What to Read for the New Feminist?


Recently, I attended a She’s Geeky: Women and Technology “un-conference” in D.C. It was a fascinating mix of women from diverse ages, ethnicities, and work locations who are all “tech geeks.” There were women from Microsoft, the Veterans Administration, start-up data and software companies, federal government agencies, nonprofits, private bloggers, etc.

I joined a conversation on “women helping women” in the workplace. How do you deal with the “glass ceiling” that women still face and how do you recognize and respond to the “glass elevator” that men still are afforded?

Several of the 15 or so women in the group had no education in gender issues or male/female power analysis. They were suffering from the effects of male dominance but didn’t recognize it, didn’t have a vocabulary for it, and had no idea how to deal with it except “helping each other.”

I volunteered to draw up a basic primer reading list. I’m looking for material that is secular, not too academic, and fairly “hands on.” Below is what I’ve put together so far. What would you add? I’ll try to keep updating this list.

A Reading List on

Gender, Power, Male Privilege, & Building Equality


Definitions by Ethel Cantu

Gender: Power and Privilege

Power, Effectiveness, and Gender: Women Helping Women

Think women have achieved equality? Think again.


Gender Inequality: Feminist Theories and Politics by Judith Lorber (3rd edition)

Gender Power, Leadership, and Governance edited by Georgia Duerst-Lahti, Rita Mae Kelly (1995)

Women, Men, and Power by Hilary M. Lips (Mayfield Press, 1991)

Gender Basics: Feminist Perspectives on Women and Men, by Anne Minas (Wadsworth/Tompson, 2000)

Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women, by Susan Faludi (2006)

American Feminist Thought at Century’s End: A Reader, by Linda S. Kaufmann (1993)

Brothers: Male Dominance and Technical Change, by Cynthia Cockburn (Pluto, 1985)

Course Syllabi

Women, Gender, and Power (College of New Rochelle)

Blogs or Online Zines


2 responses to “What to Read for the New Feminist?”

  1. LISA GARNER SAYS: “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini. We need to remember our sisters who are not free to make their own choices.

    JESS SENIRES SAYS: “The Feminine Mystique” by Betty Freidan and “Feminism is for Everyone” by bel hooks

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