7 Feminist Books You'll Love Reading
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7 Feminist Books You'll Love Reading

Books that'll have you shouting "Girl Power" like Sporty Spice.

Ever since my young days as Spice Girls fan, throwing up a peace sign and shouting "Girl Power," I've known I was a feminist. I hadn't quite defined the feeling with a word, but as I matured I came to proudly claim that I believed in equality of the sexes with the use of one simple sentence: I am a feminist.

March 8th marks an International Women's Day with many women rustled by the current social and political climate. Us gals, though, and our ardent male allies, aren't going down without a fight. If you are looking for fuel for your activist fire, are a feminist looking to learn more, or want to celebrate International Women's Day, grab one of these books.

I get that as a college student the last thing you probably want to do is read more. You might as well call it voluntary homework, ammiright? I cannot deny, reading for pleasure in college is a hard sell. That being said, these books are worth it.

First off, reading for fun (any reading at all) is a great outlet during stressful periods. Second, these books are awesome; they are all well-written, captivating, and thought-provoking. In fact, I picked up most of these pieces (and voraciously ate up every word) because I thought they were interesting, not necessarily because I thought they were feminist reads.

On that note, the third reason is that these books boast important themes. Feminism is not women complaining; women's rights are about equality, human rights, and progress for humanity. The books also touch upon predicaments entrenched within race, class, immigration, relationships, the media, and the government.

Succinctly, every college kid should read these books because they are great, entertaining, and important. And, not only is this a time in a college kid's life where they should be absorbed in such provocative ideas, but this is the time, in 2017, in the current political and social climate, when society truly needs to explore these ideas. Not to mention, they offer good and intelligent conversational fodder (ahem job interviews or meeting your S.O.'s parents). So, take a peek at these seven killer reads.

1. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This compelling and original novel follows the path of a Nigerian girl and her childhood love, immigration to the US, experience with racism, and return back home. There are talks of a movie adaptation produced by Brad Pitt and starring Lupita Nyong'o and David Oyelowo, so read it before it hits the screens.

2. Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay
Gay's compilation of essays will make you laugh, feel touched, and want to shake your head and go "mhhmm that's what I'm talking about." She paints a real image of the struggle to be a woman, and, more specifically, the struggle to be a black woman in a white washed world. If you need proof that she's entertaining, just peruse her Twitter.

3. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
Kaur divides her collection of poems into four parts, "the hurting," "the loving," "the breaking," and "the healing" to explore the simultaneous bitterness and sweetness of personhood, but more poignantly womanhood. The book reads quickly and makes for a nice permanent installation on your nightstand when you need affirmation that you are not alone.

4. When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: My Life as a Hip Hop Feminist by Joan Morgan
This humorous and genuinely down-to-earth book delves into the difficulty of being a feminist in the modern era. Morgan particularly addresses the hardships faced by black women, which is important for every person to read.

5. Lee Miller: On Both Sides of the Camera by Carolyn Burke
Lee Miller is one of the best and baddest HBIC you've probably never heard of. This biography fills in the details of the woman who was a Vogue model, muse to Man Ray and Picasso, and World War II photo correspondent. Within these roles you glimpse into her travels, musings, wild sex parties, and stories of general badassery.

6. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Adapted from a TED Talk, this long essay is witty and right-on in convincing anyone they ought to be a feminist. If you like this piece, you might also like Adichie's Facebook post How to Raise a Feminist Daughter .

7. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Set in a future where women are stripped of their rights, including their right to read, this novel portrays a dystopian society that matches the charm of books like Fahrenheit 451 and 1984. Although published in 1985, since Trump's presidency, the book has resurfaced onto best selling lists. The book is also currently being adapted by Hulu into a show with the same name.

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College Feminism 101: The Bachelor

I'm a feminist and I watch The Bachelor.

The Bachelor sounds like the least feminist show on television. Twenty-five women spend a season competing against one another for a male partner, oftentimes in objectifying ways like physical competitions--and all with the goal of marrying the bachelor at the end. (After six weeks of "dating".)

