My favourite day of the year is fast approaching – International Women’s Day. Despite what so many people think, IWD is so much more than a bunch of people sharing feminist quotes on their Instagram stories (although I do really enjoy this.)
Events take place all around the world on 8th March to mark the occasion, offering people a chance to truly celebrate female success everywhere and continue raising awareness for the obvious gender bias that consumes the world.
With this in mind, I thought I’d round-up some of my favourite female authors, each of whom have the ability to truly inspire you this IWD!
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
For any woman that hasn’t read A Feminist Manifesto in 15 Suggestions, you seriously need to purchase/borrow/download it immediately. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian writer of novels, short stories and a number of academic research essays.
In 2019, I read two of her essays; We Should All Be Feminists and A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions. Both are fantastic and though-provoking, but the latter was truly exceptional. The premise is very simple, a friend asking for advice on how to ensure she raises her young daughter as a feminist. The essay is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s response and interestingly, the piece started out as an email, before becoming a 80-page reply, published as a book in 2017.
The Harvard Crimson claimed that this essay “sets the standards for feminism” and I couldn’t agree more! I’m pretty sure it’s available to download online as a pdf for free, so there’s no excuse not to read it. I promise, you won’t regret it.
Arguably, one of the best feminist writers of my time. I adore Caitlin Moran for her honest, no-time-for-bullshit approach to writing about gender. Reading her latest column is always a highlight but it was her memoir, How to Be a Woman, that really made me sit up and pay attention. It’s hilarious, but also extremely serious and doesn’t sugar coat the obvious lack of equality in the world.
Moran has become a divisive, yet defining female voice of the last decade, so much so that her Twitter feed was added to a list of core texts on an English A-level syllabus in 2014. Her fictional work, How to Build a Girl and How to be Famous are both sitting comfortably on my TBR pile and I’m determined to get round to them soon. (Seriously – so many books, so little time!)
Caitlin Moran is an incredible voice for women everywhere. She’s intelligent, witty, honest and genuinely doesn’t give a crap what people think of her or her writing – what’s not to love?
Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I like to communicate via inspiring feminist quotes (and Friends memes, but that’s another story!) Without question, Michelle Obama is among my most quoted people ever. Who can forget gems, such as “The difference between a broken community and a thriving one is the presence of women who are valued” or “You don’t want to be with a boy who’s too stupid to appreciate a smart woman.” Sassy, smart and completely on the money!
For me, Michelle Obama is a modern day revolution. I’m not ashamed to admit I spend a lot (a lot!) of time rewatching many of her First Lady speeches on YouTube and have caught several of her essays online. I’m ashamed to admit, however, that I haven’t actually read Becoming yet, although it’s been on my TBR pile for a long time.
So, on Sunday 8th March, you’ll find me on my sofa, devouring Michelle’s memoir and making mental notes of all the new quote material I can drop into everyday conversations.
Who will you be reading this International Women’s Day? Drop me a message on Insta/Twitter (@rsweeneyx). I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!