If you were introducing a new friend to heavy music, you probably wouldn’t force them to go through Iron Maiden’s entire back catalog – you’d probably show them a few all-time favorites and then, excitedly, a bunch of albums that you’re loving right now, that will have kind of built on all the good shit that came before. And that’s basically what I did here, except with the feminist books.
Of course, you can literally take your new friend to a gig, and feminism is also best experienced live: in meetings, conversations, relationships, demos, and direct actions. In fact, I don’t think you need to read anything to get started. But the books, like the albums, are there for you when the action ends and you want to make sense of what you’ve been through, or also give you an idea of what might happen. They guide and sustain us through difficult and formative times in our lives, and we can keep coming back to them when we need them.
That’s about where this increasingly tenuous comparison ends, as the issues surrounding feminism are far bigger than heavy music. Heavy music may have saved your life, but feminism is here to save – and arguably avenge – so much more.
In the face of relentless gender-based violence and growing attacks on our bodily autonomy, we need everyone on deck. My current top 10 will give you lots of ideas for what to do once you get there.