“Women’s stories are ‘chick lit,’ men’s stories are award-winning.” – Jessica Valenti
I heard these words last week while listening to one of my new favorite podcasts, Ctrl Alt Delete. Hosted by writer Emma Gannon, this episode featured an interview with feminist author Jessica Valenti. The two women chatted about Valenti’s experience writing her new memoir, Sex Object, as well as the shocking double standards the emerge when female authors attempt to write about themselves. As a young woman who loves reading and writing, it frustrated me to hear that even some of the foremost female icons of our time are subject to harsh backlash when sharing their personal narratives. Listening to Emma and Lauren bond over their mutual experiences with these double standards got my pretty fired up about this issue and what we can do to create change. Where I’m starting? By making it my goal to read five memoirs by female authors within the next several months. Here are five currently on my mind:
I started watching Girls a couple months ago, and was immediatly hooked by the show’s raw protrayal of womanhood. I can’t wait to get my hands on show creator Lena Dunham’s memoir to get more of her no-holds-barred perspective.
Like the rest of the world, I’m floored by the courage of Malala, the teenage activist who survived an attack by the Taliban three years ago. I can only imagine the wisdom that lies within the pages of I Am Malala, her award-winning memoir.
I couldn’t not include Jessica’s book here. In the same vein as her past work, Sex Object shares her experiences- sexism, groping, and all- as a woman in New York City.
Andie Mitchell’s book about her experience with weight loss and body acceptance was one of the hottest books of the past year. I haven’t read the book yet, but I already love it for contributing the body positive conversation.
Ladies and gentleman, it’s the mother of all feminist icons. I’m only just starting to learn more about Steinem and her work, so I’d love to dive into her memoir sometime soon.
Have you read a female memoir recently? If so, what?