Women/feminism

Dohball's reading guide on women and feminism.

Intro

Conquest: sexual violence and American Indian genocide - Andrea Smith
In this revolutionary book, Smith, a Native American scholar/activist, reveals the connections between different forms of violence—perpetrated by the state and by society at large—and documents how Native women are impacted. Smith also outlines strategies for eliminating gendered violence.

Color of violence: the INCITE! anthology by INCITE! women of color against violence
Springing from the work of the nation's largest grassroots multiracial feminist organization, this collection expands understandings about violence against women, clarifying how violence operates through race, class, gender, and nationality, and exposing the state's role in condoning and furthering violence.

Undivided rights: women of color organize for reproductive justice by Jael Silliman, Marlene Gerber Fried, Loretta Ross, and Elena Gutiérrez
"Reproductive rights" is just the right to a safe abortion. Right? No! this book proclaims—there's so much more. Vibrant and fierce, Undivided Rights places the experiences, priorities, and activism of women of color in the foreground.

A new view of a woman's body, a fully illustrated guide by the federation of feminist women's health centers
Presents clear, detailed descriptions of vaginal and breast self examination, the complete anatomy of the clitoris, common infections, lab tests, fertility detection, donor insemination, birth control, menstrual extraction, abortion care, surgical procedures and home remedies. With detailed illustrations/anatomical drawings.

Our bodies, ourselves by the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective
Collectively written this book gives wide-ranging health information for women in a straight-forward and supportive way from a feminist perspective. OBOS began in 1970 as a small newsprint pamphlet that was so popular it morphed into a best-selling book reprinted into 18 languages.

The clitoral truth: the secret world at your fingertips by Rebecca Chalker
Q: What female body part has over 6,000 nerve fibers, is the key to women's sexual pleasure, and has managed to elude countless female anatomy books? A: The Clitoris. History… cool anatomical drawings…personal accounts…how women can ejaculate…full body pleasure…empowerment etc.

For her own good: two centuries of the experts advice to women by Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English
Explores the US history of how experts usurped women’s age old skills and then set themselves up as the sole authorities on everything from work to love. The onslaught of advice that followed has always been justified as being for her own good - but in fact that ‘scientific’ guidance has again and again contained arrogant and unscientific judgements about women’s bodies, minds and ‘nature’ as this book details thoroughly with wry humour.

Feminist theory: from margin to center by bell hooks
Feminism’s goal of seeking credibility and acceptance on already existing ground—rather than demanding the lasting and more fundamental transformation of society—has shortchanged the movement, hooks argues.
A sweeping examination of the core issues of sexual politics, Feminist Theory argues that contemporary feminists must acknowledge the full complexity and diversity of women’s experience to create a mass movement to end women’s oppression.

Women, race & class by Angela Davis
Davis explores how both sexism and racism are deeply rooted in capitalism and the class system. She traces the varied history of black womens’ ongoing struggle for freedom in the US and how it intertwines with both workers self-organisation and the womens liberation movement.

Colonize this! young women of color on today’s feminism edited by Daisy Hernandez and Bushra Rehman
Series of short pieces in four categories: ‘Family and Community: A litany for Survival’ ‘Our Mothers, Refugees from a World on Fire,’ ‘Going through Customs’ and ‘Talking Back, Taking Back’. Gloria E. Anzaldua says the young writers “bear eloquent witness to the splintering effects of colonialism, conflicts between realities, and contradictions and challenges common to these times.”

Further

Staying alive: women, ecology and development by Vandana Shiva
Shiva looks at the history of development and progress, stripping away the neutral language of science to reveal its interconnections with ecological crises, colonialism, and the oppression of women. She focuses on how rural Indian women experience and perceive the causes and effects of ecological destruction, and how they conceive of and initiate processes to stop the destruction and begin regeneration.

Abortion without apology: a radical history for the 1990s by Ninia Baehr
Stories of the Society for Humane Abortion—otherwise known as the Jane Collective— (began as an underground referral group and eventually decided to perform the abortions themselves, carrying out nearly 12, 000 between 1969 and 1973) record the experiences, successes, and ideas of this early wave of activism, and provide astute analysis for building a broader reproductive freedom movement in the 21st century.

The revolution starts at home: confronting intimate violence within activist communities edited by Ching-In Chen, Jai Dulani & Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha with preface by Andrea Smith
The extent of the violence affecting our communities is staggering. But to effectively resist violence out there, we must challenge how it is reproduced—often by those we call friend, lover, ally—right where we live. This collection offers potentially life-saving alternatives for survivor safety while holding perpetrators accountable while building a revolution where no one is left behind.

Prostitutes: our life edited by Claude Jaget
A series of interviews with sex workers, some of who have become politically active in fighting for sex workers rights.

