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Scholar, activist, provocateur, teacher, community-builder, inspiration: No one word can span the career of bell hooks or capture how much we love her work.
This classic from the 1920s makes a devastatingly eloquent argument with a simple takeaway: For a women artist to thrive, she must have space in which to work and some money for her efforts. This master work by Audre Lorde, a Caribbean American lesbian feminist writer, collects her prose from the late 70s and early 80s. How we did it (our pseudo-scientific methodology): After calling for nominations on September 9, 2011, we counted all reader picks that appeared on the Ms.
Checked out the list, proud to have read a good handful of the books mentioned, but figure I’ll make it my two or three year goal to read the rest.
Although I agree that Facebook is an imperfect tool for getting a balanced, representative sample! These first ten offer refreshing reinterpretations of women’s experiences on levels small and large. Using a plethora of source materials from journals to news accounts to medical literature, Faderman tells the story of lesbian life from the 1900s to today.
Through illustrations, wisecracks and satire, the Guerilla Girls explore and de-tooth the stereotypes that women have faced through the ages. A journalist, wife and mother works her way through feminist classics such as The Feminine Mystique and The Second Sex, exploring their relevance in their own time, to her life and to the lives of young women today. The famed linguist and author of You Just Don’t Understand takes on workplace communication, identifying the conversational rituals and styles that gender us in the business world. So I missed the post calling for nominations, but I’ll nominate one anyway ?? The Frailty Myth by Colette Dowling. I’m reading Reading Women right now and really enjoying it as a new mom (and about to be mom again) who is chaffing a bit against expectations. The upside is that writing YA for girls has become a thriving market for women authors; the downside has been the ghettoization of women authors into that field. But what about the Miss Marples of the world who use prototypically feminine traits (in her case, gossip and speculation) to solve knotty crimes?
The main character is a boy, but the effect the strong and different female next door neighbor has on him and the way she completely changes his worldview makes Terabithia a feminist book to me.
By the end of the first day, Twilight had been bumped out of the top 100 and the outrage died down.
It was hard to whittle the hundreds of suggested books down, so in the end I cheated and picked 11 must-reads, not 10. UPDATE: For much-less-subjective judging criteria, check out the awesome Amelia Bloomer Project, which publishes an annual best-feminist-YA list.
I think you're missing something essential in your discussion of what classifies a book as YA. Teens and middle-grade readers are a wonderful reading audience and I for one cannot imagine anything more rewarding than writing for them.
Respectfully I think you missed another critical point in what classifies a book as YA or adult, which is the intended audience for that book. She points the way forward toward a world where women are perceived as more than vessels of chastity.

This book looks at the ways women today make sex objects of themselves, and she’s not impressed.
She painstakingly refutes each insidious anti-feminist argument–for instance, that feminism is responsible for a supposed epidemic of unhappiness in women.
She argues for the reclaiming of the tarnished word cunt, and discusses her personal experiences with self-protection, sex work, abortion and solidarity.
Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape by Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti  Find it here. The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World by Michelle Goldberg  Find it here. America’s Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines by Gail Collins  Find it here. The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions by Paula Gunn Allen  Find it here.
A Woman Speaks: The Lectures, Seminars and Interviews of Anais Nin  by Evelyn Hinz, editor  Find it here.
The Work of a Common Woman: The Collected Poetry of Judy Grahn, 1964-1977 by Judy Grahn  Find it here. Myths of Gender: Biological Theories About Women And Men by Anne Fausto-Sterling  Find it here.
Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America by Melissa Harris-Perry  Find it here. Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America by Lillian Faderman  Find it here.
The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls by Joan Jacobs Brumberg  Find it here.
I suppose I missed out on the vote somehow, but what I would love would be to hear a list of texts chosen by those who founded and continue to build on the legacy of Ms.
The demographic made up by Facebook excludes a huge group of women: women without computers or internet access, women without free time for social networking, older women who have no idea what the facebook is .
They deal with how men and women communicate, how women perceive their bodies and mind, and how we have pushed past crushing bigotry and stereotypes.
Sheldon, who wrote award-winning feminist science fiction under the male pseudonym James Tiptree, Jr., fooling even close friends about her real identity. Of course I would put in Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown, in which an awkward, misfit princess trains herself (slowly, and with lots of blisters) to fight dragons. The librarians and young-adult book critics I spoke with explained that there’s no definitive answer.
Librarians and educators generally agree that these books are better read by 17-year-olds, at the youngest, and not by 11-year-old bookworms–though to me this begs a troubling question: Should we be concerned that girls are taken seriously as subjects of “adult literature” only if they’re brutally raped? It also makes us attend to sexism in our day-to-day lives, and show us the possibilities of other worlds.
And to keep things fair, honest, and populist, I decided to start a list on Goodreads where people could vote on their favorites, which has swelled to 433 titles.

I think, however, that if you talk to authors who write for both audiences (or the librarians and booksellers who interface on a daily basis with the end users), they will tell you that writing successfully for adults and for teens is not the same thing.
Beck, and found myself immediately pulled into the story of a young teen struggling with issues of identity, family and sports.
We choose subject matter that fits the story we are telling—not simply adding violence to shock readers, have our books banned, or have them shelved with literary titles. She reveals that simply making ends meet is a silent struggle for many Americans, especially for women with families to support.
She urges all to live a feminism that finds commonality across differences and makes room for impassioned debate.
I’d highly recommend it, especially as a sort of beginner’s book (like, for new feminists and stuff)! We were thrilled with your enthusiasm, and we’re even more interested in what you think of the final outcome.
If there was ever any doubt, we’ve learned again that feminism is not a straitjacket but a multitude of subjects, perspectives and passions.
And, fittingly, you’ll also see one woman’s account of how classic feminist books changed her life.
Of course girls will read these books anyway, because teenagers want desperately to read “up” and nothing’s as compelling as a semi-forbidden book. Moreover, while authors, agents, editors, and publishers might not always see precisely eye-to-eye, they're usually in agreement about wanting a book to reach its widest, most appreciative audience. But these books were written with a teen audience in mind, which is why they are considered young adult fiction and why they are shelved there.
To judge by the final picks, issues of work, sex and intersectionality ranked highest among our reader’s feminist concerns.
To break ties, we went first by whether books got votes on multiple platforms, then by Goodreads rank.
Otherwise, I’m really looking forward to reading some of these, especially some of the ones that I hadn’t heard of before! This is also why they have protagonists who are teens and why they tend to address coming-of-age issues and concerns: teens want to read about teens and their experiences. She has been one of, if not the, most foundational authors, for myself and for many other women I know (young and old), in terms of building a real feminist movement.
So coming-of-age books about girls tend to wind up as YA, whereas coming-of-age books about boys (think Jonathan Lethem’s The Fortress of Solitude) are more likely to be marketed to adult audiences.
Exceptions occur, but by and large, authors of YA are authors of YA because they want to be, not because they somehow found themselves at the prom when they really wanted to go to the grown-up party instead.

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