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Feminist Beliefs in Feminist Books

Ten Books That Help Explain Feminist Ideas


Feminist beliefs can be as varied and unique as the individual feminists who hold those beliefs. Still, in trying to determine what feminists of the 1960s and 1970s thought about women, society and equality, it can be helpful to look at significant feminist books of the era. In fact, many key second-wave feminist beliefs are also the titles of feminist books. These ten books help explain feminist beliefs and the ideas of the women’s movement of the 1960s and 70s:

1. The Feminine Mystique

Betty Friedan's 1963 book is often called “the book that started it all.”

2. Sexual Politics

Kate Millett's early work of feminist theory was important and controversial.

3. Sisterhood is Powerful

This anthology, edited by Robin Morgan, is a collection of writings from across the women's liberation movement.

4. Free to Be You and Me

Marlo Thomas produced this children's book, album and television special, filled with uplifting messages of empowerment.

5. Of Woman Born

Feminist poet Adrienne Rich explored feminist theory and her own personal experience of motherhood in Of Woman Born.

6. The Dialectic of Sex

Shulamith Firestone published her "case for feminist revolution" when she was 25.

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7. The Second Sex

Simone de Beauvoir's classic explains how women are seen as "the Other" in a male-dominated society.

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8. The Edible Woman

In her first novel, Margaret Atwood explores how women are consumed by their relationships and the men in their lives.

9. The Woman Warrior

Maxine Hong Kingston weaves together feminism, myth, truth and questions of identity in this postmodern autobiography.

10. The Golden Notebook

Doris Lessing's classic 1962 novel resonated with many feminists in the 1960s and 1970s.

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