XXX: A Woman's Right to Pornography


Wendy McElroy - 1995
    An unconventional argument for the preservation of pornography asserts that pornography can serve to benefit the feminist movement and promote sexual freedom for women, and explores the historical relationship between women and pornography.

Pink and Blue: Telling the Boys from the Girls in America


Jo B. Paoletti - 2012
    Paoletti's journey through the history of children's clothing began when she posed the question, "When did we start dressing girls in pink and boys in blue?" To uncover the answer, she looks at advertising, catalogs, dolls, baby books, mommy blogs and discussion forums, and other popular media to examine the surprising shifts in attitudes toward color as a mark of gender in American children's clothing. She chronicles the decline of the white dress for both boys and girls, the introduction of rompers in the early 20th century, the gendering of pink and blue, the resurgence of unisex fashions, and the origins of today's highly gender-specific baby and toddler clothing.

"You're in the Wrong Bathroom!": And 20 Other Myths and Misconceptions about Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming People


Laura Erickson-Schroth - 2017
    Despite being prolifically covered in the media, much misinformation about the trans community persists. Bringing together the medical, social, psychological, and political aspects of being transgender today in the United States, " You re in the Wrong Bathroom!: And 20 Other Myths About Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming People" unpacks the twenty-one most common myths about transgender people. Authors Laura Erickson-Schroth, MD, a psychiatrist, and Laura A. Jacobs, LCSW-R, a psychotherapist, address myths about trans identity ( all trans people are trapped in the wrong body ), sex and relationships ( most trans people do sex work and have HIV ), health and safety ( trans people are mentally ill and therapy can change them ), and history and community ( trans people and feminists don t get along )."

Unscrewed: Women, Sex, Power, and How to Stop Letting the System Screw Us All


Jaclyn Friedman - 2017
    In Unscrewed, Friedman brings her sharp expertise and incisive observations on the state of sexual politics to the fore, sparking a culture-wide rethink about sex, power and what we accept. With reportage and verve, Unscrewed builds a searing investigation into the state of sexual power in America, and outlines how to make real progress toward equality. Friedman reveals that the anxiety and fear women in our country feel around issues of their sexuality are not, in fact, their fault, but instead are side effects of what she calls our "era of fauxpowerment," wherein women have the illusion of sexual power, with no actual power to support it. Exploring the fault lines where media, religion, politics, and education impinge on our intimate lives, Unscrewed breaks down the causes and signs of fauxpowerment, then gives readers tools to take it on themselves.

Generation Roe: Inside the Future of the Pro-Choice Movement


Sarah Erdreich - 2013
    At the start of his second term, it is time for Barack Obama, forty years after Roe v. Wade, to finally help lead us to demystify abortion. One-third of all American women will have an abortion by the time they are 45, and most of those women are already mothers. Yet, the topic remains taboo. In this provocative book on the heels of the Planned Parenthood controversy, Sarah Erdreich presents the antidote to the usual abortion debates.Inextricably connected to issues of autonomy, privacy, and sexuality, the abortion debate remains home base for the culture wars in America. Yet, there is more common ground than meets the eye in favor of choice. Generation Roe delves into phenomena such as "abortion-recovery counseling," "crisis pregnancy centers," and the infamous anti-choice "black children are an endangered species" billboards. It tells the stories of those who risk their lives to pursue careers in this stigmatized field. And it outlines the outrageous legislative battles that are being waged against abortion rights all over the country. With an inspiring spirit and a forward-looking approach, Erdreich holds abortion up, unabashedly, as a moral and fundamental human right.

Mismeasure of Woman: Why Women Are Not the Better Sex, the Inferior Sex, or the Opposite Sex


Carol Tavris - 1992
    In this enlightening book, Carol Tavris unmasks the widespread but invisible custom -- pervasive in the social sciences, medicine, law, and history -- of treating men as the normal standard, women as abnormal. Tavris expands our vision of normalcy by illuminating the similarities between women and men and showing that the real differences lie not in gender, but in power, resources, and life experiences. Winner of the American Association for Applied and Preventive Psychology's Distinguished Media Contribution Award

Virginity or Death!: And Other Social and Political Issues of Our Time


Katha Pollitt - 2006
    In defense of human rights and equality, she assails the corrupt and educates the misguided with compassion, Swiftian wit, and complete literary authority.In this compelling collection, Pollitt skewers one hypocrite after another. She suggests, for example, that creationists be permitted to oppose the teaching of evolution only so long as they agree to forgo the benefits of the theory–such as flu vaccines. She gently wonders if those who denounced the decision to allow Terri Schiavo to die in peace would themselves be satisfied to be video-diagnosed by Senator Bill Frist. And in the title essay about fundamentalists’ antagonism toward sex education and STD prevention, she asks, “What is it with these right-wing Christians? Faced with a choice between sex and death, they choose death every time.”Pollitt is one of the most eloquent and persuasive voices in American political conversation of this or any other era, and Virginity or Death! Is a marvelous demonstration of her keen insight, mordant humor, and sense of justice.“Katha Pollitt has long and rightly been hailed for her brilliance, wit, and great insight into politics, social issues, and women’s rights. As with all of her work, I am enormously grateful for Virginity or Death!, and also deeply jealous.”–Anne Lamott, author of Traveling Mercies

Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women


Victoria Law - 2009
    Protesting the brutal beating of a fellow prisoner, the women fought off guards, holding seven of them hostage, and took over sections of the prison. While many have heard of the 1971 Attica prison uprising, the August Rebellion remains relatively unknown even in activist circles.  Resistance Behind Bars is determined to challenge and change such oversights. As it examines daily struggles against appalling prison conditions and injustices, Resistance documents both collective organizing and individual resistance among women incarcerated in the U.S. Emphasizing women's agency in resisting the conditions of their confinement through forming peer education groups, clandestinely arranging ways for children to visit mothers in distant prisons and raising public awareness about their lives, Resistance seeks to spark further discussion and research into the lives of incarcerated women and galvanize much-needed outside support for their struggles.

