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LIBRARY OF THE CONGRESS OF WOMEN is a book series of classic feminist literature.

 

8 books has been published so far:

 

Vagina: A New Biography by Naomi Wolf combines cutting-edge science with cultural history to explore the role of female desire and how it affects female identity, creativity and confidence. Provocative and engaging, positive and inspiring, this book brings to light female impulses, history and dreams - and, in exploring what women really need - it goes to the very core of what it means to be female.

For any woman who wants to understand her body and her mind and the culture that defines her - Vagina is essential reading.

 

Backlash: The Undeclared War against American Women by Susan Faludi

With passion and precision, Faludi shows how the creators of commercial culture distort feminist concepts to sell products while selling women downstream, how the feminist ethic of economic independence is twisted into the consumer ethic of buying power, and how the feminist quest for self-determination is warped into a self-centered quest for self-improvement. Backlash is a classic of feminism, an alarm bell for women of every generation, reminding us of the dangers that we still face.

 

When Betty Friedan produced The Feminine Mystique in 1963, she could not have realized how the discovery and debate of her contemporaries' general malaise would shake up society. Victims of a false belief system, these women were following strict social convention by loyally conforming to the pretty image of the magazines and found themselves forced to seek meaning in their lives only through a family and a home. Friedan's controversial book about these women - and every woman - would ultimately set Second Wave feminism in motion and begin the battle for equality.
This groundbreaking and life-changing work remains just as powerful, important and true as it was fifty years ago, and is essential reading both as a historical document and as a study of women living in a man's world.

 

Det enda könet / Who cooked Adam Smith's dinner: A Story of Women and Economics by Katrine Kielos

The economic man has dominated our understanding of modern-day capitalism, with a focus on self-interest and the exclusion of all other motivations. Such a view point disregards the unpaid work of mothering, caring, cleaning and cooking. It insists that if women are paid less, then that's because their labour is worth less. Economics has told us a story about how the world works and we have swallowed it, hook, line and sinker. This story has not served women well. Now it's time to change it. A kind of feminist Freakonomics, Who cooked Adam Smith’s dinner? charts the myth of economic man in a witty and courageous dismantling of one of the biggest myths of our time.

 

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir 

When this book was first published in 1949 it was to outrage and scandal. Never before had the case for female liberty been so forcefully and successfully argued. De Beauvoir's belief that "One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman" switched on light bulbs in the heads of a generation of women and began a fight for greater equality and economic independence. These pages contain the key passages of the book that changed perceptions of women forever.

 

The Beauty Myth: How images of beauty are used against women by Naomi Wolf

In today's world, women have more power, legal recognition, and professional success than ever before. Alongside the evident progress of the women's movement, however, writer and journalist Naomi Wolf is troubled by a different kind of social control, which, she argues, may prove just as restrictive as the traditional image of homemaker and wife. It's the beauty myth, an obsession with physical perfection that traps the modern woman in an endless spiral of hope, self-consciousness, and self-hatred as she tries to fulfill society's impossible definition of "the flawless beauty."

 

Presenting the essential writings of black lesbian poet and feminist writer Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider celebrates an influential voice in twentieth-century literature. 

In this charged collection of fifteen essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action and change. Her prose is incisive, unflinching, and lyrical, reflecting struggle but ultimately offering messages of hope. This commemorative edition includes a new foreword by Lorde-scholar and poet Cheryl Clarke, who celebrates the ways in which Lorde's philosophies resonate more than twenty years after they were first published. 

These landmark writings are, in Lorde's own words, a call to “never close our eyes to the terror, to the chaos which is Black which is creative which is female which is dark which is rejected which is messy which is...”

 

The Sexual Contract by Carole Pateman

In this remarkably original work of political philosophy, one of today's foremost feminist theorist challenges the way contemporary society functions by questioning the standard interpretation of an idea that is deeply embedded in American and British political thought: that our rights and freedoms derive from the social contract explicated by Locke, Hobbes, and Rousseau and interpreted in the United States by the Founding Fathers.

The author shows how we are told only half the story of the original contract that establishes modern patriarchy. The sexual contract is ignored and thus men's patriarchal right over women is also glossed over. No attention is paid to the problems that arise when women are excluded from the original contract but incorporated into the new contractual order.

 


 

Congress' Library is available HERE.