Part 2 of the 4th Estate Feminist Bookshelf is here. Looking to kick-start your feminist reading? These 4th Estate reads will get you off to an excellent start.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Dear Ijeawele
A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a dear friend from childhood, asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie’s letter of response.
Here are fifteen invaluable suggestions–compelling, direct, wryly funny, and perceptive–for how to empower a daughter to become a strong, independent woman. From encouraging her to choose a helicopter, and not only a doll, as a toy if she so desires; having open conversations with her about clothes, makeup, and sexuality; debunking the myth that women are somehow biologically arranged to be in the kitchen making dinner, and that men can “allow” women to have full careers, Dear Ijeawele goes right to the heart of sexual politics in the twenty-first century. It will start a new and urgently needed conversation about what it really means to be a woman today.
Lena Dunham – Not That Kind of Girl
Lena Dunham, acclaimed writer-director-star of HBO and Sky Atlantic’s ‘Girls’ and the award-winning movie ‘Tiny Furniture’, displays her unique powers of observation, wisdom and humour in this exceptional collection of essays.
“If I could take what I’ve learned and make one menial job easier for you, or prevent you from having the kind of sex where you feel you must keep your sneakers on in case you want to run away during the act, then every misstep of mine was worthwhile. I’m already predicting my future shame at thinking I had anything to offer you, but also my future glory in having stopped you from trying an expensive juice cleanse or thinking that it was your fault when the person you are dating suddenly backs away, intimidated by the clarity of your personal mission here on earth. No, I am not a sexpert, a psychologist, or a dietician. I am not a mother of three or the owner of a successful hosiery franchise. But I am a girl with a keen interest in having it all, and what follows are hopeful dispatches from the frontlines of that struggle.”
Hadley Freeman – Be Awesome
Hadley Freeman, Guardian features writer and author of the popular ‘Ask Hadley…’ column, reminds the modern lady to ‘Be Awesome’.
All women need to listen to Hadley. She might just have the answers to life’s trickiest questions, such as: why does the funny girl in the film never get the guy? Can you read a women’s magazine without damaging your brain? And should you ever buy Hello Kitty knickers? Of course you shouldn’t! Why are you even asking that?
With sage advice, some very helpful lists and a killer dance routine to Patrick Swayze’s ‘She’s Like the Wind’, Hadley is here to show you just how awesome life as a modern lady could be.
Helena Morrisey – A Good Time To Be A Girl
Okay, this isn’t a 4th Estate title, it’s from our friends at William Collins, but it’s so good we just had to include it.
In A Good Time to be a Girl, Helena Morrissey sets out how we might achieve the next big breakthrough towards a truly inclusive modern society.
Drawing on her experience as a City CEO, mother of nine, and founder of the influential 30% Club which campaigns for gender-balanced UK company boards, her manifesto for new ways of working, living, loving and raising families is for everyone, not just women. Making a powerful case for diversity and difference in any workplace, she shows how, together, we can develop smarter thinking and broader definitions of success. Gender balance, in her view, is an essential driver of economic prosperity and part of the solution to the many problems we face today.
Her approach is not aimed merely at training a few more women in working practices that have outlived their usefulness. Instead, this book sets out a way to reinvent the game – not at the expense of men but in ways that are right and relevant for a digital age. It is a powerful guide to success for us all.
Read part 1 now.
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