s, but women's conscious struggle to resist discrimination and sexist oppression goes back much further. Introducing Feminism surveys the major developments that have affected women's lives from the seventeenth century to the present day.

Men Explain Things to Me Cover Image
ISBN: 9781608464661
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Published: Haymarket Books - September 1st, 2015

"This slim book--seven essays, punctuated by enigmatic, haunting paintings by Ana Teresa Fernandez--hums with power and wit."--Boston Globe

"The antidote to mansplaining."--The Stranger

"Feminist, frequently funny, unflinchingly honest and often scathing in its conclusions."--Salon

Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters Cover Image
ISBN: 9781580055611
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Published: Seal Press (CA) - July 22nd, 2014

Newly revised and updated, the #1 must-read book for a new generation of feminists who refuse to accept anything less than equality and justice for all women

Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity Cover Image
ISBN: 9780822330219
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Published: Duke University Press - February 28th, 2003

Bringing together classic and new writings of the trailblazing feminist theorist Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Feminism without Borders addresses some of the most pressing and complex issues facing contemporary feminism.

Words of Fire: An Anthology of African-Americanfeminist Thought Cover Image
By Beverly Guy-Sheftall (Editor)
ISBN: 9781565842564
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Published: New Press - September 1st, 1995

The first major anthology to trace the development, from the early 1800s to the present, of black feminist thought in the United States, Words of Fire is Beverly Guy-Sheftall's comprehensive collection of writings, in the feminist tradition, of more than sixty African American women.

We Should All Be Feminists Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101911761
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Published: Anchor Books - February 3rd, 2015

The highly acclaimed, provocative New York Times bestseller from the award-winning author of Americanah, "one of the world's great contemporary writers" (Barack Obama).

Black Girl Dangerous on Race, Queerness, Class and Gender Cover Image
ISBN: 9780988628632
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Published: Bgd Press, Inc. - May 12th, 2014

Mia McKenzie, creator of the enormously popular website Black Girl Dangerous, writes about race, queerness, class and gender in a concise, compelling voice filled at different times with humor, grief, rage, and joy.

On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose, 1966-1978 Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393312850
Availability: Backordered
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 17th, 1995

At issue are the politics of language; the uses of scholarship; and the topics of racism, history, and motherhood among others called forth by Rich as "part of the effort to define a female consciousness which is political, aesthetic, and erotic, and which refuses to be included or contained in the culture of passivity.

Bad Feminist: Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062282712
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Published: Harper Perennial - August 5th, 2014

From the author of Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, the New York Times Bestseller and Best Book of the Year at NPR, the Boston Globe, Newsweek, and many more

A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay.

Gender & Sexuality for Beginners (For Beginners (For Beginners)) Cover Image
By Jaimee Garbacik, Jeffrey Lewis (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781934389690
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Published: For Beginners - June 11th, 2013

What does sexual orientation mean if the very categories of gender are in question? How do we measure equality when our society's definitions of male and female leave out much of the population? There is no consensus on what a real man or woman is, where one's sex begins and ends, or what purpose the categories of masculine and feminine traits serve.

Feminism Unfinished: A Short, Surprising History of American Women's Movements Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631490545
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Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - July 27th, 2015

Eschewing the conventional wisdom that places the origins of the American women's movement in the nostalgic glow of the late 1960s, Feminism Unfinished traces the beginnings of this seminal American social movement to the 1920s, in the process creating an expanded, historical narrative that dramatically rewrites a century of American women's history.

Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374532307
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Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - March 2nd, 2010

In the year 2000, girl culture was clearly ascendant. From Lilith Fair to Buffy the Vampire Slayer to the WNBA, it seemed that female pride was the order of the day. Yet feminism was also at a crossroads; "girl power" feminists were obsessed with personal empowerment at the expense of politics, while political institutions such as Ms.

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (Dover Thrift Editions) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780486290362
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Published: Dover Publications - July 3rd, 1996

In an era of revolutions demanding greater liberties for mankind, Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) was an ardent feminist who spoke eloquently for countless women of her time.

When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip-Hop Feminist Breaks It Down Cover Image
ISBN: 9780684868615
Availability: Backordered
Published: Simon & Schuster - February 2nd, 2000

"Morgan has given an entire generation of black feminists space and language to center their pleasures alongside their politics." --Janet Mock, New York Times bestselling author of Redefining Realness

The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060512187
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Published: Harper Perennial - September 24th, 2002

The bestselling classic that redefined our view of the relationship between beauty and female identity.

In today's world, women have more power, legal recognition, and professional success than ever before.

The Guy's Guide to Feminism Cover Image
ISBN: 9781580053624
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Published: Seal Press (CA) - October 25th, 2011

In just one generation, age-old ideas about women have been swept aside . . . but what does that have to do with men?

The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help Cover Image
ISBN: 9781402204012
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Published: Sourcebooks - April 1st, 2006

Praise for The Macho Paradox
"An honest, intellectually rigorous and insightful work that challenges readers to truly engage in a political discourse that can change lives, communities and nations."
--Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes

Transfeminist Perspectives in and Beyond Transgender and Gender Studies (Lambda Literary Award: Transgender) Cover Image
By Finn Enke (Editor)
ISBN: 9781439907474
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Published: Temple University Press - May 4th, 2012

If feminist studies and transgender studies are so intimately connected, why are they not more deeply integrated? Offering multidisciplinary models for this assimilation, the vibrant essays in this book suggest timely and necessary changes for institutions of higher learning.

Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (Routledge Classics) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780415389556
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Published: Routledge - May 12th, 2006

One of the most talked-about scholarly works of the past fifty years, Judith Butler's Gender Trouble is as celebrated as it is controversial.

Yell-Oh Girls!: Emerging Voices Explore Culture, Identity, and Growing Up Asian American Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060959449
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Published: Harper Perennial - July 31st, 2001

In this groundbreaking collection of personal writings, young Asian American girls come together for the first time and engage in a dynamic converstions about the unique challenges they face in their lives.

Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679758693
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Published: Vintage - December 29th, 1998

The image of the "Welfare Queen" still dominates white America's perceptions of Black women. It is an image that also continues to shape our government's policies concerning Black women's reproductive decisions.

The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America Cover Image
ISBN: 9781626563513
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Published: Berrett-Koehler Publishers - July 7th, 2015


What's wrong with black women? Not a damned thing

The Sisters Are Alright exposes anti-black-woman propaganda and shows how real black women are pushing back against distorted cartoon versions of themselves.

A Room of One's Own Cover Image
ISBN: 9780156787338
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Published: Mariner Books - December 27th, 1989

Virginia Woolf's landmark inquiry into women's role in society

Colonize This!: Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism (Live Girls) Cover Image
By Daisy Hernandez (Editor), Bushra Rehman (Editor), Cherrie Moraga (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781580050678
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Published: Seal Press (CA) - July 29th, 2002

This landmark anthology offers gripping portraits of American life as seen through the eyes of young women of color

Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity Cover Image
ISBN: 9781580056229
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Published: Seal Press (CA) - March 8th, 2016

In the updated second edition of Whipping Girl, Julia Serano, a transsexual woman whose supremely intelligent writing reflects her diverse background as a lesbian transgender activist and professional biologist, shares her powerful experiences and observations--both pre- and post-transition--to reveal the ways in which fear, suspicion, and dismissiveness toward femininity shape our societa

Feminism in Our Time: The Essential Writings, World War II to the Present Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679745082
Availability: Backordered
Published: Vintage - June 28th, 1994

A landmark collection of writings that define the intellectual and political underpinnings of contemporary feminism, from Simone de Beauvoir to Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Feminism: The Essential Historical Writings Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679753810
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Published: Vintage - June 28th, 1994

This essential volume brings together more than forty of the most important historical writings on feminism, covering 150 years of the struggle for women's freedom. Spanning the American Revolution to the first decades of the twentieth century, these works--many long out of print or forgotten--are finally brought out of obscurity and into the light of contemporary analysis and criticism.

Dear Sisters: Dispatches from the Women's Liberation Movement Cover Image
ISBN: 9780465017072
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Published: Basic Books - September 6th, 2005

Today's women are so comfortable in their authority that they often forget to credit the women's liberation movement of the 1960s and '70s for paving the way--from the kitchen to the boardroom, from sexual harassment to self-defense, from cheerleading on the sidelines to playing center on the team.

Cunt: A Declaration of Independence Cover Image
ISBN: 9781580056649
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Published: Seal Press (CA) - March 13th, 2018

The twentieth-anniversary edition of the original women's empowerment manifesto

An ancient title of respect for women, the word "cunt" long ago veered off its noble path. Inga Muscio traces the road from honor to expletive, giving women the motivation and tools to claim the term as a positive and powerful force in their lives.

How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective Cover Image
ISBN: 9781608468553
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Published: Haymarket Books - December 5th, 2017

The Combahee River Collective, a path-breaking group of radical black feminists, was one of the most important organizations to develop out of the antiracist and women's liberation movements of the 1960s and 70s.

The Crunk Feminist Collection Cover Image
By Brittney C. Cooper (Editor), Susana M. Morris (Editor), Robin M. Boylorn (Editor)
ISBN: 9781558619432
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Published: Feminist Press - January 10th, 2017

For the Crunk Feminist Collective, their academic day jobs were lacking in conversations they actually wanted--relevant, real conversations about how race and gender politics intersect with pop culture and current events. To address this void, they started a blog.

Radical Reproductive Justice: Foundation, Theory, Practice, Critique Cover Image
By Loretta Ross (Editor), Erika Derkas (Editor), Whitney Peoples (Editor)
ISBN: 9781558614376
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Published: Feminist Press - November 14th, 2017

This anthology assembles two decades of work initiated by SisterSong Women of Color Health Collective, creators of the human rights-based "reproductive justice" framework to move beyond polarized pro-choice/pro-life debates.

Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive Cover Image
ISBN: 9780996485272
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Published: Threel Media - June 20th, 2017

Witch, Slut, Feminist: these contested identities are informing millennial women as they counter a tortuous history of misogyny with empowerment. This innovative primer highlights sexual liberation as it traces the lineage of "witch feminism" through art, film, music, fashion, literature, technology, religion, pop culture, and politics.