Some of my best friends are naked: interviews with seven erotic dancers by Tim P Keefe
Interviews with women working at the Lusty Ladies club in the US (where workers later unionized) about working conditions, motivations, pleasures, dislikes, fun, exploitation, customers and crazy shit.

Breast cancer: poisons, profits and prevention by Liane Clorfene-Casten
Exposes the revolving door between the petroleum industries, the multinational pharmaceutical industry, the FDA (food and drug administration, this is a stateside book) and the larger cancer research charities. Explores and draws attention to research that proves and/or indicates that ever increasing levels of environmental pollution are causative in breast (and other) cancers. Argues that women’s grief and anger over the loss of loved ones to breast cancer is being manipulated in the interests of powerful profiteering businesses.

Quiet rumours an anarcha-feminist anthology edited by the Dark Star Collective
This book reprints older writings from an anarcha-feminist perspective in order to “preserve and pass on significant works to younger/newer comrades.” Many of these were first reprinted as single pamphlets by the Dark Star Collective and include pieces by Peggy Kornegger, Cathy Levine, Joreen, Emma Goldman, interviews with Rota Zora (a militant feminist guerrilla group which was involved in violent direct action against patriarchal institutions in Germany throughout the 70’s and 80’s) and material from Mujeres Creando (anarcha-feminist street activists in Bolivia).

Angry women (research 13) edited by Andrea Juno and V Vale
Sixteen women (many but all of them performance artists) including Wanda Coleman, Diamanda Galas, Annie Sprinkle, bell hooks, Valie Export, Carolee Schneemann are interviewed covering a large range of topics including power, anger, sex, racism, singing, capitalism and dildos.

Touch me touch me not: women, plants and healing by the Shodhini Collective
An inspiring and detailed account of a women’s collective project in India that works to improve the health of women in a number of communities in the – area. They take the fullest definition of the word health e.g. challenging physical violence within their communities by confronting abusive men, recording and utilising traditional healing techniques, assisting with varied gynaecological problems and providing menstrual extraction.

Of woman born: motherhood as experience and institution by Adrienne Rich
Before Of Woman Born, there had been little to no scholarly feminist analysis of the institution of motherhood. The author interweaves reflections on her personal experiences of motherhood with analysis of the historical development of the currently prevalent role of motherhood in the west. She explores and questions the effects of this division of labour on the psyche of women.

Silences by Tillie Olsen
A study of the needs and work of creation and the circumstances that obstruct or silence it, such as gender, class and race. Her observations include that prior to the late 20th century, all the well known women writers in Western literature either had no children or had full-time housekeepers to raise the children and that between 1850 and 1950 only eleven black American writers published more than two novels.

Pacific women speak out for independence and denuclearisation edited by Zohl de Ishtar
Indigenous women write of their resistance against incredible odds. They tell of the impacts of invasion and war, nuclear weapons systems, nuclear testing, militarization, human rights abuses, sexism, tourism, non-indigenous settlement, mining, industrialisation, imposed economic dependency and all the manifestations of colonization.

Borderlands/La Frontera: the new mestiza by Gloria Anzaldua
Anzaldua writes in both prose prose and poetry describing her childhood along the Texas-Mexico border and her experience of being caught between two cultures and alien in both. Historically and mythically she traces the migrations of pre- Astec Indians from what is now the US southwest to central Mexico and, then, back centuries later as mestizos descendants of both Indians and Spanish Conquistadors.

Assata: an autobiography by Assata Shakur
Shakur explains what drew her to become a member of the Black Panther Party and reflects on her life in struggle. Now living in Cuba where she fled after a successful escape from US prison she creates an account of her life that moves back and forth between her childhood and adult life with verve and passion.

Companeras voices from the Latin American womens movement edited by Gaby Kuppers
Twenty- five interviews and essays from contributors who include, women from A Wives of Steelworkers Union group, a Mexican sex-worker who stood for parliament, women members of the Brazilian Workers Party, of SOFA, a forum for rural women and market sellers in Haiti, of the Paraguayan Peasant’s Movement , of the Cuban Women’s Federation, of the National Co-ordinating Committee of women in El Salvador, of the Association of Guatemalan Widows, of the black organization Mundo Afro in Uruguay and more.

Feminism, animals and science: the naming of the shrew by Lynda Birke
Birke, whose previous research was in animal behaviour, works as a biologist and feminist at the University of Warwick. Here she examines how ideas of animals are constructed in different areas of biological science and how these intersect with feminist critiques of modern science. She also addresses the human/animal opposition implicit in much feminist theorizing, arguing that the opposition helps to maintain the essentialism that feminists have so often criticized. She then explores how these questions interrelate with concerns of the environmental, feminist and animal rights movements.