After successfully binge-watching an entire miniseries in a single day (a new record), I had to ask myself a few questions. Did I waste the day? What time is it? Is that a chocolate stain on my sweatpants? But most importantly, why is this behavior my default form of relaxation? I had to acknowledge that there are perhaps better ways to spend my free time. And what better way to move away from the couch and computer screen than to move to a slightly different side of the couch with a good book?! These fictional and nonfictional women have talent, spunk and none of their shit together. But true female empowerment does not require large-scale, massively impactful work. In my recent experience, it has been refreshing to read about women who are feminists in their own right, without the prestige and historical weight of someone like Gloria Steinem or RBG. These literary heroines are just trying to make it through the day – facing their own fears, making mistakes, and moving on. As for me, I will get off the couch tomorrow and work on some of the big things. For now, I’ll enjoy my book.
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
What it’s about: Taylor Jenkins Reid’s latest novel chronicles the history of the fictional band, Daisy Jones & The Six during the 1970s. The book is almost entirely in an interview format and reads like a Rolling Stone article – plenty of sex, drugs, and rock and roll.
Excerpt: “Daisy: I had no interest in being somebody else’s muse. I am not a muse. I am the somebody. End of fucking story.”
I Might Regret This by Abbi Jacobson
What it’s about: After a rough break-up and with her television show approaching its final season, Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson takes a solo road trip across the country to hit the reset button and clear her head. She hilariously and poignantly shares stories from her career and personal life, along with original illustrations from the road.
Excerpt: “There’s a quiet epidemic of women taking and absorbing the blame for other people’s mistakes, because of some inherent attribute deep inside us, constantly trying not to be difficult. I’ve had to learn to speak up and ask for what I want, specifically. And if it’s not done right, I don’t need to say, “Sorry, but…” Why am I apologizing? Asking for what you want and need (nicely) is not being an asshole, it’s part of the job.”
Fifty Things That Aren’t My Fault by Cathy Guisewite
What it’s about: Cathy Guisewite is the creator of the beloved “Cathy” comic strip which ran in newspapers for 34 years. Now retired, Fifty Things is a collection of essays from “the grown-up years.” She humorously provides a voice for the every-woman, and candidly discusses the feminist issues that don’t get as much attention as the larger-scale movements – from bathing suit shopping, to family struggles, to food.
Excerpt: “It’s not my fault I have bonus guilt. I had the amazing platform of an internationally syndicated comic strip, which some people said I should have used to voice triumphant stories of unwavering feminism, but which I instead used to voice the insecurities, relationship frustrations, mother-daughter angst, career grief, and food blunders under which so many of our triumphant dreams get squashed. Some people thought my work reinforced the negative stereotype of women being obsessed with shopping, weight, and love, but it wasn’t my fault we still live in a world that partly judges women by what we wear, how much we weigh, and whether or not and who or how we love.”
Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
What it’s about: Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark are the creators and hosts of the hugely popular true crime comedy podcast, My Favorite Murder. These women have used their humor and candor to talk about difficult social issues and cultivate a massive following of dedicated fans. In their new book, Karen and Georgia share stories about their struggles with depression, eating disorders and addiction, to break down stigmas and encourage others to self-advocate.
Review: “My Favorite Murder started as a way for Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark to work through their fears. Now it’s a worldwide community…. Even its darkest moments are lightened by Karen and Georgia's effortlessly funny banter and genuine empathy.” ―RollingStone.com
Vintage Pick: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
What it’s about: The Bell Jar follows the downward spiral of Esther Greenwood and her struggles with mental illness, relationships, and her own identity. The novel not only represents a woman attempting to take control of her own mental health, but also tackles feminist issues of gendered double standards and education.
Excerpt: “That’s one of the reasons I never wanted to get married. The last thing I wanted was infinite security and to be the place an arrow shoots off from. I wanted change and excitement and to shoot off in all directions myself, like the colored arrows from a Fourth of July rocket.”
By Maddie Rizzo.
Here are 5 Empowering Female Nude Artists for #NationalNudeDay!
These female portraitists are uprooting the male gaze through their artwork.
Ladies, summer is officially here. I’s time to have at least one hand on sunscreen and one eye on the nearest shady area at all times – this is not a drill. Say your prayers to Rihanna or whoever you believe in that we make it out of this one alive.
Here are a few simple adjustments you can make to your surroundings when it’s time to create!
Shining a light on women erased from the institutional art history canon.
Marketing your art can be intimidating and difficult. Here are six simple steps to make it easy and rewarding!
These ten women may be what you’ve been missing on your IG feed.
Women today must reclaim the identity of the muse.
What Ana Mendieta’s Siluetas Taught Me About Woman and Nature as One.
Artist Betty Tompkins has been painting text-based works of demeaning words and phrases used to describe women from 2002-2015. In response to the #MeToo Movement, the artist is using her work in a new exhibition, “Will She Ever Shut Up?”
A series of murals of feminist icons have been placed all across London in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the UK’s first laws giving many women the right to vote. The murals contain 50 women from the past (such as Sojourner Truth and Sophia Duleep Singh) and present (Malala Yousafzai) who have played a role in the fight for equal rights.
In response to leading publications putting mostly men in their “Year in Pictures” review, Women Photograph have compiled their own list that reflects the underrepresented voices of those in their organization.
Hannah Starkey has been photographing the daily experiences of women for over 20 years, capturing the truthful nature of what being a woman means in everyday life.
At the contemporary art fair, Scope, artist Leah Schrager took a deep look into the double standards of social media culture in her display Female Friendly. Mounted side by side from each other, one image is a screenshot from her personal Instagram account of a mirror selfie with a few comments, while the other is from her alter ego, Ona’s Instagram account of her in Calvin Klein underwear with even more comments.
For the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—a document founded as a result of the human rights violations brought on by World War I—30 women and non-binary artists across the globe have designed prints for the human rights we still fight for today.
Nike has partnered with the global network aimed at highlighting women creatives, Girlgaze, on their latest Air Force 1 sneakers launch. The campaign is shot by eight female-identifying Girlgaze photographers capturing images of Nike’s Unsung Heroes.
For this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach, artist Suzy Kellems Dominik explores the physical and psychological emotions involved in the orgasm through I Can Feel. The twelve foot tall neon sculpture and light show depicts anatomical elements (which flashes on a 27.68 second loop) with fireworks and a ribbon setting off around it.
In a round-table discussion group with Surface, six of the members from various generations discuss everything from the start of the Guerrilla Girls to reclaiming the word feminism in recent years.
Christina identifies as an illustrator but also as a zine maker, printmaker, animator, and designer. She exemplifies what it means to be a modern feminist creative, bringing representation along wit her own style to the art scene.
Artist Nora Turato is using her spoken voice to break taboos of what a woman sounds like. With graphic visuals as her backdrop, she performs passion-filled monologues in museum halls, galleries, and churches.
The latest photo book, “Upstate Girls: Unraveling Collar City,” by Brenda Ann Kenneally follows the lives of young women from working class families in Troy, New York for nine consecutive years.
In early November, artist Michelle Hartney challenged problematic artists by putting up wall labels next to specific works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This was the creation her own work, Correct Art History.
Through her photographs, Hubbs sheds the gaze that has dominated our culture, and looks to create a feminist view of identity and body image.