Frida : Recommendations for Feminists


What is Feminism

Feminism is a social and political movement advocating for equal rights and opportunities for individuals of all genders, particularly for women. It seeks to address and eliminate gender-based inequalities, discrimination, and prejudice in various areas including education, employment, healthcare, and legal rights. Feminism aims to challenge and dismantle patriarchal systems and structures that perpetuate gender inequalities, and strives for gender equity and justice.

What Can We Get From Feminism?

Feminism, as a social and political movement, advocates for gender equality and seeks to challenge and dismantle oppressive patriarchal systems and structures. By championing the rights and opportunities of women, feminism has brought about several significant changes and advancements in society. Some of the things we can get from feminism include:

1. Gender equality: Feminism aims to create a society where individuals of all genders have equal rights, opportunities, and recognition. It seeks to challenge gender-based discrimination and systemic biases that hinder women’s progress and limit their choices.

2. Women’s empowerment: Feminism encourages women to be empowered and assertive, advocating for their rights, choices, and control over their bodies and lives. It aims to challenge societal norms that restrict and marginalize women, allowing them to fulfill their potential and pursue their dreams.

3. Breaking gender stereotypes: Feminism challenges traditional gender roles and stereotypes that confine and limit individuals based on their gender. It promotes the idea that one’s gender should not determine their capabilities, interests, or roles in society.

4. Improved representation: Feminism has played a crucial role in advocating for greater representation of women in various fields, including politics, academia, science, and business. This increased representation helps ensure diverse perspectives are taken into account and that women’s concerns and interests are addressed.

5. Legal and political changes: Feminism has led to significant legal and political advancements, such as the right to vote, reproductive rights, equal pay legislation, and protection against gender-based violence. These changes provide legal frameworks for gender equality and women’s rights.

6. Intersectional feminism: Intersectional feminism recognizes and addresses the ways in which gender intersects with other dimensions of identity, such as race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and disability. It aims to create a more inclusive movement, addressing the unique struggles faced by marginalized groups and working towards justice and equality for all.

It is important to note that feminism is a diverse movement with various perspectives and approaches. Different feminists may prioritize different issues and advocate for change in different ways.

Strategies in Learning Feminism

1. Read widely: Start by familiarizing yourself with feminist texts and authors. Read feminist theory, essays, and historical accounts of feminist activism. This will provide you with a foundational understanding of the key concepts and ideas within feminism.

2. Join feminist communities: Engage with feminist groups, both online and offline, to connect with individuals who share similar interests and values. Participate in discussions, workshops, and conferences to gain insights from different perspectives and experiences.

3. Listen and learn: Actively seek out voices and experiences of marginalized genders and learn from their insights. It is essential to center and uplift these voices to better understand the complexities of feminism and the intersectionality of gender with other social categories such as race, class, sexuality, and abilities.

4. Reflect on your own biases: Examine your own beliefs, prejudices, and privileges. Be open to self-reflection and challenge any biases you might hold. Recognize that feminism requires ongoing learning and growth as you uncover and unlearn ingrained societal norms and stereotypes.

5. Engage in allyship: Understand that feminism involves actively supporting and advocating for gender equality. Recognize your role as an ally by educating yourself about the experiences of marginalized genders, using your privilege to uplift their voices, and actively challenging patriarchal practices and systems.

6. Take action: Feminism is not just about theory but also about taking action to create change. Get involved in local or global feminist campaigns, initiatives, or organizations. Attend rallies, sign petitions, volunteer your time, or support feminist causes to make a tangible impact.

7. Educate others: Share your knowledge and experiences with others who are interested in learning about feminism. Engage in respectful conversations with those who may not be aware of or understand feminist concepts. Promote critical thinking, empathy, and the importance of gender equality.

8. Stay informed: Keep up to date with feminist news and current events. Follow feminist publications, podcasts, social media accounts, and academic sources to stay informed on ongoing debates, emerging issues, and intersectional approaches to gender equality.

9. Engage with pop culture: Analyze and critique popular media, such as movies, TV shows, books, and music, for their portrayal of gender and feminist themes. Pop culture can serve as a powerful tool for understanding and challenging societal norms.

