Reading was always important in my life, that’s how my family taught me. It has been a few years since I met Rosa Luxemburg, a Polish economist, philosopher, activist and Marxist theorist, who was in fact tortured and killed for it. I read Rosa Luxemburg because one of my teachers included her in our study program. Rosa was not a feminist, neither was my teacher.
This story, then, is only the introduction of what one day seemed worthy of reflection. Why was she the only theorist I had read in almost three semesters of college? Worse: Why was she the only woman I remembered reading in my entire student career?
And then I did not know that time later I would understand -in theory- the structures of systematic oppression, I also did not know that I would experience gender-based violence in my own skin and I did not know that I would have the opportunity and responsibility to make this visible. Anyway, at the beginning of the semester I promised to read as many women as possible and I have done so.
I believe in feminisms, like this, in the plural. I also believe in equality and justice. And although I am aware of the breadth that is needed to talk about violence perpetrated against women, in this article I will only talk about one in particular: invisibility.
Throughout history, thousands of contributions by women in art and science have been lost in anonymity, in denial or even worse, they have been named after a man. That is why reading women, those who write about feminism and those who do not, is so important.
Here I recommend some books that led me to key points of reflection on women and our political and social position; about what it means to be a woman and about what other conditions may intersect with gender. In addition, I add a list of my favorite writers, who although they do not write about feminism, they are excellent at doing literature, poetry, journalism and science fiction.
Personally, and after 18 years reading to men in a kind of almost exclusive, reading to as many women as possible is my daily act of revolution.
Here are some books that I love to reflect on feminism, without spoilers (so many):
The second sex, Simone de Beauvoir
“You are not born a woman, you become one” is one of the most repeated phrases of the French writer who revolutionized Europe in what is known as the second wave of feminism.
The second sex, for me, is a fundamental basic to start thinking about what it means and what it means to be a woman. It was published in 1914, that must be taken into account. Without much else to say, it is the most important feminist essay of the 20th century and an excellent introduction and the central foundation of contemporary feminist debate.
Who made Adam Smith dinner? Katrine Marçal.
Well I’m an economist, Adam Smith is on my list of the most mentioned characters during my academic life. But how is it possible that “the father of economics” and thousands of men throughout history did exquisite work in their areas of study, where did these geniuses come from. Bingo! Unpaid work from home.
Without giving any more spoilers, this is a very cool, well-written and easy-to-read work that takes us to a starting point on the most invisible and undervalued of all jobs: everything that is done inside the home.
Men explain things to me, Rebecca Solnit
No matter how much we know about any topic, there will always be a man who will explain it to us, because no matter how much he masters this topic, he will always assume that he knows more than you. Exactly, is what you are thinking: mansplaining.
The names and surnames of men are loud, their voices are heard, they have the floor, they take it and they are not afraid to do so. I think reading this book is important, because it is also important to be aware of what it is like to want to have a voice, to know something and to say it when you are a woman.
The war against women, Rita Laura Segato
He had already told them about the invisibility, the work overload of the home, and the disbelief about women. Well, this is a book divided into seven essays that portray one of the most persistent situations in the world, but especially in Mexico: femicidal violence.
This book does not precisely study feminism or any of its currents, but rather spits out very powerful reflections on this new, unpublished version of exacerbated capitalism in a macho and violent society like never before. A jewel.
They are not micro. Everyday machismos, Claudia de la Garza and Eréndira Derbez
I remember that just when I was just beginning to read about feminism, I found in some texts the word “micromachismos” that referred to “small” daily actions that systematically contributed to the fact that in this country 7 out of 10 women have suffered some type of violence.
Then I thought that although they seemed small they weren’t so small, and worse, they were so normalized that I found myself replicating some of them. I love this book because particular examples each chapter shows how these actions – which are neither micro nor exclusive to men – contribute to the normalization of a macho culture that hurts us.
Pain and politics: thinking, feeling and speaking from feminism, Marta Lamas
Besides being Mexican, Marta Lamas is a pioneer of contemporary feminism in Mexico and one of the most important academics and theorists in the country. This book came into my hands as a gift and without thinking I devoured it, not only because I have previously read Marta, but because the title filled me with curiosity, considering her publication in the midst of a global pandemic and increasingly acute clashes between different currents. of feminism.
I have already talked about him and also reported his presentation. This text speaks of recognizing differences, of channeling worthy anger, of reconciling. Safety pin.
Feminist economics, Mercedes D’Alessandro
Just as I promised myself to read as many women as possible, I also promised myself to read as many Latin American women as possible. Mercedes D’Alessandro has a doctorate in economics and currently holds the position of National Director of Economy, Equality and Gender, a substation of the Ministry of Economy of Argentina.
This book, with figures, graphs and even humorous references, portrays another of the main types of violence perpetrated against women: the economic one. From the wage gap, the glass ceilings, the sticky floors, the overload of home and care work, the feminization of poverty, and the concentration of wealth in male or masculinized hands. And the best, with a Latin American perspective.
I promised that I would also add a list of my favorite authors, no matter what they write and here it is:
Ursula K. Le Guin
Novelists and journalists: