100 books like The Creation of Patriarchy

By Gerda Lerner,

Here are 100 books that The Creation of Patriarchy fans have personally recommended if you like The Creation of Patriarchy. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

Kara Alaimo Author Of Over The Influence: Why Social Media is Toxic for Women and Girls - And How We Can Take it Back

From my list on what it’s like to be a woman in this sexist, misogynistic world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a communication professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, a social media user, and a mom. After Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, I wrote an op-ed for CNN arguing that he’d won the election on social media, and I just never stopped writing. A few hundred op-eds and a book later, I’m still interested in what social media is doing to us all and the issues women are up against in our society. My book allowed me to explore how social media is impacting every single aspect of the lives of women and girls and exactly what we can do about it. I wrote it as a call to arms.

Kara's book list on what it’s like to be a woman in this sexist, misogynistic world

Kara Alaimo Why did Kara love this book?

The opening of this book about how public transport systems have been designed to get men where they need to go (to the city center for work) but not women where we often go (all over neighborhoods caring for people) just blew my mind.

I loved how Criado Perez challenges so many things we take for granted – like why you can go out with a client after work and expense your steak and drinks but not the babysitter you have to hire. Her explanations of how the world is basically designed for men helped me understand why the voice control system in my car never seems to understand me and why there’s always a line for the ladies’ room.

By Caroline Criado Perez,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Invisible Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2019 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award
Winner of the 2019 Royal Society Science Book Prize

Data is fundamental to the modern world. From economic development, to healthcare, to education and public policy, we rely on numbers to allocate resources and make crucial decisions. But because so much data fails to take into account gender, because it treats men as the default and women as atypical, bias and discrimination are baked into our systems. And women pay tremendous costs for this bias, in time, money, and often with their lives.

Celebrated feminist advocate…

Book cover of Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

Melinda Lewis Author Of Social Policy for Effective Practice: A Strengths Approach

From my list on igniting students’ passions about policy change.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a policy advocate, grassroots activist, university professor, and author committed to social change—at scale—to advance social work values of racial, economic, environmental, and social justice. Recognizing that most social workers are drawn to our profession because they want to make a difference in the lives of their clients, one by one, I invest my energies and skills to making policy study and practice accessible, relevant, and urgent. My students quickly get used to noting the book recommendations I sprinkle throughout class discussions and in assignment feedback, because when you see the world through a social policy frame, everything has a policy implication! 

Melinda's book list on igniting students’ passions about policy change

Melinda Lewis Why did Melinda love this book?

Wilkerson’s scholarship on race and injustice is certainly not a secret, but I still find some colleagues who have not yet read this book.

To convince people to pick it up, I promise that its language is poetic and imminently accessible, and I share the two pieces that have remained top of mind for years: first, Wilkerson’s research about the lessons Nazi Germany took from the racial caste system of Jim Crow United States, and second, the way she crafts an analogy of a crumbling house to make the case for reparations for racist harm, which—like cracks in the foundation of a house you just bought—may not be your fault but are still your problem.

I am forever grateful to Wilkerson for gifting us her insights and rhetorical tools, conveyed so skillfully in this tremendous contribution.

By Isabel Wilkerson,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Caste as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


"Powerful and timely ... I cannot recommend it strongly enough" - Barack Obama

From one of America's most celebrated and insightful writers, the moving, eye-opening bestseller about what lies hidden under the surface of ordinary lives

In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human…

Book cover of Project Hail Mary

Luke Mitchell Author Of Red Gambit

From my list on sci-fi character journeys you’ll probably never forget.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an ex-neuroengineer turned sci-fi pen monkey (turned melted heap of goo on the floor). More than anything, though, I’m a guy who simply could NOT get enough Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Indiana Jones as a kid, and it’s probably somewhere between those formative years and all the amazing books and movies I’ve gobbled down since that the writing bug seeped into my veins. Much as my writing has changed the way I read, this list constitutes 5 of the types of stories that made me fall so deeply in love with fiction (and good characters!) that I couldn’t help but eventually pick up the pen myself.

Luke's book list on sci-fi character journeys you’ll probably never forget

Luke Mitchell Why did Luke love this book?

This book was just fun. (And informative!) As my editor, Lisa Poisso, put it (paraphrased), “I’ve never seen an author manage to build so much narrative tension around something so simple as, ‘And now I have to push this button.’”

