08/13/2013 10:57 am ET

The Ultimate Pop-Culture Feminist Syllabus: 50 Books, Movies, TV Shows, Artists, and Albums Everyone Should Know


You can’t go five feet on the Internet without tripping over feminist commentary on pop culture. We’re at high tide for that sort of thing. But there’s only so many posts on the feminism of Mad Men or The Hunger Games or Very Special Personal Essays about Girls I can read before I start longing for a little more… variety in the repertoire. So I rounded up 50 items I think ought to be on every feminist’s read/watch/listen list.

It can’t hope to be comprehensive, of course, but this is my suggested start. My parameters were these: I left out most of the obvious classics — Fear of Flying, Buffy, Sylvia Plath — unless there was some angle I felt doesn’t get discussed enough and necessitates a second and closer look. I tried to keep the focus on female creators, too, though some men snuck in here. No tracts or journalism, so most of Steinem/Dworkin/Wolf was out.

And as a first example, the suggested soundtrack for this list would definitely include Ani DiFranco’s “32 Flavors.” The song’s about female ambition — “I am a poster girl with no poster” — and the way people will try to tear women down for having it.

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