During this last decade, the diversity of manifestations that support or disapprove of ideals of our society has been very noticeable. While it is true that in the political sphere, this has been frequent at all times, the fact that in the last 10 years we have seen a proliferation of people who raise their voices to express their personality inclinations is unquestionable.

Among these currents there is an issue that has been a controversial issue since the beginning of our civilization and that began to take shape in the first stage of the last century. A current of thought that in principle raises “equality” between men and women with respect to all issues that comprise a society:

  • Equity in employment and salary opportunities
  • Decision making
  • Freedom of thought and expression
  • Abolition of male dominance over women
  • Right to occupy important positions at the political and social level
  • Among others

It should be noted that this civilization in which we operate, we have seen progress on this issue, but a Patriarchal system still prevails; where the man is the center and the woman is a complement.

Therefore, the transition towards a society that values ​​the “ woman ” for what she is (and not as an object, for example), has been the reason for a long period of struggle between Feminists and a Machismo ideology.

Who can be right about how society should be run? Well, to obtain a transparent and impartial answer, it is vital to delve into history; with a critical eye, which allows you to objectively evaluate what Feminism is and how it affects the current social structure.

For this I have compiled 5 of the best feminist books , considering their content and influence. So let’s understand the true background in this movement and build an indifferent criterion to what the media shows.

Selection Of The Best Feminist Books

Before going book by book, it is important to note that this selection does not comprise a hierarchical order according to its importance but rather according to its publication date. You will find from the oldest to one of the most modern.

And I have decided it that way with the intention that you can appreciate the nature of feminism from its origin to the present day.

A room of one’s own

This first book was written by Virginia Woolf who was born at the end of the 19th century and reached her maturity in the first stage of the 20th century. So she may have experienced a certain change of era in European history, but in both, she experienced the repression that characterized a woman’s life.

Because her father was a great influence in the world of literature, Virginia Woolf grew up surrounded by and attracted to letters. During her career she developed several of her works, but of all of her there was an essay by her that has immortalized her in the memory of the masses, even the new generations of her have resurrected the name of Woolf with said writing.

Of course, I’m talking about the essay A Room of One’s Own , which stems from an investigation carried out by the writer to date certain behavior of women. But in a collateral way, it leads her to discover that the women of the time “could not write novels”.

And it may seem like an irrelevant point, but behind that fact Woolf discovers that it was not only about writing novels; The reality showed that women could do almost nothing.

With her phrase ” a woman must have money, and a room of her own to write novels “, she captured the seed of freedom in the mentality of women.

By the time the book was published in 1929, it was utopian to believe that a woman could have a private space (a room), which was reserved for men and in case the family was very rich , one could consider assigning a room to a woman. woman.

And considering that detail, imagine then, what the matter would be like to “earn money”, “study”, or aspire to some kind of improvement. Well, obviously they meant facts as utopian as the one in the room.

So, we could say that this book is part of the origin of feminism, since it manages to put into context what a patriarchal system represents and its consequences. Perhaps it is Woolf’s legacy to the women of humanity.

The second sex

Moving forward a couple of decades we find the French writer Simone De Beauvoir, who in 1949 launched a writing of more than 700 pages that some consider The Bible Of Feminism .

Now, when we delve into his way of seeing things, we find ourselves with a more than interesting perspective. Based on her life experiences (like all people in general), Simone formulated a criterion where “man sees only sex in a woman, nothing more.” And if we move to her time, it is a harsh and very radical truth.

Personally I consider that a woman is above all an exceptional being, even science has shown that she is endowed with better cognitive abilities and has a great capacity for resilience. And this is what De Beauvoir highlighted in her book.

It should be noted that in it lie some criteria that in the eyes of many seem crazy and I believe that they are one of the pillars of the great controversy that surrounds the world in this 21st century. By the middle of the last century, Simone was already talking about diversity in sexual orientation, but she also maintained a criterion where she saw the home and the family as a prison for women.

Would he be right?

Well, it would only suffice with a simple chat that you have with a woman who has lived through that time, and you will get your own criteria. From family history, I can say it’s true; The family represented for the woman a package of imposed tasks such as maintaining the house, caring for her husband and taking care of her children.

Separating her from any possibility of personal growth, it was almost impossible for a woman to expand her professional career once she got married. While it is true that some changes had already been made regarding the consideration of women, it is also true that much remained to be resolved.

Therefore, after Simone evidenced the identification of women with respect to her book, she became a feminist activist to fight for gender equality.

Mystique Of Femininity

By the end of the Second World War, feminist expressions had already manifested that achieved a small social transformation where women could now be employed, have access to education and, above all, vote. And despite the fact that to achieve these small changes there was a lot of sacrifice and social conflict between women and the patriarchy, it was just the beginning of more and more struggles that today continue without ending.

In this book by Betty Friedan, published in 1963, she unravels a conspiratorial thread that had been designed by the patriarchal system to raise women’s homecoming; From education to advertising in “almost everything”, she displayed the femininity associated with a desire to attend to the home.

It was blatantly evident to appreciate a magazine cover, where the figure of a woman reflected happiness upon receiving an appliance, or performing some household chore. But to be honest, we all know that it is a situation far from reality.

In this literary work by Friedan we are going to find the meaning of why our mothers and housewives friends found a certain emptiness in their lives; or what the writer called “the malaise that has no name.”

