It’s Women’s History Month, and there’s lots to celebrate. Women are breaking barriers in politics (and visiting UNLV) — here’s looking at you Vice President Kamala Harris); in sports — Simone Biles is the most decorated American gymnast ever; and in the sciences — thank you Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett for your contribution to the synthesis of the COVID-19 vaccine. Longer days and more sunshine mean letting your eyes wander to something other than a Google Meet meeting or your email inbox. After a very long year full of blue light and video conferencing fatigue, all of our eyes could use a break from business as usual.
Here are my five recommendations for Women’s History Month reads to remember.
In this collection of essays Kendall, challenges all of us to take a different lens at examining the modern feminist movement. Hood Feminism discusses how the intersections of race, class, privilege, and other factors can actually be wielded dangerously, even within the movement, if issues affecting all women aren’t considered, valued, and brought to the fore. Marches, pink hats, and hashtags are recognizable sights from the most recent vestiges of feminist activism over the last few years, but Kendall asks us to honestly reconsider how all are women meant to stand in solidarity with a movement when there is an indication that some are on board with uplifting only certain kinds of women.
Crushing It: How I Crushed Diet Culture, Addiction, and the Patriarchy
The summary on the back of Crushing It reads: “At 15, Kortney Olson had everything in front of her. The associated student body president, drumming in a Christian rock band, a leader on the Youth City Council and prospects of a full ride scholarship to Stanford. But all of that was thrown away the day she discovered methamphetamines.”
In her debut memoir, Vegas-based business phenom and one-woman empowerment queen, Kortney Olson takes us all on an unbelievable ride through her life from insecure overachiever subject to some of life’s hardest knocks to the head of a global movement and clothing revolution: GRRRL! You won’t be able to stop turning pages as Olson takes us through some of her hardest struggles like being the victim of sexual assault, her long and winding journey to find herself through addiction, diet and exercise extremes, and finding her own voice, all the way through to her triumph over comparison and her mission to leading others to self-love. Crushing It is a masterpiece memoir showing you how to take back your power and learn to love yourself no matter the odds.
The Truths We Hold
Regardless of what side of the political aisle you land on, no one can argue that the nation’s first female vice president is something to celebrate! What better way to get to know our new vice president, than through her autobiography, The Truths We Hold. In this tome, Harris reflects on her career, those who’ve most inspired her, how her upbringing shaped the way she’s interacted withher constituents as a congresswoman and now in her new role.
By paralleling some of her biggest challenges with those we face together, Kamala Harris offers in The Truths We Hold a master class in problem solving, in crisis management, and leadership in challenging times.
The Vanishing Half
The Vignes sisters are identical twins from a small, southern Black community who ran away at age 16. After they take control of their own lives, they decide to reshape their lives in ways that are starkly different as they grow into women and age. Their choices become strikingly different in every way: their families, their communities, their racial identities veer wildly in the opposite directions of each other. One digs into the complexity and challenges of her hometown with vim and vigor by returning, while the other tries to leave any trace of her past behind at all costs. Even with these differences, the sisters' fates remain interconnected. What will happen to their own daughters, when they happen to run into each other years down the line?
She Changed Comics
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
If you’ve just finished drying your tears from the cliffhanger that was Avengers: Endgame, even though it’s been a little while since the movie came out, you might be feeling a comic bookdrought, as we’ve not been able to see any of the regular huge summer blockbusters safely. Even through this pause in comic storyline advancement, fans have fallen in love with made for television adaptations featuring strong female characters such as WandaVision, Star Girl, or the ironically named The Boys, featuring interesting and nuanced female superheroes. Interested in learning more about how your onscreen favorites originally came to life on the page? Check out: She Changed Comics.
To find more Women’s History Month resources available from the University Libraries, visit the Women’s History Month Guide.