But hear me out on this one. It's not all bad--this season, the show has managed to impress me with some feminist themes.

Strong women
I'm mainly referring to Jubilee, who was active-duty in the Army for four years and served in Afghanistan for one. Women make up only 14.5 percent of active-duty military--and Jubilee is showing women that they can succeed in these roles. She also recently made sergeant.

Body positivity
Olivia may be considered a villain on the show after saying some pretty rude things. (Who can forget the Teen Mom reference?) But that doesn't excuse the body shaming the other girls targeted her with (like attacking her breath and toes). Yet, she stood up for herself and all women who have been body shamed. That's empowering.

Amanda is a single mom to two young girls--and she was dating, expanding the definition of a "good mother". Hint: It doesn't require always being home 24/7 with your children, giving up a career, or giving up a search for love. She does what works for her, and that's all that matters!

Slut shaming being shut down
Twins Haley and Emily addressed--and slayed--their slut-shamers when they responded to comments on their short shorts with, "I wore them because I look good in them." Exactly. The haters were shut down with that perfect answer--not that it's anyone's business to begin with.

Traditional gender roles are rejected
Everyone can cook. Men can cook. Women can cook. People of any gender can cook. Thank you to Ben for supporting that. Women shouldn't be expected to cook. It's 2016--this should be a given, but it's not, so we need people like Ben to say it out loud. Ben, to his credit, even responded to a sexist comment made by two chefs in Mexico City that appeared on the show.

Sex isn't the most important thing
You don't have to have sex (but you can) and both options are totally okay. Becca's a virgin, and that's important to her. Many of the other women aren't, and they're OK with that. The point is, no one should be shamed for whatever decision they make. Also, shout out to Becca for standing up for The Bachelorette's Kaitlyn, who was completely slut-shamed for having sex with Nick Viall before the fantasy suite. Also, this is my kind of workout.

Beauty + Brains
Being drop dead gorgeous and smart are not mutually exclusive. I'm so inspired by the women on this show. They are mathematicians, dentists, aestheticians, news anchors, and gerontologists, among many other really awesome jobs. Having a career doesn't mean someone can't pursue love, be on reality television, or be gorgeous.

So yeah, I'm a feminist and I watch The Bachelor. Ninety percent of the time, I'm cringing because of the objectification of women, the pressure/expectation to marry, and cutthroat competition/women putting each other down. BUT sometimes, The Bachelor just might surprise you with its feminist themes.

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Why Being a Girl is Great

Believe it or not, there's some good stuff too!

We live in a time where women have it tough. We are constantly watching what we eat, what makeup we put on, and what exactly everyone thinks of us. Admittedly, as ladies, we've got it tough.

However, there are some undeniable facts about being a girl that are totally badass! Sure we have cramps and sexism to deal with (trust me, I'm not brushing those off to the side), but there are some good things to being a woman.

1. We are pretty.
Yup, every single one of us is pretty. Some of us may not be conventionally pretty, but we are certainly the fairer sex in comparison to dudes. We got all kinds of lovely curves that guys don't.

I've also noticed a pattern: there is always one thing you can name about yourself physically that you like and other people consider as pretty. For instance, I love how my hair naturally highlights in the summer, and I've gotten compliments on how it looks when it does.

2. We can take people by surprise.
When a guy lifts 200 pounds, nobody bats an eye. When a girl does it, it's super impressive. This impressiveness may come out in some guys as jealousy and they act like man children, but either way, we seem to be able to do simple things and surprise guys.

I know a girl that can fly a plane and boy do guys think that's cool. There's another girl that has incredibly mental math skills and she takes the guys by storm. And on and on the stories go.

3. We can rock anything we wear.
Sorry dudes, but dresses don't tend to look as good on you as they do us. They hug us in all the right places and make us look great.

We also can wear pants and make them look great. We can wear just a normal t-shirt and look adorable. We can wear a suit and make it look awesome, whether we wear high heels or flats. Really, we just look great in anything we chose to wear on any given day.

