Texts about feminism and #MeToo

Short stories

Tomorrow Is Too Far

The story is particularly critical of gendered biases towards children. Because the story shows how girls are disadvantaged by parental favoritism and boys are privileged, the text can also be considered a feminist critique on gender inequality.

Weekend

The main themes of the short story are sexism and gender roles, as the story focuses on the social representations of women in the 1970s. Through sarcasm and irony, the author criticises the expectations that a male-dominated society has of women, which forces women to fit in a limited set of boxes: wife, mother, friend, career woman, mistress, etc.

The Yellow Wallpaper

Kate Chopin’s short story was written in 1894, when there were several active movements for women’s suffrage. The story's dominant theme is related to the condition of women in marriage and society. The protagonist could symbolise the submissive women everywhere, unable to speak for themselves and not treated as equal to men.

The Story of an Hour

“The Story of an Hour” was written in 1894, a time when women’s suffrage had been already granted locally, in a few states, and shortly after national associations lobbying for women’s right to vote had formed. Though there is no direct mention of women’s suffrage in the short story, its main themes include freedom and independence from men.

The Abortion

The story sheds light on women’s situation in 1970s American society, particularly in connection to their rights to their bodies and how these rights were confined.

Speeches

Freedom or Death

Emmeline Pankhurst’s speech focuses on the topic of women’s fight for voting rights in Britain. In exploring this topic, the speaker includes universal themes like revolutionary activism and gender discrimination.

Women's Rights are Human Rights

The speech was delivered in 1995, at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. Clinton’s speech is directed at the female audience, advocating for women to unite and fight for their rights. The speaker claims that women’s rights are human rights and exposes some of the unjust treatment women are victims of worldwide.

Commencement Address at Wellesley College

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's speech can be seen as advocating feminism in that she encourages the female graduates to use their influence in their future professional lives to promote the status of women. Adichie distances herself from the notion that feminism should be a closed club reserved for the "right opinions", but instead wants it to be an inclusive group that allows many forms of feminism.

Emma Watson's HeForShe Speech

Watson’s speech focuses on the importance of feminism for promoting equal rights and eliminating gender bias for both women and men. Watson argues that gender equality can only be advanced if men also support and promote it.

Other texts

Below are further suggestions for texts or movies that may be relevant when working with feminism and the #MeToo movement. We do not currently have study guides for these texts, but maybe you can be inspired to look for some of these titles yourself.

  • Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozie - "We Should All be Feminists" (2012 TEDx talk)
  • Armstrong, Gillian - My Brilliant Career (2014 movie)
  • Atwood, Margaret - The Handmaid's Tale (1985 novel)
  • Beauvoir, Simone de - The Second Sex (1949 book)
  • Chopin, Kate - The Awakening (1988 novel)
  • Davis, Viola - "Speech at the 2018 Women's March"
  • Friedan, Betty -  The Feminine Mystique (1963 book)
  • Gavron, Sarah - Suffragette (2015 movie)
  • Hutchinson, Pamela - "#MeToo and Hollywood: what's changed in the industry a year on?" (2018 article)
  • Mill, John Stuart - "The Subjection of Women" (1869 essay)
  • Roberts, Davis - "What so many men are missing about #MeToo" (2018 article)
  • Scott, Ridley - Thelma & Louise (1991 movie)
  • Steinem, Gloria - "Address to the Women of America" (1971 speech)
  • Traister, Rebecca - Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger (2018 book)
  • Truth, Sojourner - "Ain't I a Woman?" (1851 speech)
  • Woolf, Virginia - "A Room Of One’s Own" (1929 essay)
  • Yousafzai, Malala - I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban (2013 autobiography)