We thought it would be interesting to share with the readers some of the books we have read and really found valuable to us. Many of these books are written by women, for women and highlight various forms of issues that are relevant to women. The books about LGBTQ issues are important no matter gender and age.
Birth Matters: A Midwife’s Manifesta – Ina May Gaskin
Women in America are more likely to die from complications of childbirth than their mothers. Gaskin discusses the extraordinary experience of childbirth, based from the perspective of an experienced midwife. The increased use of C-sections, technological innovations and drugs are also discussed alongside the history of midwives and obstetricians.
Ancient Bodies, Modern Lives: How Evolution Has Shaped Women’s Health – Wenda Trevathan
Trevathan believes that if we examine evolutionary notions of how women have lived, we can help improve women’s overall health. Both medicine and evolutionary theory can therefore help aim women in understanding how to improve not only overall health, but also reproductive health.
The Madness of Women: Myth and Experience – Jane M. Ussher
Ussher challenges the notion that women are “madder” than men, which is a common statement based on the assumption that madness is pathological. The pressure for women to be “good”, misdiagnosis, androcentrism and positivism help shape the notion of women’s madness.
America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril, and Liberation – Elaine Tyler May
May traces the history behind the pill, the “mothers of invention” who fought for women’s reproductive rights, how the pill has contributed to women’s increased sexual independence, and also why there is no “pill” for men.
Sexuality, LGBTQ and Sexual Violence:
Surviving Sexual Violence – edited by Thema Bryant-Davis
This book is a collection of 21 essays written to describe and examine different types of sexual violence. The book provides valuable information about many types of sexual violence, including harassment, trafficking, marital rape, child sexual abuse and more. Working alongside these chapters are suggestions of diverse treatment methods to aid in the recovery process for survivors of sexual violence.
Bodies in Doubt: An American History of Intersex – Elizabeth Reis
Reis describes how intersex individuals have been medically treated during the last five centuries, what the “condition” was believed to stem from, what constituted successful treatment and how sex was determined for individuals. The gruesome treatment of intersex individuals is also highlighted in the book.
Let’s Get This Straight: The Ultimate Handbook for Youth with LGBTQ Parents – Tina Fakhrid- Deen
This handbook discusses the different structures and diversity among families with LGBTQ parents, while focusing on the experiences of youth. This handbook explains the struggles, challenges and injustices many youth with LGBTQ parents face from the wider community, such as teasing, ignorance, hostility, homophobia, and hatred.
Forced to Care: Coercion and Caregiving in America – Evelyn Nakano Glenn
Discussing the “care crisis” in America, which is explained as the gap between the need for care and the supply of care, Glenn states that women have often been coerced into assuming the caregiving role. Glenn focuses much on how race and class intersects with gender and how minority women and women of lower classes are affected.
A History of Marriage – Elizabeth Abbott
This book is an in-depth overview of aspects related to marriage, both in “traditional” heterosexual, monogamous marriages as well as less “traditional” notions of marriage including polygamy and bridal endowments. Abbott also discusses the important notion of contraception, abortion, abuse and violence in marriages.