Did you know that feminism is the belief that both sexes should have equal opportunity in all ventures? Contrary to what those opposed to feminism may believe, it does not mean that women show bias toward their gender. True feminism seeks to level out the field between all genders, so there is no disparity in equality. Intersectional feminists take this a step further, and strive to bring equality amongst people of all statuses, including race, ethnicity, religion, physical ability, etc. That said, the struggle is ongoing even with more and more feminists blossoming and joining the fight. Here are 10 internalized misogyny books to help you start the process of recognizing and disentangling the effects of patriarchal programming.
1. Men Explain Things To Me, By Rebecca Solnit
Do you often feel a victim of what modern-day feminists coin as mansplaining? That is a term in which a man asserts his apparent intelligence over women to make them feel small and ignorant.
It also causes women to feel a supreme level of inadequacy, thus becoming reliant on men. Solnit comprises Men Explain Things To Me of seven sharply-tongued essays that involve the trials of men explaining things to women.
She takes it upon herself to attack everyday misogynistic acts, such as mansplaining. She also focuses her topics on events involving politics, history, art, and cultural media.
Solnit’s voice is a battle cry to fight against the misogynistic relationships and acts that happen to women every day and points out the dangers of allowing sexist ideals to fly under the radar.
2. The End of Men: and the Rise of Women, by Hannah Rosen
For centuries, women struggled to keep up with men in terms of equal rights. However, Hannah Rosen points out that women have long since caught up.
The End of Men: And The Rise of Women brings into the fold a new point of view that boasts that women surpass men. In this remarkable text, Rosen discusses how power dynamics between men and women took a shift for the better.
3. Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women by Kate Manne
Katie Mann is a Cornell philosopher that touches on male entitlement within our society. In Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women, Manne explains how the world embeds male privilege and toxic masculinity into our culture.
In one of my favorite internalized misogyny books, the author talks about how each one of us perpetuates this toxic behavior. The only way to combat such behavior, Manne explains, is to highlight it within ourselves. Only then can we dispel it from our very nature and move forward toward a more equal world.
4. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison is one of the most poignant voices of the age. Picking just one of her books is difficult to do. But The Bluest Eye has to be on the feminist book list. Here we have the sad tale of a young black woman, Pecola Breedlove.
As Pecola attempts to live her life, society subjects her to an obscene amount of trauma and PTSD with oppression, sexism, and cruelty. Pecola prays to be white and have blue eyes until she realizes that history has warped her mind to hate her image.
Morrison is vulgar, using the crudest of language. But when you strive to make your point, there is no room for manners. That is just what Morrison accomplishes in this exhilarating work of feminism and racial equality.
5. Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger, by Rebecca Traister
This book was released four days before Brett Kavanaugh’s initiation into the supreme court. While women around the country screamed for justice, Rebecca Traister gave them a book at the right time.
Traister dedicated her life to researching feminist history. Her conclusion? That rage and fury fuel women in their struggle for independence. She traces her point back to the 18th and 19th centuries.
From abolitionist movements and forward through time, Traister points out how society goes out of its way to silence women’s voices and demean their efforts. If you want a historical, feminist read, Good and Mad is the next book to add to your TBR list.
6. Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s, by Tiffany Midge
Tiffany Midge is hilarious and satirical as she writes Bury My heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s with a collection of essays. But make no mistake, her point is clear as day. Midge attacks white feminism and brings the struggles of being a Native American woman in America to the forefront.
Throughout her book, Midge speaks about offensive costumes and offensive language. She lets us all know that it isn’t just white women who struggle in this country.
7. I am Not a Slut by Leora Tanenbaum
Society tells women to feel ashamed of their sexual desires and causes them to develop poor body image. A popular term for this is slut-shaming, and Tenenbaum tackles this famous issue by pinning it a double standard and calling to retire the toxic phrase. An essential read out of all the internalized misogyny books, this book will help you eradicate shame from your relationship to sex.
In her novel, I Am Not a Slut, Tanenbaum encourages women to flip the script on men. What’s more, is she voices her opinions on other women who slut-shame each other.
No doubt, countless women are victims of this behavior. If that is you, then this novel can help you learn how to embrace your sexuality and uphold those around you.
8. Think Like a Breadwinner, By Jennifer Barrett
Jennifer Barret is a woman who broke the glass ceiling in terms of being a financial expert. So, what better way to put that breadwinning knowledge onto paper and inspire other women to follow in her footsteps.
In Think Like a Breadwinner, Barrett notes that the time to rely on men for financial stability is over. It is time to step up and bring in your income. Only then can we dismantle the patriarchy and support ourselves in a society that wants us to remain dependent on men.
9. Rage Becomes Her, by Soraya Chemaly
Rage Becomes Her has been voted one of the top feminist novels of the modern-day. For centuries, people expect women to remain quiet and subservient to their husbands.
Well, the age of the reserved housewife is over, as is apparent in Chemaly’s novel. As women, the rage kept inside of us for so long is coming to a boiling point.
Chemaly highlights the need to release that fury, break the glass ceiling, and show the patriarchy they cannot trifle with us any longer. Want to learn how to heal from the trauma of misogyny? Then pick up Chemaly’s novel and learn how to use that rage as a weapon toward injustice.
10. Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny, by Kate Manne
Another winning novel by Kate Mann, Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny, takes an in-depth look into the term. It asks the question, what is misogyny? Diving deep into an explanation that can help you unpack, this is one of the most imperative internalized misogyny books out there.
After that, questions and answers spider off as Manne seeks to answer how integrated sexist behavior is in our public life. This book is a must-read for anyone looking to further understand internalized misogyny and how to fight against it.
More About Internalized Misogyny Books and Sex Therapy
There are not enough enough internalized misogyny books out on the market, but this list is a start. Whatever your taste in books, on this list there is a style to help you make sense of what you’re feeling, or want to unearth.
Learning about internalized misogyny can bring up anger (as some of the titles clearly point out!). If you find it could be helpful to process your questions and feelings with a professional, our team here to help. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us today.