Personally, I love reading about girls and women that are capable of kicking butt and taking names. I’m not just talking about the girls out there who are physically able to do this, but about the girls who have the tenacity and courage to rise and reach and grow, no matter the life they’ve been born into, forced into, or ended up in by some unfortunate turn of events.
Every year I read many fantastic books from a variety of genres that feature women and girls that embody this spirit and determination. In an attempt to support and spread the word about books like these, I decided to host a reading challenge here at The Hiding Spot that focuses entirely on books and characters like this! I present you with:
Now I realize some of you may only have a vague understanding of what a feminist and feminism is. Others may have a negative connotation of the word feminist or think that only women can be feminists. Let me attempt to break it down for you.
A feminist is defined as:
- (n): a person who supports feminism
- (adj): of, relating to, or supporting feminism
Pretty vague and unhelpful, right? I agree. Let’s look a little further.
Feminism is defined as:
- A movement for granting women political, social, and economic equality with men.
All true, but also fairly boring. I think Rebecca West summed it up pretty well we she said:
“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.”
Here’s how I define feminism and feminists:
- Feminism is supporting and helping to create strong girls and women.Women who have the ability to take care of themselves, who believe in themselves, and who have the freedom to pursue their dreams and share their beliefs, values, and opinions.
- Feminists encourage and support strength, independence, individuality, and passion in women of all ages.
- Feminists fight for people. Yes, they obviously fight for women, but I think it can also be said that they fight for what is right. For equality for all. For every person to have a voice, an education, a fighting chance.
Therefore, any book that features, by your standards, a strong female character or supports feminist ideals is eligible for this challenge! Examples include: The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Dairy of Anne Frank, Matilda, The Handmaid’s Tale.
How to Participate:
Well, despite that super long explanation, I don’t want to make this complicated. So the rules and whatnot are pretty simple.
- Create a blog post (or, if you’re not a blogger something to announce and keep track of your challenge progress).
- On this post, give a quick explanation of the challenge, mention The Hiding Spot and include the challenge button, and link back to this post. If you’re feeling awesome, encourage others to participate via twitter, facebook, word-of-mouth, etc.
- Pick a challenge level! I think it will be surprisingly easy to meet these level goals, as there are so many novels with great, feminist heroines.
- Easy: 5 books
- Medium: 5-10 books
- Hard: 10+ books
- Leave room to list the books you’ve read for the challenge. If you’re the type of person that likes to plan and have an idea of what you’d like to read, you can list the titles and cross them off as you read. Below, you’ll find a few helpful links with title suggestions.
- Then, go to the 2013 Feminist Reads Challenge Sign Up page and fill out the Mr. Linky, linking back to your post (the specific post URL, so not just your blog URL).
Below a couple helpful links to lists of novels that you might want to consider for the challenge.The Goodreads lists are open, so feel free to add titles, but keep in mind the 2013 list is for books that are being released in 2013. I felt this might be helpful for those of you already doing 2013 release or debut challenges.
- 100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader
- Feminist Reads (Goodreads List)
- 2013 YA/MG Feminist Reads (Goodreads List)
If participants think it’d be worthwhile, I’d also like to do some sort of post once a month in which participants would be able to link a review of a book read for the challenge. This will allow participants to see what others are reading, discover some new blogs, and, hopefully, stay motivated. I’ll also do my best to promote these reviews via my own blog, Goodreads, and twitter.
I’ve also considered adding a bit of incentive to these posts by giving away a title that would be eligible for the challenge… I would provide these titles myself, but if there are authors, publishers, or bloggers out there who would like to donate a book, I’d be more than happy to include them!
Have suggestions or comments? Please leave me a comment below!
I also have to give a big shout-out to one of my favorite bloggers and wonderful IRL friend, Katie, over at Sophistikatied Reviews for making me such a fantastic challenge button on such short notice. I’m blessed with the most talented friends! 🙂