Breaking the Silence: New Feminist Reads

With movements like Time’s Up, #MeToo, and the Women’s March making waves, the discrimination, violence, and other issues that women face are featuring more and more prominently in our current culture. For their part, female authors have been delving deeper into the most pressing questions concerning women today. These recent publications all seek to break through the silences surrounding these questions.

The Mother of All Questions, by Rebecca Solnit, is a timely compilation of essays that discusses the notion of silencing. Solnit claims that the “history of silence is central to women’s history” and that “liberation is always in part a storytelling process.”

In Heart Berries: A Memoir, Terese Marie Mailhot, does exactly what Solnit endorses: she tells her story. Mailhot grew up on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in a devastatingly dysfunctional household. This book is the result of Mailhot writing her way out of her trauma after she is diagnosed with PTSD and Bipolar II.

In Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers her Superpower, Brittney Cooper argues that the “black angry woman” stereotype, which has often been reduced to a demeaning caricature, can be a force for positive change as black women become models for critical dissent.

Ask Me About My Uterus: A Quest to Make Doctors Believe in Women’s Pain provides an illuminating first-hand look into the misogyny of the medical industry. Author, Abby Norman, describes her journey toward self-diagnosing herself with endometriosis after doctors dismissed her pain, telling Norman it was all in her head.

Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture is a collection of essays edited by Roxane Gay centering on the violence inflicted upon women in their daily lives. Addressing a world in which women have to measure the harassment they face, these essays insist that “not that bad” is no longer acceptable.

I Have the Right To: A High School Survivor’s Story of Sexual Assault, Justice, and Hope is Chessy Prout’s memoir of the sexual assault she experienced her freshman year and her subsequent fight for justice. Prout’s experience shows that even as recently as 2014, victims of sexual violence whose refuse to be silent can face backlash from their community.

Find more feminist reads in the library catalog!

-Contributed by Cailín C., Adult Services Librarian