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Girl Talk: a guide to reading for young feminists and their allies



At it's more simple, it is:

1. The advocacy of women's rights.

2. The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.


“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men.” - Chimamanda Ngozi Adjchie, author of We Should All Be Feminists


“We need to reclaim the word 'feminism'...When statistics come in saying that only 29% of American women would describe themselves as feminist --  What do you think feminism IS, ladies? What part of 'liberation for women' is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? ~ Caitlin Moran, How to Be a Woman


Take Care not to listen to anyone who tells you what you can and can’t be in life. ~from The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind by Meg Medina


“People are gonna tell you who you are your whole life. You just gotta punch back and say No, this is who I am. You want people to look at you differently?  Make them.  You want to change things?  You gotta do it yourself because there are no fairygodmothers in the this world.” - Emma Swan in Once Upon a Time


A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men. ~ Gloria Steinem

"Much of learned history focuses on the actions and achievements of men, with little regard to the actions and achievements of women. Women have been relegated backstage -- expected to fulfill the role of wife, mother, and homemaker, and little more. Despite these constraints, countless women achieved unbelievable things, behind the scenes. 
Then, at the dawn of the modern era, women demanded the right to vote and the fight for women’s rights began.


Met with resistance, and even violence by a patriarchal system, modern feminism has continued to evolve. The women’s suffrage movement paved the way for women to move into the workforce of a war torn word. From these women were born a generation of women embarked on the Women’s Liberation movement of the 1960’s and 70’s. 


Today, the definition of feminism continues to evolve and expand to encompass identity markers beyond just gender, as current generations learn from the achievements of the feminist leaders before them and the debate on equality continues.


Feminism is not a literary topic. Still, women have been putting their thoughts to paper amplify their voices for centuries. From the bluestocking movement of European Enlightenment to the women's cry for social justice in the 20th century, many of these works are now considered "feminist classics." At MG, check out:

  • Ain’t I a Woman by Bell Hooks
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • The Feminine Mystique (online) by Betty Friedan
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Herland and The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
  • Little Women by Louis May Alcott
  • Poems from the Women’s Movement, ed. by Honor Moore
  • A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (online) by Mary Wollstonecraft

Library Information and Media Center - Monona Grove High School - Monona, Wisconsin

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