Despite the fact that the husband was the provider and nothing was missing at home, it is very common (even today) to see how women come to suffer from depression, vices and may experience such unhappiness that it leads them to suicide. And it is that the main message of this writer is that being a woman has nothing to do with the tasks that society has imposed on her.

As a complete human being, a woman has aspirations, desires to satisfy, a need to feel fulfilled, and of course this goes far beyond having a good coffee maker or not.

So it would be naive to want to support the feminist revolution of this century, without understanding this collective malaise that Friedan is talking about; so obviously you should take time to read it.

The Color Purple

If we talk about the best feminist books, we cannot leave out this majestic work written by Alice Walker; Well, in it a harsher reality is presented than in the rest of the situations that one can imagine.

Alice Walker, is an African-American woman born in Georgia in early 1944; that is, in a society that was going through the Second World War. However, during her maturity, she lived the post-war period under the profiles that Betty Friedan would describe in 1963.

However, Walker had two characteristics that made his social experience more difficult for him, the first of which was his skin color, which at that time was a strong reason for exclusion, and second, he had lost an eye when he was young.

What resulted in a woman with a certain visual disability, being a victim of racism and also living in a macho society. I think they would be the perfect ingredients for a deep depression, but the writer decided to make decisions that would make her move forward and climb in society.

So that she became the author of several works where The Color Purple stands out; an epistolary novel with fictitious characters but which reflect much of the socio-cultural context in which Walker herself lived.

The story centers on a 14-year-old African-American girl who is raped by her father, becomes pregnant, and is later sold as a marriage to a much older man; which ends up being an aggressive oppressor.

Celie (the protagonist) has a sister who decides to travel to Africa on a missionary program, and the book tells the story of both through the painful letters that the sisters wrote to each other.

The book ranked Walker as a Pulitzer and American Book Award winner. However, the renowned producer Steven Spielberg had the opportunity to bring it to the big screen, getting 11 Oscar nominations.

The Man We Shouldn’t Be

At the end of our tour of the five best feminist books, we find an author who has given much to talk about in our century. Octavio Salazar, who is a law professor and has publicly expressed his position as a contemporary feminist.

Certainly Octavio has written several books and has won three honors since 2000. However, his 2018 work The Man We Should Not Be , presents a very unique perspective on this current of thought that promotes gender equality.

In general, the texts that address the subject focus on a dramatic point of view, showing the sorrow that women experience under the patriarchal system. But Octavio instead shows us what he considers four profiles of “men” that exist in our current society.

What has interested me most about this Spanish writer is that from a position far from an active conflict, he has been able to make incredible contributions, especially the critical evaluation of these four profiles:

  • The extremist macho man
  • Who does not classify himself as an abuser but does not value women correctly either
  • The man who recognizes and gives position to the woman
  • Who becomes an active defender of women’s rights

From this perspective, it has made it very clear that progress has been made with respect to the equal inclusion of women in society. But evidently the trajectory of feminism from the time of Virginia Woolf until now only represents the surface of a deeper current regarding the subject.

So once you have experienced the true discovery of this current, the best thing you can do is update its context by extrapolating it to this decade.

I understand very well that there are dozens of other books, but with this selection, you will undoubtedly have gained a broad enough perspective to gain your own criteria and decide whether or not to be a feminist.

Concept Deformations

What do the current criticisms of feminism consist of?

Well, while some people resort to the patriarchal system to establish degenerative criticisms of the equality proposal, there are also people who resort to what they call “human sense”.

For example, many feminists have made a strong fight for the legality of abortion. That certainly all human beings have the right to do with our bodies what we consider correct, it is also true that it is an anticipated murder.

Thus, he enters into a debate on whether or not the fetus is considered a living human; if it is worth bringing him into the world in precarious conditions, if he is not wanted as a daughter or son, among others.

But what really matters?

“The Freedom to Choose.”

The moment you run out of the ability to make decisions about your affairs, you are experiencing a repression (whether you are a man or a woman), and the cause must definitely be eliminated. But as long as there are more options to choose from and they can save the life of the new baby, then it would be sensible to go for the alternatives and rule out death.

Gender equality from my perspective does not imply a baseless rebellion, I believe that true equality is when the common good is sought; so everything that implies death is ruled out.

Gender Reconciliation

Today, society moves by leaps and bounds and social revolutions move vehemently. It is evident how this speed leads us to increasingly intense conflicts, but I believe that as human beings we are not destined for that.

If we men became more conscious as Octavio Salazar suggests, everything that has been documented since before Woolf would make sense. Of course I do not have the slightest intention that a certain group (which I understand as a retailer) continues to distort the beautiful concept of feminism and continues to promote chaos between the genders.

The ideal is that we can coexist in harmony, nothing that is good can lead to conflict between the same race. So, recognizing the true value of women, something must be done and apply total inclusion in all social aspects, but in a more harmonious way.

However, we can fall into the visualization of a utopia where everything flows in the same direction of social progress; while the foolishness of the patriarchy becomes more and more crude and puts up unnecessary barriers just to delay the inevitable. Freedom.

Women: don’t give up. That despite having been a late process, it is very close to completing all its stages. But be aware that this new level demands greater commitment and responsibility from everyone.