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Last Minute Summer Reads Center on Women Empowerment

29 Aug 2018

“A well-read woman is a dangerous creature”

-Lisa Kleypas

 

The summer may be ending, but that does not mean there is not still time for one more great read before the weather turns. Check out three top picks of ours that you get through over Labor Day Weekend.

Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solmit

 

Men Explain Things to Me is the perfect read if you are in search of smart banter defending the space of women in a physical, verbal, and political sense. Rebecca Solnit compiles a collection of short essays which all narrate a different story linked by the same message: men always think they know better.

 

The 130 pages bound within the purse-friendly book reveals Solnits own personal experiences with men that have tried to belittle her knowledge by pretending to know more about something they knew nothing about. Solnit explores this idea about how men are always the “go-to” figure when it comes to finding answers in a field that women are assumed to be unexperienced in.

 

Her book also achieves an eloquent parallelism between her own personal world, the worlds of different women, and the political world--which she notes is overtaken by men who refuse to listen to a female’s opinion. This makes her literature eye-opening, current, and fearless. She is able to hit many parts of the feminist conversation and makes strong claims that are worth reading.

 

So, if you want to read the book of a #opinionatedwomen then go ahead, and grab a copy off a shelf.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

 

Some may not know that the popular adaptation produced by Hulu was originally a book. Written in 1985, The Handmaid’s Tale follows life within a fictional dystopian society. However, although fictional, many allusions and parallelisms are to today’s world are vividly present. It is like Atwood knew what was going to happen. In Atwood’s book, women, known as handmaids, are exploited for their reproductive qualities and are forced to conceive with men whose wives are unable to have children of their own. A totalitarian patriarchy has taken over the United States government, and women have less say than ever.

 

The main character Offred is placed into a restrictive routine of serving the men around her. So, where does the empowerment in this book come in, you may be wondering? A female empowering book does not always need to be the narration of superhero women, it can be the morbid narration of a reality that is true for a woman somewhere in the world, and the empowerment comes in her survival and bravery, just like Offred.

 

If you want to read a book that relentlessly presents an extreme version of possible worlds check this book out.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

 

If you are really in a crunch to get that last feminist read in before school, internships, work, or simply life gets in the way, Rupi Kaur’s New York Times-bestseller Milk and Honey is worth a read. Kaur’s book is a collection of hard-hitting poetry concerning a variety of topics from body shaming, acceptance, the importance of love, self-realization, violence towards women, relationships gone wrong, and of course empowerment. Her book is perfect for anytime you want to read something on the go or finish in one sitting all while feeling woke after. Using poetry as a medium to communicated complication situations and life experiences is unique within itself. It allows for storytelling in a more compact format. Each one of her poems features a single line illustration by Kaur herself which adds the finishing touch.

Alexa Brady is a rising sophomore at NYU studying Journalism, Media, Cultures, & Communication.

 

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