When my hands first wrapped around my new 50th anniversary hardcover edition of The Feminine Mystique, the sheer weight of the text felt immeasurably daunting. At just over 500 pages and commonly referred to as the “manifesto” of second-wave feminism, it becomes quite obvious why the literary feminist would skip over this legendary, groundbreaking book that defines their movement for a more fun, flirty, dirty read like Amy Schumer’s new memoir, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo. You must understand, young feminist, that Amy Schumer is so popular today only because of the books brave women like our dear Betty have written and the brave steps they have taken over the arduous past fifty years. We would all still be housewives with no control over our income, opinions, or lives! So before you start buying t-shirts and bumper stickers that scream diehard “FEMINIST,” before you throw out your make-up and burn your bras, before you start getting into nasty arguments with your Uncle on Facebook, take a moment to peruse these posts and learn why your voice is acknowledged at all.
I understand; really, I get it. You’re a busy feminist. You are using every tool in your bad ass arsenal to ensure that women in your community and around the world are treated with equality and respect. You honestly don’t have time to sit down with a warm cup of tea and ponder the essential feminist works, but as a feminist with an opinion in today’s society you will have to constantly defend your opinions. You will have to defend your emotions and support every point you make with evidence, sometimes citations may even be necessary.
So how about we strike a deal, you and I? I will do your dirty work for you. I will read the essential modern feminist literature so you don’t have to. Here, I’ll provide you with synopses, main tenants, and specific quotes to back up your points and arguments with all the crazy Uncles out there. I will also critique these works in reference to the zeitgeist in which they were published as well as their relevance in today’s culture.
Additionally I would like to tell you about the women who wrote these works. You may know their names, but do you know their history? Do you know what they have sacrificed for you and others before you? Do you have any idea who your heroines really are? Let me help you find out. … Inform yourself. Peruse these pages. Share the posts that interest you with your friends. Above all else, remember the cause and spread feminism as far as we can.
Your Modern Literary Feminist