10. Be patient and open-minded: Recognize that learning feminism is an ongoing process, and it is okay to make mistakes or have moments of uncertainty. Be open to listening, learning, and evolving your understanding as you continue to educate yourself and engage with feminist perspectives.


Frida – A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera


Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo” by Hayden Herrera is a comprehensive account of the life and art of Frida Kahlo, a celebrated Mexican painter. The biography delves into Kahlo’s personal and artistic journey, exploring her struggles, triumphs, and enduring legacy.

The book begins by tracing Kahlo’s early life in Mexico City, where she was born in 1907. Herrera provides insights into Kahlo’s family background, her relationship with her parents, and her struggle with childhood polio. A pivotal event in Kahlo’s life occurs at the age of 18 when she is seriously injured in a bus accident, which leaves her with lifelong physical and emotional pain.

As Kahlo recovers from the accident, she becomes more focused on her artistic pursuits. Herrera chronicles her time studying at the National Preparatory School and her involvement with the Mexican intellectual and artistic circles of the time. A significant turning point for Kahlo’s artistic career comes when she meets and falls in love with renowned Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. Their tumultuous marriage, marked by infidelity and intense passion, is examined in great detail.

Herrera explores Kahlo’s unique artistic style that is deeply rooted in her personal experiences, physical pain, and Mexican culture. The book delves into the symbolism and motifs prominent in Kahlo’s works, including her self-portraits, which convey themes of identity, gender, and the human condition. Herrera also highlights Kahlo’s political activism and her involvement in leftist political movements, providing a broader context for understanding her art.

Throughout this biography, Herrera interweaves Kahlo’s personal struggles with chronic pain, miscarriages, and infidelity, depicting her resilience in the face of adversity. The book also sheds light on Kahlo’s complex relationships with influential figures such as Leon Trotsky and André Breton, as well as her enduring friendship with photographer Nickolas Muray.

Overall, “Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo” presents a rich and detailed exploration of the life, art, and legacy of one of the most significant artists of the 20th century. It provides readers with a deeper understanding of Kahlo’s unique artistic voice, her enduring impact on the art world, and her powerful legacy as an icon of strength, resilience, and feminist empowerment.

Reasons for Recommendation

1) Representation of a strong female figure: Frida Kahlo is an iconic figure in feminist history due to her resilience, creativity, and refusal to conform to traditional gender norms. This biography by Hayden Herrera sheds light on her life, achievements, and struggles, offering a valuable representation of a woman who defied societal expectations.

2) Exploration of Frida’s unique perspective on womanhood: Frida Kahlo’s art was deeply influenced by her experiences as a woman, her struggles with infertility, and her relentless pursuit of self-expression. This biography delves into her complex relationship with gender, offering insights into how her identity as a woman informed her art and activism.

3) Analysis of Frida’s portrayal of female pain and strength: Frida’s artwork frequently addressed topics such as physical and emotional pain, as well as the resilience and strength she found within herself. This biography examines how she used her art as a medium to discuss issues that affect women, such as physical and emotional suffering, challenging traditional narratives around women’s experiences.

4) Contextualization of the historical and cultural factors that influenced Frida’s life as a woman: The biography provides historical and cultural context, including the early 20th century’s gender roles and societal expectations that Frida encountered. This analysis highlights the obstacles she faced and the ways she defied patriarchal norms, positioning her story within a broader feminist narrative.

5) Celebration of Frida’s unapologetic self-expression: Frida Kahlo’s artwork and personal style were often seen as unconventional and non-conforming. This biography celebrates her refusal to conform to established beauty standards, her exploration of self-expression through clothing, and her challenge to societal expectations, making it an inspiring read for modern feminists.

6) Focus on Frida’s relationships with other women: The biography explores Frida’s relationships with other influential women in her life, such as her mother and feminist artists like Leonora Carrington. These relationships provide insights into Frida’s collaboration, support, and exchange of ideas with other pioneering women in the art world, making it an important contribution to feminist literature.

7) Examination of the influence and legacy of Frida Kahlo on later feminist movements: The biography discusses how Frida’s art, life, and activism have inspired subsequent generations of feminists. By exploring her enduring influence, the book underscores the significant role she played in shaping feminist art and feminist theory.