So yes, Weir continues to be awesome at making hard sci-fi fun and thrilling. What really stuck with me most, though, was the relationship the main character, Ryland Grace, forms with his unexpected interstellar buddy, the Eridian he dubs Rocky. The care and thought Weir puts into every aspect of their interactions… Those were the moments that got me. Never have I ever had so much fun watching a character think about how to solve problems. And who couldn’t use a bit more laughter and problem-solving in their life?

By Andy Weir,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked Project Hail Mary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space…

Book cover of Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution

Ernest Owens Author Of The Case for Cancel Culture: How This Democratic Tool Works to Liberate Us All

From my list on modern-day Black social consciousness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Philadelphia-based journalist and new author. I’m the Editor at Large for Philadelphia Magazine and President of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. As an openly Black gay journalist, I’ve headlined for speaking frankly about intersectional issues in society regarding race, LGBTQIA, and pop culture. Such experiences have awakened my consciousness as an underrepresented voice in the media and have pushed me to explore societal topics. My new book The Case for Cancel Culture, published by St. Martin's Press, is my way of staking my claim in the global conversation on this buzzworthy topic. 

Ernest's book list on modern-day Black social consciousness

Ernest Owens Why did Ernest love this book?

This is a book that educates and radicalizes you all at once.

Mystal is more than just a bold political commentator, but a man on a mission to make you reconsider everything you thought you knew about America’s most consequential text in a book that holds back no punches.

I will never again see the Constitution as a historical text that guides my life, but now as a document that is currently being weaponized by politicians to infringe upon it.

This book is a loud alarm to all those who have been casually watching the current political mudslinging and not thinking the fire would hit their doorstep.

It’s here, and it’s time to do something about it.  

By Elie Mystal,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Allow Me to Retort as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Instant New York Times Bestseller

MSNBC legal commentator Elie Mystal thinks that Republicans are wrong about the law almost all of the time. Now, instead of talking about this on cable news, Mystal explains why in his first book.

"After reading Allow Me to Retort, I want Elie Mystal to explain everything I don't understand-quantum astrophysics, the infield fly rule, why people think Bob Dylan is a good singer . . ." -Michael Harriot, The Root

Allow Me to Retort is an easily digestible argument about what rights we have, what rights Republicans are trying to take away, and how…

Book cover of Paternal Tyranny

Kathleen Ann Gonzalez Author Of A Beautiful Woman in Venice

From my list on undaunted Italian women to inspire you.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since 1996 when my first trip to Venice rearranged my interior life, I have been visiting the city and learning everything I can about it. Most of my reading led me to men’s history, but with some digging, I uncovered the stories of Venice’s inspired, undaunted, hardworking women. Their proto-feminism motivated me to share their stories with others in an attempt to redefine beauty. I’ve also created videos showing sites connected to these women’s lives, and I’ve written four books about Venetians, including extensive research into Giacomo Casanova and two anthologies celebrating Venetian life. Reading and writing about Venice helps me connect more deeply with my favorite city.

Kathleen's book list on undaunted Italian women to inspire you

Kathleen Ann Gonzalez Why did Kathleen love this book?

Sometimes reading eighteenth-century writing can be tedious due to the differing norms and expectations of writing. But Archangela Tarabotti’s essays burn the page.

Her anger is incandescent. She became a cloistered nun without a calling and lived her years trying to make a life of letters. Though she had a couple patrons—men—who brought her books and helped publish her works, she was at their mercy and was later nearly silenced by them. She rails against fathers, priests, and powerful nobles who limit women’s choices and voices. I have never forgotten her anger at injustice.

By Arcangela Tarabotti, Letizia Panizza (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Paternal Tyranny as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sharp-witted and sharp-tongued, Arcangela Tarabotti (1604-52) yearned to be formally educated and enjoy an independent life in Venetian literary circles. But instead, at sixteen, her father forced her into a Benedictine convent. To protest her confinement, Tarabotti composed polemical works exposing the many injustices perpetrated against women of her day.

