Okay, so maybe I’ve been going a little wild on the feminist literature these last few months. But I don’t care! More and more I find myself migrating towards the memoirs and essays section of Elliott Bay Books. I also discovered Bitch and Bust magazines (at my grocery store of all places). Both magazines provide an uncensored view on the female experience, with smart and witty articles that I enjoy. Here are some of my favorite reads lately from female authors:
Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham (2014)
How to Be a Woman, Caitlin Moran (2011)
Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay (2014)
Men Explain Things to Me, Rebecca Solnit (2014)
Yes Please, Amy Pohler (2014)
Bossypants, Tina Fey (2011)
The First Bad Man, Miranda July (2015) *this is actually a work of fiction, but I am still adding it because Miranda July is an inspiring, creative woman
Something that Roxane Gay brings up in her book, Bad Feminist, is that we hold these grossly inaccurate myths about who feminists are—militant, man-hating, humorless. And the truth is that their is no essential feminist. Even within ourselves there can be contradictions. I see this when I am reflecting on my own ideals: I want to be independent but I want to be taken care of. I want to be in charge and I want to surrender to certain aspects of my life. I like to look sexy and shave my legs, but I hate the unrealistic standards of beauty women are held to. I want to break gender stereotypes but I love a big, strong man who can protect me. And I freaking LOVE filling out those stupid quizzes in pop-culture magazines!
Being a woman is hard and fraught with contradictions. There is an ongoing self-analysis—the idea that there is a right way to be a woman and feeling a pressure to perform that ideal. This performance: it's all very confusing and exhausting. I don't know how women have kept it up all these years. I guess that's why I am so interested to hear what they have to say.