Overall, Hayden Herrera’s biography of Frida Kahlo offers an engaging and informative perspective on Frida’s life, art, and contributions to feminism. It celebrates her unapologetic self-expression, explores her unique perspective on womanhood, and contextualizes her achievements within a larger feminist narrative, making it a valuable recommendation for anyone interested in the intersection of feminism and art history.


Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon


Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon is a biography that delves into the life and accomplishments of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a prominent American Supreme Court Justice. The book primarily focuses on Ginsburg’s groundbreaking work as a lawyer and her influential role on the Supreme Court.

The author explores Ginsburg’s life from her childhood in Brooklyn, New York, to her time as a student at Cornell University and Harvard Law School, where she faced numerous challenges and discrimination as a woman. Carmon delves into Ginsburg’s early legal career, where she dedicated herself to fighting for gender equality and women’s rights.

The book highlights Ginsburg’s landmark cases, such as Reed v. Reed and United States v. Virginia, in which she successfully argued for equal protection under the law and dismantled gender-based discrimination. It also delves into her approach to the law and her belief in incremental change, which allowed her to strategically shape the legal landscape.

Carmon also explores the personal side of Ginsburg’s life, touching upon her marriage to her beloved husband Martin and her deep friendship with fellow justice Antonin Scalia, despite their differing ideologies. The book sheds light on her struggles with health issues and the determination she displayed in confronting them.

Overall, “Notorious RBG” portrays Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a resilient and pioneering figure in American legal history who has left an indelible impact on gender equality and civil rights. The book presents her as a role model and source of inspiration for generations to come.

Reasons for Recommendation

1. Celebrating Female Empowerment: “Notorious RBG” pays tribute to one of the most influential feminist icons of our time, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The book serves as a powerful reminder of her groundbreaking achievements, unwavering commitment to gender equality, and dedication to empowering women.

2. Inspiring Activism: It offers valuable insights into Justice Ginsburg’s battles for gender equality throughout her career, encouraging readers to be active participants in feminism. Her unwavering determination and strategic approach serve as a guide for young feminists looking to make a difference.

3. Expanding Feminist Discourse: Through her work, Justice Ginsburg reshaped legal interpretations surrounding gender discrimination, reproductive rights, equal pay, and more. “Notorious RBG” delves into her pivotal role in expanding feminist discourse, shedding light on the significance of progressive interpretations of the U.S. Constitution and ongoing struggles for gender justice.

4. Advocacy for Intersectionality: The book demonstrates Justice Ginsburg’s recognition of the interconnected nature of oppression, advocating for intersectionality long before it became a mainstream concept. By highlighting her efforts to address the experiences of women of color and other marginalized groups, “Notorious RBG” contributes to a more inclusive and comprehensive feminist movement.

5. Female Role Models: Justice Ginsburg’s resilience and refusal to conform to societal norms make her an enduring role model for young women. “Notorious RBG” illustrates her determination, work ethic, and ability to balance personal and professional life, inspiring readers to pursue their dreams fearlessly.

6. Encouraging Empathy: The book examines the deep friendship between Justice Ginsburg and Justice Antonin Scalia—a conservative icon—showcasing the potential for respectful dialogue across ideological lines. In an era of polarized politics, this highlights the importance of empathy and forging alliances to advance feminist causes.

7. Rallying Against Stereotypes: Justice Ginsburg’s trailblazing career defied stereotypes and made profound contributions to dismantling gender norms. “Notorious RBG” challenges societal expectations by showcasing her brilliance in a traditionally male-dominated field, encouraging women to break free from constraints and pursue their passions fearlessly.

8. Preservation of Feminist Legacy: Lastly, “Notorious RBG” contributes to preserving and celebrating the legacy of an influential feminist leader. By championing Justice Ginsburg’s accomplishments and activism, the book ensures her contributions are not forgotten and inspires future generations to continue the fight for gender equality.

Overall, “Notorious RBG” is recommended from a feminist perspective as it illuminates the life and work of a feminist icon, inspires activism, expands discourse, promotes intersectionality, offers role models, encourages empathy, challenges stereotypes, and safeguards the feminist legacy.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


Pride and Prejudice, written by Jane Austen, is a classic novel set in rural England in the early 19th century. The story revolves around the lives of the Bennett family, particularly the second oldest daughter, Elizabeth Bennett.

The novel explores themes of love, marriage, social classes, and overcomes prejudices. Mrs. Bennett, a mother of five daughters, is determined to find suitable husbands for her girls as their family’s estate is entailed to a distant cousin. When Mr. Bingley, a wealthy and amiable young man, arrives in the town of Hertfordshire, Mrs. Bennett sees it as a promising opportunity for one of her daughters to secure a good match. Bingley takes an immediate liking to the eldest Bennett daughter, Jane, while his close friend, the arrogant Mr. Darcy, forms a negative opinion of the Bennett family.

As the story progresses, Elizabeth discovers that her initial judgment of Mr. Darcy may have been premature. Despite their initial dislike for each other, Darcy finds himself increasingly drawn to Elizabeth’s wit, intelligence, and independent spirit. Likewise, Elizabeth gradually realizes her own misconceptions about him. However, their journey towards understanding and love is complicated by misunderstandings, societal expectations, and the interference of other characters.

Throughout the novel, Austen skillfully portrays the charming and often absurd society of the time, critiquing the constraints placed upon women and the importance of marrying for love. Pride and Prejudice is a story of self-discovery, personal growth, and overcoming societal norms in pursuit of happiness and true love.

With its engaging characters, witty dialogue, and insightful social commentary, Pride and Prejudice has become one of the most beloved works of English literature, showcasing Austen’s mastery of storytelling and her enduring influence on romantic fiction.

Reasons for Recommendation

1. Strong Female Protagonist: Pride and Prejudice features a remarkable female protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet, who challenges the societal norms of her time. She is intelligent, witty, independent-minded, and refuses to conform to the traditional expectations placed upon women. She embodies the spirit of feminism by asserting her own beliefs and making decisions based on her own desires and principles.

2. Critique of Gender Inequality: The novel explores the restrictive social roles imposed on women during the early 19th century. It highlights the limited options available to women in terms of education, professions, and marriage. Austen exposes the gender disparities in her society and offers a critical analysis of the female experience, advocating for greater rights and opportunities for women.

3. Subversion of Patriarchal Expectations: Through Elizabeth’s refusal to conform to the patriarchal ideals of her time, the novel challenges the notion that women should be submissive and purely focused on marriage. Elizabeth and her sister Jane prioritize their own happiness and well-being, demonstrating that women should have agency in choosing their partners based on love and mutual respect rather than financial considerations or societal pressures.

4. Female Bonds and Solidarity: The relationships between female characters in Pride and Prejudice showcase the importance of female friendship and support in the face of gender inequalities. Elizabeth shares a close bond with her sisters, Jane and Charlotte, and they provide emotional strength and guidance for each other. The novel emphasizes that women can empower each other and navigate their lives with the support of genuine sisterhood.

5. Satirical Critique of Marriage and Objectification: Austen uses satire to critique the institution of marriage as a tool for social advancement and financial security. By exposing the superficiality and shallowness of some male characters’ pursuit of eligible women, the novel challenges the objectification of women as mere objects of desire. This satirical approach emphasizes the need for women to be valued for their intelligence, personality, and character, rather than their physical appearance.

6. Independent Female Characters: Aside from Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice presents other strong female characters such as Charlotte Lucas and Georgiana Darcy. Charlotte, pragmatically making her own choices regarding marriage, challenges the expectations placed upon women. Georgiana, despite her youth, shows independence and determination, refusing to be controlled by her male relatives. These characters exemplify feminist ideals through their pursuit of personal happiness and autonomy.

Overall, Pride and Prejudice is recommended from a feminist perspective because it explores the struggles and triumphs of women in a patriarchal society, challenges gender roles, advocates for female agency and independence, and highlights the importance of female solidarity.

2 thoughts on “Frida : Recommendations for Feminists”

  1. Pingback: Pride And Prejudice: Amplifying Women's Voices

  2. Pingback: Jane Eyre: Books to Unleash the Feminist Within

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