4. We are magical, mythical, beautiful creatures.
By magic, I mean we can give birth to other little baby humans if we so choose. We can also sing higher than guys can (usually). We have the awesome ability of understanding basic fashion and makeup vocabulary where most guys have no clue where to start.

We can be captivating. We can be cool. We are so diverse it is ridiculous. We are magic, and believe it or not, being a woman can be pretty awesome sometimes.

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10 Books to Read This Summer

You can only watch so much Netflix.

For the uncertain and hopeful kid in all of us that doesn't quite know how to adult yet.

1. The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
Her senior year, Keegan wrote an article for the New York Times, begging us to question if we should seek practicality or meaning in our work. She then published a moving essay in the graduation issue of the Yale newspaper about hopefulness and fear for the uncertain future, and gratitude for people "on your team." She was killed 5 days after graduation in a car accident. The book is a compilation of her laptop's recovered essays that will have you reevaluating and searching for your life's purpose. These are essays that will stay with you--that will change with you.

2. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
Read this emotional autobiography for lessons on adulting, fucking up, taking chances, and heartbreak.

3. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
This book is based on a college lecture that a dying Pausch gave entitled, "Fulfilling your childhood dreams." The novel is poignant, wise, and brimming with quotes you'll want to put on a poster or something.

4. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
The Secret History is a classic murder mystery that helps to make sense of the strange chaos that is college--and life, for that matter.

5. Bad Behavior by Mary Gaitskill
If you're a rule-breaker or a weirdo or basically anyone who does things differently than the rest: Read. This. Book. It's made up of 9 essays, each one better than the last. You'll feel a whole lot better about not knowing what you're doing and embracing who you are by the time you finish reading.

6. Congratulations, by the Way by George Saunders
Sanders packs a powerful punch in this quick read, urging us to "err in the direction of kindness." This simple yet poignant message is one that Saunders says will change your life like it did his.

7. Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney
About young adults' love affair with New York City, this book teaches a lesson in making it in and eventually falling in love with the scary, unforgiving real word.

8. The Defining Decade by Meg Jay
The only self-help book you'll ever need to read and probably the only one that actually helps. It should be prescribed for every mental breakdown or panic attack induced by thinking about life after college. It is a reality check that reminds us of life's brevity and the lasting implications of today's choices.

9. The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman
If you have relationships that are confusing or frustrating, this will help to figure that shit out. It reminds us that sometimes bad relationships can be our fault, because as much as we hate to admit it we are just kids. This is a lesson in how to treat people and grow up to be a good person.

10. Just Kids by Patti Smith
Written by the badass legend Patti Smith, this memoir is set in the early days of the rock-n-roll era. It's really all about finding your way and growing up to be something great, as told by a true rockstar. If nothing else, the story and other musicians in the book make for an interesting story.

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College Life |  Source: djrage

Summer Reading You'll Actually Enjoy

Nothing that was assigned for class, don't worry.

Back in the day, "summer reading" was not something we looked forward to, let alone something we actually accomplished. Now that we're maturing (kind of), it's time to start spending some poolside downtime with a great book.

Books are perfect when it comes to making conversation on dates, at work, and at the family summer-solstice party. Mysteries, Romance, Self-Help... Oh my! You name it, there's a book. As for Summer 2016, let's see what's making big waves...

1. See Me, Nicholas Sparks
It wouldn't be summer without a new Nicholas Sparks on the shelf. Finish reading this gem before the movie comes to a theater near you!

2. Me Before You, Jojo Moyes
Speaking of books that became movies, this feature film is coming out soon! You better get to reading. If you're a Games of Thrones fan, Khaleesi will be playing the female lead role in the movie version of this amazing romance.

3. The Nest, Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
Everyone can agree that this instant New York Times Best Seller is both hilarious and big-hearted. It follows the story of four siblings and how a shared inheritance shaped their lives.

4. Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes
This talented author was the creator of Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, and the executive producer for How to Get Away With Murder. She discusses how saying YES for a year changed her life -and how it can change yours.

