Let’s get down to brass tacks here: We live in a patriarchal society, full stop. We live in a society that generally makes life easier for cisgender, heteronormative males over…everyone else. And even though everyone else is making strides (read: getting more mainstream recognition for how incredible they’ve always been), it’s not enough. It’s never enough.
In today’s age, everything you do—from where you shop, to where you send your kids to school, to the media you consume—is a political act, and we want to make sure what we do is making a statement we stand for. And especially in an industry that has been catering to mostly white, male writers for a long time, and in a culture that still ignorantly lifts up the same (do I even have to mention Dan Mallory?), our need to be cognizant of the media and creatives we support is more urgent than ever.
I ask you (and I ask myself): Are you a feminist reader? The answer may vary. It’s a very personal question. The better question, perhaps, is: Do you want to be? You’re probably here because your answer is “yes.” Mine certainly is. So let’s do this together—and let’s push each other.
*If you have additions and edits to this list, please, please, please tweet them to us at @Get_Literary. Let’s make this list all that it can be!
- Read more women! This is one of those things that goes without saying…but also doesn’t. It is super easy (stupidly easy) to be unaware of the authors behind the words. Make conscious decisions, set goals, build lists.
- Read more women…
- of color
- who are LGBTQIA+
- over the age of 50
- under the age of 25
- who are self-published or backed by indie presses
- Ultimately, read more women who are unlike you—whose diverse experiences and backgrounds will make your understanding of the world that much more storied and complex.
- Make it easier by joining a book club! There are social media book clubs, celeb book clubs, virtual book clubs, in-person book clubs, millennial book clubs (candle, anyone?)—ask your community for help in setting and reaching your goals.
- Hit up the many, many, many bookish online resources that want to help you read more women! One of my personal faves is Electric Lit’s #ReadMoreWomen project. Start with this list of books handpicked by Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties!
- Live every month like it’s Women’s History Month. Cause it is! Read about the women that came before us, that paved the way for us, that fought hard to make things easier for us today. Read about the women that have been lost in history and deserve our recognition. Start with this amazing list from our sister site, Off the Shelf.
- Don’t just walk away from a book when you’re done reading it. Discuss it, debate it, review it, lend it to another reader, bring it to life!
- Support these women authors on the interwebs! In reviews, on social media, IRL. Show the world that these writers are meaningful and impactful, and show their publishers that they are profitable.
- Follow, listen, and interact with these amazing women online. They generally have a lot more wisdom to offer in addition to what’s in their books. Don’t know where to start? Follow Roxane Gay, R. O. Kwon, and Amy Tan.
- And then find even more amazing women (writers, readers, critics, everyone in between) to follow through them.
- Hear from these women IRL at events (and support indie bookstores at the same time). Meet them, fangirl over them, love them, support them.
- And then, start at the beginning. Support women writers who are currently working on projects. Find webzines, magazines, and online spaces that are trying to reach women and share their voices. Read and share their content. If you’re a writer, submit to them yourself.
And then do it all, all over again. Happy reading (and tweeting, and reviewing, and fangirling), my fellow book nerds!