Paternal Tyranny, the first of these works, is a fiery but carefully argued manifesto against the oppression of women by the Venetian patriarchy. Denouncing key misogynist texts of the era, Tarabotti shows how despicable it was for Venice, a republic that prided itself on its political liberties, to deprive its…

Book cover of Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature

Pouline Middleton Author Of One Woman Three Men: A Novel about Modern Love and Sex

From my list on how to get a deep and fulfilling love life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was living one of the darkest periods of my life when a friend took me to a Louise Bourgeois show. I wandered among her pieces feeling numb. Then I entered a large room filled with Passage Dangereux from 1997. A most depressing art piece that put me into contact with the restrictions in a family, the limitations we set for each other, and the unhappiness everywhere. When I left the room, I felt a lift in my spirits. I’m a writer to try to put more precise words to what goes on inside ourselves when we are alone and when we fall in love and enter into a relationship with another person. 

Pouline's book list on how to get a deep and fulfilling love life

Pouline Middleton Why did Pouline love this book?

A man I was working with recommended this book to me, when he heard about my novel, while it was in the making. I got hold of this book and already after the first chapter I understood why. Janice Radway investigates how Harlequin novels have such a large audience. In essence it is because romance novels always end well, as opposed to life, that keeps being complicated. It taught me that I’m a very romantic person. This was something I had never regarded as a positive trait so of course I failed to see just how important romance was and is to me. By identifying with millions of women who read these romance novels, I gained a respect that I still feel is lacking in our culture: A respect for our emotions and the big role they play in our sense of satisfaction with life.  

By Janice A. Radway,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Reading the Romance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Originally published in 1984, Reading the Romance challenges popular (and often demeaning) myths about why romantic fiction, one of publishing's most lucrative categories, captivates millions of women readers. Among those who have disparaged romance reading are feminists, literary critics, and theorists of mass culture. They claim that romances enforce the woman reader's dependence on men and acceptance of the repressive ideology purveyed by popular culture. Radway questions such claims, arguing that critical attention ""must shift from the text itself, taken in isolation, to the complex social event of reading."" She examines that event, from the complicated business of publishing and…

Book cover of The Rise of Women and Wealth: Our Fight for Freedom, Equality, and Control of Our Financial Future

Nancy D. O’Reilly, PsyD Author Of Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life

From my list on empowering women to become leaders.

Why am I passionate about this?

Women’s empowerment is my passion and my purpose, which is why I founded Women Connect4Good, Inc., a 501(c)3 foundation to help support other organizations that work to advance women and girls. Our name says it, and our work proves it. Women make phenomenal leaders, and while I can do a lot through my foundation to promote women’s leadership, we can all do something in our day-to-day lives to help women lead. Every day we can do something to support another woman, or partner with another woman, like the women who’ve written the books I’ve reviewed here – friends, colleagues, and fierce advocates for equality on every level. We are all lifting as we rise.

Nancy's book list on empowering women to become leaders

Nancy D. O’Reilly, PsyD Why did Nancy love this book?

Why are women still struggling for equality in every area of society, from wages to leadership, and why are so many women allowing men to control their finances? How did we get here – especially when women own over half of the investible assets in the U.S.? Cindy Couyoumjian gives us a sweeping picture of women, money, and power in her new book and shows how women taking charge of their personal and economic power and directing their own financial future will revolutionize the world. Whether you know your way around investments or don’t even try to balance your checkbook, you’ll enjoy reading this book. It will open your eyes to the way you think about money and inspire you to change your financial future.

By Cindy Couyoumjian, R.F. Georgy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Rise of Women and Wealth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's time for all women to take control of their financial destiny.

Financial expert Cindy Couyoumjian is on a mission to empower women to stop being spectators and enter the fiscal arena; to stand up and assert their inalienable right to financial self-determination. Although today in the US, women are making gains in higher education, hold corporate positions, and are successful leaders, men still control most of the household wealth.

Yet women are powerful agents of change with boundless potential in the financial realm, and Cindy shows female readers that by confronting their patriarchal past and becoming financially literate, they…

Book cover of Cult Girls

Vennie Kocsis Author Of Cult Child

From my list on children growing up in cults.

Why am I passionate about this?

Because I was brought up in a cult, I'm determined to serve as a voice for children. I'm an advocate for assisting children born into cults or taken into them in finding their true identities outside of the indoctrination they received. It's important to me that there is a network of support available to those who want to learn how to lead a balanced life. As a post-cult adult, I went on to study creative writing and art at the University of Tennessee. I have a deep appreciation for poetry as a form of expression, and I recommend using it as a method to work through the complex range of feelings.