5. I Was Here, Gayle Forman
The author of If I Stay is back, but this time she brings some mystery and more tragedy. In the words of author Stephen Chbosky, "Gayle has given us an unflinchingly honest portrait of the bravery that it takes to live after devastating loss."

6. The Weekenders, Mary Kay Andrews
Murder mystery in a summer setting... Perfect! Nothing like something to give you chills while you're soaking up the hot summer sun. This is currently a Barnes & Noble top seller!

7. A Girl's Guide to Moving On, Debbie Macomber
This book is everywhere this summer! Macomber is a New York Times Best Selling author. Her guide to moving on is shown through her two main characters -a former mother and daughter-in-law- who leave their cheating husbands and explore what comes next together.

8. Pretty Happy, Kate Hudson
Yes, the same Kate Hudson we all know and love is now an author. Kate's book is all about how to create a healthy mind-body-spirit. There's no better time to start tackling such an incredible goal than summer! I'll be taking her advice due to her rocking bod, glowing skin, and the fact that she scored a dinner date with Nick Jonas. Go, girl.

If you're into the classic paperbacks, head into your local bookstore, or even half-priced book stores, to stock up on your reads! You can also go digital and get these on eBooks. Download the Kindle app! You DO NOT have to have a Kindle to use this app: iPhones, iPads, Androids, Macs, Windows, and other devices will all work with the kindle app!

Who knows, after spending the summer reading, you may get inspired to write your own like I did last summer! You'll look extra hot with a bit of mystery as you lay on the beach buried deep into your current novel.

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College Life |  Source: María María Acha-Kutscher (edited)

Let's Talk About The Term "Bad Feminist"

Here are two solutions.

Here is a completely hypothetical, 100 percent fictional, totally-for-the-purpose-of-illustration dialogue:

Boyfriend: "You want to put some music on?"
Girlfriend: "Sure! Hold on.... *Sam Hunt's 'Take Your Time' begins to play* I love this song!"
Boyfriend: "You like this song? Ugh. You're such a bad feminist."

Of course, when I say that story is entirely made up, I mean that all this was said in my car last December with a young man who found himself single remarkably quickly afterwards. In the midst of thoughts about ramming the passenger's side of my car into a signpost, my brain picked out the phrase "bad feminist" with remarkable clarity. It brought to mind this quote by feminist icon Roxane Gay: "I would rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all."

Feminism is an ideology, not a science. While this may seem like an obvious statement, it leads to a very relevant point: because feminism is an ideology, it is nuanced, ever-changing, and flawed. There is no 'perfect' model of feminism. Strike that from the table because it's not realistic. With that being said, we either need to eradicate the idea of bad feminists or redefine it completely.

In my opinion, there are very few ways to be a bad feminist, if there are any at all. Feminism is, in its simplest form, the belief that women should be free to make choices. Period. Not "choices that everyone likes." Not "choices that fit the stereotypes people are comfortable with." Just choices. And when they make those choices, they should have the respect and support, even if not the agreement, of the women (and the men, for that matter) around them.

That's option A. Get rid of the idea of "bad feminism,"because it promotes the concept that certain choices are right for women and others are wrong, and that is precisely the limiting perspective that the current wave of feminism seeks to get rid of.

Option B was brought up by a professor of mine, and I found it really intriguing. She proposed that we, as feminists, ought to take back the term "bad feminist," because it expresses the idea that we believe in the ideology, but we will never be perfect. Admittedly, this approach lends itself both to personal accountability and to a very humble generation of feminists, which certainly wouldn't be a bad thing.

The drawback here is that, if we begin to rampantly use "bad feminist" in conversation, the potential for the term to be misconstrued skyrockets. So, like anything else, the idea has both pros and cons.

Additionally, like anything else, both options deserve discourse and widespread brainstorming. Self-education, communication, and involvement with one another are all things this country, and by extension the world, could use a lot of right now. So, whether you choose to be a good feminist, a bad feminist, or no feminist at all, go forth and communicate.