Reading list

(additions welcome)

The Feminist Reading Group (FRG) blog features classic feminist articles and book excerpts.

The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir (1949)

The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan (1963)

S.C.U.M. Manifesto, Valerie Solanas (1968)

Sexual Politics, Kate Millett (1969)

The Dialectic of Sex, Shulamith Firestone (1970)

The Female Eunuch, Germaine Greer (1971)

Woman in Sexist Society: Studies in Power and Powerlessness, eds. Vivian Gornick and Barbara K. Moran (1971)

Hidden from History: Rediscovering Women in History from the 17th Century to the Present, Sheila Rowbotham (1973)

And Jill Came Tumbling After: Sexism in American Education, ed. Judith Stacey et al. (1974)

Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape, Susan Brownmiller (1976)

The Women’s Room, Marilyn French (1977)

Going Too Far, Robin Morgan (1978)

Women of Ideas (and what men have done to them), Dale Spender (1982)

Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, Gloria Steinem (1983)

For the Record: The Making and Meaning of Feminist Knowledge, Dale Spender (1985)

Beyond Power: On Women, Men, and Morals, Marilyn French (1985)

Femininity, Susan Brownmiller (1984)

Intercourse, Andrea Dworkin (1987)

Reflecting Men at Twice their Natural Size, Sally Cline and Dale Spender (1987)

Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law, Catharine MacKinnon (1988)

Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women, Susan Faludi (1991)

The War against Women, Marilyn French (1992)

Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women’s Liberation, Mary Daly (1993)


Men are not Cost-effective: Male Crime in America, June Stephenson (1991)

The Stronger Women Get, The More Men Love Football, Mariah Burton Nelson (1995)

The Frailty Myth: Redefining the Physical Potential of Women and Girls, Collette Dowling (2001)

Boys will be Boys: Breaking the Link between Masculinity and Violence, Myriam Miedzian (2002)


Man Made Language, Dale Spender (1990)

You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, Deborah Tannen (2001)

Talking Power: The Politics of Language, Robin Tolmach Lakoff (1992)

The Language War, Robin Tolmach Lakoff (2001)


Full Frontal Feminism, Jessica Valenti (2007)

He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut, Jessica Valenti (2008)


See the entire bibliography in Phyllis Chesler’s Letters to a Young Feminist.  (And, actually, any one of the above listed books.)


  1. Can we add to this list?

    Right Wing Women by Andrea Dworkin
    Gyn/Ecology by Mary Daly
    Refusing to be a Man by John Stoltenberg
    Loving to Survive by Graham

    If I think of more, I’ll be back 🙂

  2. With apologies for some duplication of what’s already been recommended:

    First, mostly single-author books:

    Audre Lorde, several titles:
    Sister Outsider
    The Cancer Journals
    Zami: A New Spelling of My Name: a biomythography
    I Am Your Sister: Collected and Unpublished Writings of Audre Lorde
    A Burst of Light: Essays
    The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde
    Undersong: Chosen Poems Old and New
    Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde, by Alexis De Veaux

    Alice Walker, several titles
    The Color Purple
    In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens: Womanist Prose
    Living by the Word: Selected Writings, 1973-1987

    Angela Davis, Women, Race, and Class
    Angela Davis, Women, Culture, and Politics
    Gloria Anzaldúa, La frontera/Borderlands: The New Mestiza
    Pearl Cleage, Deals With The Devil and Other Reasons to Riot
    Patricia Hill Collins, Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism
    Patricia Hill Collins, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment

    bell hooks, several titles:
    All About Love: New Visions
    Ain’t I A Woman: Black Women and Feminism
    Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood
    Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
    Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center
    Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black
    The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love

    Chrystos, Not Vanishing
    Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Feminism without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity
    Andrea Smith, Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide
    Jessica Yee, Feminism FOR REAL: Deconstructing the Academic Industrial Complex of Feminism
    Lee Maracle, I Am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism
    Awa Thiam, Speak Out, Black Sisters, Speak Out: Feminism and Oppression in Black Africa
    Vandana Shiva, Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Development

    Sheila Jeffreys, several titles:
    Anticlimax: A Feminist Perspective on the Sexual Revolution
    Beauty and Misogyny: Harmful Cultural Practices in the West,
    The Idea of Prostitution
    The Industrial Vagina: The Political Economy of the Global Sex Trade,
    Spinster and Her Enemies: Feminism and Sexuality 1800-1930,
    Unpacking Queer Politics: A Lesbian Feminist Perspective

    Catharine A. MacKinnon (not Catherine), several titles:
    Sexual Harassment of Working Women: A Case of Sex Discrimination,
    Feminism Unmodified,
    Toward a Feminist Theory of the State,
    Only Words,
    Women’s Lives, Men’s Laws,
    Are Women Human? And Other International Discourses

    Catharine A. MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin:
    Pornography and Civil Rights: A New Day for Womens’ Equality
    In Harm’s Way: The Pornography Civil Rights Hearings

    Andrea Dworkin, several titles:
    Woman Hating
    Our Blood: Prophecies and Discourses on Sexual Politics
    Right-wing Women: The Politics of Domesticated Females
    Pornography: Men Possessing Women
    Letters from a War Zone: Writings 1976-1989
    Intercourse (any edition other than the 20th anniversary book with anti-Dworkin foreword by Ariel Levy)
    Life and Death: Unapologetic Writings on the Continuing War Against Women
    Heartbreak: The Political Memoir of a Militant Feminist

    Next, anthologies:

    Arab and Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence, and Belonging, edited by Rabab Abdulhadi, Evelyn Alsultany, and Nadine Naber

    But Some of Us are Brave: All the Women are White, All the Blacks are Men: Black Women’s Studies, edited by Gloria T. Hull, Patricia Bell Scot, and Barbara Smith

    Chicana Feminist Thought: The Basic Historical Writings, edited by Alma M. Garcia

    Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire, edited by Sonia Shah

    Homegirls: A Black Feminist Anthology, edited by Barbara Smith

    Indigenous Women and Feminism: Politics, Activism, Culture, edited by Cheryl Suzack, Shari M. Huhndorf, Jeanne Perreault, Jean Barman

    Making Face, Making Soul/Haciendo Caras: Creative and Critical Perspectives by Feminists of Color, edited by Gloria Anzaldúa

    Making Space for Indigenous Feminism, edited by Joyce Green

    Pinay Power: Feminist Critical Theory: Theorizing the Filipina/American Experience, edited by Melinda L. de Jesus

    The Black Woman: An Anthology, edited by Toni Cade Bambara

    Theorizing Black Feminisms: The Visionary Pragmatism of Black Women, edited by Stanlie James and Abena Busia

    This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa

    Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organizing for Reproductive Justice, by Jael Silliman, Marlene Gerber Fried, Loretta Ross and Elena Gutierrez

    Women Writing Resistance: Essays from Latin America and the Caribbean, edited by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

    Words of Fire: An Anthology of African-American Feminist Thought, edited by Beverly Guy-Sheftall


    Against Sadomasochism: A Radical Feminist Analysis, edited by Robin Ruth Linden

    Not for Sale: Feminists Resisting Prostitution and Pornography, edited by Christine Stark and Rebecca Whisnant

    Pornography: The Production and Consumption of Inequality, by Gail Dines, Bob Jensen and Ann Russo

    Take Back The Night: Women on Pornography, edited by Laura Lederer

    • ptittle on July 29, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Judy Chicago, The Dinner Party.

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