Vennie's book list on children growing up in cults

Vennie Kocsis Why did Vennie love this book?

It was a brilliant decision on Natalie's part to create a graphic novel that lays out the many facets and layers that make up the dynamics of cults. It has been a pleasure for me to get to know Natalie. A former member of the Jehovah's Witnesses, she is now a dynamic and independent individual. This graphic novel explores a wide variety of aspects of the tactics used by Jehovah's Witnesses, including shunning, the reasons why cult family members will disavow non-cult family members, and a great deal more. This seemed to me to be an excellent option for storytelling geared for minds that have a tendency to gravitate toward visuals.

By Natalie Grand, Cassandre Bolan (illustrator), N. Scott Robinson (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cult Girls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Cult Girls based on a true story, tells the story of Talia and her friends as they struggle with growing suspicions that their faith is a patriarchal religious cult. It's a story of tremendous courage and female empowerment as Talia as her friends successfully free themselves told through a feminist lens with cautionary humor. Read this first place BookFest award winning Girls and Women YA Graphic novel.

Book cover of The New Don't Blame Mother: Mending the Mother-Daughter Relationship

Rosjke Hasseldine Author Of The Mother-Daughter Puzzle: A New Generational Understanding of the Mother-Daughter Relationship

From my list on to read about the mother-daughter relationship.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion started as a personal quest in my twenties, struggling with my relationship with my own mother. When my daughter was born, I knew that I could not repeat the difficult dynamics between my mother and I. What started as a personal quest to understand the underlying dynamics between mothers and daughters quickly grew into a professional quest. Today, I have worked as a mother-daughter therapist with thousands of mothers and daughters of all ages and from different countries and cultures and have developed the Mother-Daughter Attachment® model that helps therapists and mothers and daughters uncover the hidden dynamics in their relationship and create a roadmap for change.

Rosjke's book list on to read about the mother-daughter relationship

Rosjke Hasseldine Why did Rosjke love this book?

Mothers are too often blamed for their children’s and adult daughters’ problems. I regard Paula Caplan’s book as the quintessential text on understanding how patriarchy blames mothers and how mother-blaming harms mothers, women, and the mother-daughter relationship. Paula exposes the myths surrounding motherhood – revealing that there is no such thing as a “perfect mother.” 

By Paula Caplan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The New Don't Blame Mother as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First Published in 2000. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Book cover of Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger

Kim Imas Author Of Beast Mom

From my list on women and anger.

Why am I passionate about this?

We talk a lot about the big public events that expanded the #MeToo movement so astronomically, like the election to the US presidency of a man who bragged about assaulting women, and the allegations made against Harvey Weinstein. But I think most American women have other, more personal beefs that originate from their being a woman. I, for one, was shocked at how unnecessarily difficult it was to be a new mother in the US. Other places support this vulnerable group much more than we do here, and living that disparity angered me—like, for example, when my husband exhausted what little parental leave he had available before our twins were even released from the NICU.

Kim's book list on women and anger

Kim Imas Why did Kim love this book?

Women have been told, likely from time immemorial, to keep their anger under wraps or, even better, to not feel angry in the first place.

But what if our anger isn’t the unhealthy, unhelpful, ugly thing we’ve been told that it is? What if, as Chemaly suggests, our anger is the very thing we require if we want to pursue and achieve equality and justice, for women and for society more broadly?

Which is a lot like a question I ask in my book: What if anger is actually women’s superpower?

By Soraya Chemaly,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Rage Becomes Her as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A conversation-shifting book urging 21st-century women to understand their anger, embrace its power, and use it as a tool for positive change

'How many women cry when angry because we've held it in for so long? How many discover that anger turned inward is depression? Soraya Chemaly's Rage Becomes Her will be good for women. After all, women have a lot to be angry about.' GLORIA STEINEM

Women are angry, and it isn't hard to figure out why. We are underpaid, overworked, thwarted and diminished. The assertive among us are labelled bitches, while the expressive among us are considered shrill.…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in women, the patriarchy, and Western culture?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about women, the patriarchy, and Western culture.

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