Good Porn: A Woman's Guide


Erika Lust - 2008
    Do you think of it as a dirty word, a taboo topic, something you associate with cheesy films with bad plots? Filmmaker and author Erika Lust is here to change all that. With the goal of making porn more accessible to women, Good Porn examines the films, the industry, and the phenomenon. It breaks away from any assumptions you may have about porn, opening the door for a wholly new conversation about a medium that has too long been considered the domain of men. Come on in, ladies . . . the water’s just fine.

When Sex Goes to School: Warring Views on Sex--and Sex Education--Since the Sixties


Kristin Luker - 2006
    For these parents, the question of how their children should be taught about sex cuts far deeper than politics, religion, or even friendship."The drama of this book comes from watching the exceptionally thoughtful Luker try to figure [sex education] out" (Judith Shulevitz, New York Times Book Review). In doing so, Luker also traces the origins of sex education from the turn-of-the-century hygienist movement to the marriage-obsessed 1950s and the sexual and gender upheavals of the 1960s. Her unexpected conclusions make it impossible to look at the intersections of the private and the political in the same way.

Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After


Bella DePaulo - 2006
    Although singles are singled out for unfair treatment by the workplace, the marketplace, and the federal tax structure, they are not simply victims of this singlism--single people really are living happily ever after. Singled Out Debunks Ten Myths of Singlehood, Including: -Myth--The Dark Aura of Singlehood: You are miserable and lonely and your life is tragic.-Myth--Attention, Single Women: Your work won’t love you back and your eggs will dry up. Also, you don’t get any and you’re promiscuous.-Myth--Attention, Single Men: You are horny, slovenly, and irresponsible, and you are the scary criminals. Or you are sexy, fastidious, frivolous, and gay.

Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love, and Common Sense


Mona Charen - 2018
    Here, she upends the feminist agenda and the liberal conversation surrounding women's issues by asking tough and crucial questions, such as: * Did women's full equality require the total destruction of the nuclear family?* Did it require a sexual revolution that would dismantle traditions of modesty, courtship, and fidelity that had characterized relations between the sexes for centuries?* Did it cause the broken dating culture and the rape crisis on our college campuses? * Did it require war between the sexes that would deem men the "enemy" of women?* Have the strides of feminism made women happier in their home and work life. (The answer is No.)Sex Matters tracks the price we have paid for denying sex differences and stoking the war of the sexes--family breakdown, declining female happiness, aimlessness among men, and increasing inequality. Marshaling copious social science research as well as her own experience as a professional as well as a wife and mother, Mona Charen calls for a sexual ceasefire for the sake of women, men, and children.

Hung: A Meditation on the Measure of Black Men in America


Scott Poulson-Bryant - 2005
    L. King’s On the Down Low, Hung brings a topic previously discussed only in intimate settings out into the open. In a brilliant, multilayered look at the pervasive belief that African American men are prodigiously endowed, Scott Poulson-Bryant interweaves his own experiences as a black man in America with witty analyses of how black male sexuality is expressed in books, film, television, sports, and pornography.“Hung” is a double entendre, referring not only to penis size but to the fact that black men were once literally hung from trees, often for their perceived sexual prowess and the supposed risk it posed to white women. As a poignant reminder, he begins his book with a letter to Emmett Till, the teenager who was lynched in Mississippi in the mid-1950s for whistling at a white woman.For Poulson-Bryant and other men of his generation, society’s deep-seated obsession with the sexual powers of black men has had an enormous, if often deceptive, influence on how they perceive themselves and on the assumptions made by others. His tales of his sexual encounters with both sexes, along with anecdotes about the lives of various friends and colleagues, are wryly and at times shockingly revealing. Enduring racial perceptions have shaped popular culture as well, and Poulson-Bryant offers a thorough, thought-provoking look at media-created images of the “Well-Hung Black Male.” He deftly deconstructs movies like Mandingo and Shaft, articles in the popular press, and edgy works like Robert Mapplethorpe’s Black Book, while also providing distinctive profiles of icons like porn star Lexington Steele and rapper L.L. Cool J.A scintillating mixture of memoir and cultural commentary, Hung is the first and only book to take on phallic fixation and uncover what lies below. Readers may be scandalized, but they’ll also have plenty to ponder about America’s views on how black men measure up.

Damned Whores and God's Police: The Colonization of Women in Australia


Anne Summers - 1975
    A remarkable book of the history of women convicts transported to Australia to keep company with the many more males convicts.

The Childless Revolution: What It Means to Be Childless Today


Madelyn Cain - 2001
    Alternately pitied and scorned, childless women are rarely asked directly about the reasons for their status; the elephant in the living room, childlessness is a taboo subject.Asking the hard questions, Madelyn Cain uncovers the many reasons for childlessness--from infertility to a focus on a career to even political action--and explores the ramifications, both personal and sociological. Simultaneously compassionate and journalistically curious, The Childless Revolution is informed by the stories of over 100 childless women, at long last giving voice to their experience and validating the jumble of emotions women feel about being a part of such a controversial population. For childless women and their families everywhere, this is the first--and long overdue--book to put a face on women who have made a largely misunderstood reproductive choice.