If, like us, you count yourself a feminist but struggle to find the time to read the big books on the subject, then struggle no more. Enter stage, Vintage Feminism Shorts, by Vintage Books: abridged or extracted editions of three of the most famous works of feminist literature that have shaped our thought and changed our culture: A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft (abridged), The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir (extracted), and The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf (abridged).
They're great, concise and easy introductions with gorgeous covers. As if that wasn't enough, they're small enough to slip in your back pocket!
A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft
The term feminism did not yet exist when Mary Wollstonecraft wrote this book in 1792, but it was the first great piece of feminist writing. In these pages you will find the essence of her argument – for the education of women and for an increased female contribution to society. Her work made the first ripples of what would later become the tidal wave of the women’s rights movement. Rationalist but revolutionary, Wollstonecraft changed the world for women.
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
When this book was first published in 1949 it was to outrage and scandal. Never before had the case for female liberty been so forcefully and successfully argued. De Beauvoir’s belief that ‘One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman’ switched on light bulbs in the heads of a generation of women and began a fight for greater equality and economic independence. These pages contain the key passages of the book that changed perceptions of women forever.
The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
Every day, women around the world are confronted with a dilemma – how to look. In a society embroiled in a cult of female beauty and youthfulness, pressure on women to conform physically is constant and all-pervading. In this shortened edition you will find the essence of Wolf’s groundbreaking book. It is a radical, gripping and frank exposé of the tyranny of the beauty myth, its oppressive function and the destructive obsession it engenders. Naomi Wolf became internationally famous with the publication of this book in 1991, and has gone on to write many subsequent titles, the most recent of which is Vagina: A New Biography.