Feminism in Fiction

Looking back on many of the fairytales I’ve grown up reading and loving, I’ve realised that the majority of them are incredibly sexist. They seem to indicate that women are not in control of their lives or their fate and are in constant need of saving. With awareness for feminism being the most it has ever been, it’s a wonder anyone thinks that reading these archaic, misogynistic stories to children is acceptable. Not only does it teach our girls that they have to rely on a prince to save them and that they have no say in the matter, but it teaches everyone else that women are helpless victims who will never feel fulfilled in life without a husband.

Let me stop you right there, sexist society. We don’t need saving. We’re perfectly fine on our own, thank you very much. The last thing we want is you Facebook stalking us to come to our houses and shove a mangy old slipper on our foot that will effectively manacle us to you for all of eternity. We’re done having you save us — we’re not damsels in distress or plot devices that enable you to show off your masculinity… and your massive ego. Oh, and for the record, not all of us want to marry you — a cisgender straight male. There there, go cry yourself to sleep.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

51HWn+LRX1L._SX356_BO1,204,203,200_Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a children’s book packed with 100 bedtime stories about the life of 100 extraordinary women from the past and the present, illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world. This book inspires girls with the stories of great women, from Elizabeth I to Serena Williams.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is the kind of book that’s so hard to write a review on because you just want to push it into everyone’s hands and scream read it! Honestly, if that were an acceptable method of reviewing, I’d be doing that. This book is something that everyone should read, not just the children, particularly young girls, it’s targeted at. Filled with 100 stories of extraordinary women through the ages, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a book that will inspire you to become a stronger, more courageous person — a person who isn’t afraid to be different or stand up for what’s right. Such an empowering book is made for everyone.

This book is something you’ll want to spend hours flicking through. The beautiful illustrations created by artists from all over the world were stunning and jump right off the pages, complementing the stories perfectly and making it an enjoyable reading experience for children and adults alike. Everyone should appreciate the beauty that is Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls. Perhaps what I loved most about this book was that I hadn’t heard of a lot of the women in it. I loved learning more about these extraordinary women and found myself bookmarking my favourite stories to revisit later. Particular favourites were Michelle Obama and Malala Yousafzai.

Ultimately, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a book that needs to be on your shelf. This isn’t just a book for children — it’s something that all of us should read to understand the feminists that came before us and the women who are still leading the fight against the patriarchy today.

We are strong. We are fierce. We are feminists.

Looking for more feminist books? Check out these ones!

Let's Talk

Have you had a chance to get a copy of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls yet? What are some of your favourite feminist books? Do you consider yourself a feminist? Have you read any of the other books I mentioned? I’d love to know!

Thanks to Penguin Australia for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!


38 thoughts on “Feminism in Fiction

  1. This sounds like such a brilliant book! I’ll have to pick myself up a copy. I think it’s great young girls are learning about powerful women rather than reading the typical fairytales. Great post😊

    • It’s phenomenal! I couldn’t agree more – it’s so important to be teaching young girls that they’re so much stronger than how they’re portrayed in fairytales and that their voices matter. Thanks for reading my post! 💕

  2. Oh my god, fairy tales are sometimes awful in their blatant sexism! One that really pisses me of is Snow White. It’s so creepy how the prince makes a move on her when she’s in coma and then she MARRIES him when she wakes up. No, you’re not obliged to marry him because he ‘saved’ you by taking advantage of you while you were unconscious.

    Thanks for the book recommendation! I might actually buy that for my younger sister. She’s 9 years old and her dad is a bit backward in his views of a woman’s role in life. Hopefully a read like this will show her she can be so much more than her father’s expectations.

    I read ‘I am Malala’ a while ago and was blown away by the strength and bravery of such a young woman. She demonstrates that you don’t have to remain in the box your society places you within. I recently read and reviewed ‘milk and honey’ too. A powerful and brutally honest read about what life is like for some women in the world.

    • I completely agree! Some of the fairytales we’ve grown up with are so problematic. But yes, I highly recommend getting this book for your younger sister. I’m sure she’ll adore it! And it’s disappointing how parents can continue the cycle misogyny through their attitudes towards their children.

      I AM MALALA is absolutely brilliant! I also watched a documentary about her, which I highly recommend checking out. MILK AND HONEY is another fantastic, empowering read.

      Thanks for reading my post! ❤️

  3. “The last thing we want is you Facebook stalking us to come to our houses and shove a mangy old slipper on our foot” hahaha I love this quote because it’s so true, and yet some guys actually think that it’s what all girls want!! This book sounds AMAZING and I think I might buy it for my little cousin’s birthday 🙂

    Also: I’m currently running the book blogger awards, and you can nominate people any time in April (the next 5 days). If you’re interested in sharing the book blogger love, see the full rules here: https://writethroughthenight.wordpress.com/2017/04/05/the-book-blogger-awards/

  4. I’m working on Cinderella retellings for my Master’s thesis, and it made me realise how sexist the original fairytale is… Very good article, I can’t wait to get my hands on Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls!

  5. Really want to read it! I do consider myself a feminist, and I loved how you mentioned Malala Yousafzai and Michelle Obama, as they’re probably my two biggest role models. Can’t wait to learn about more amazing women throughout the history!

  6. I love this post! It’s so true and on point. I loved Disney growing up, but I’ve come to realize that many Disney princess films and many stories with female leads show women as weak, at least many of the children’s stories. It’s such a shame…I’m adding all the ones you suggested to my Goodreads TBR list! Cannot wait to try them out! Oh and heeeeey, I nominated you for the Mystery Blog Award 🙂 If you don’t do tags, no worries! If you are interested, here is the link to the post I did! Have a great day! Link: https://bookmarkyourthoughts.wordpress.com/2017/04/25/mystery-blogger-award/

    • Absolutely! I do love Disney, but it’s important to realise how problematic some elements are, and that parents must take responsibility to let their children know that they don’t need to be “rescued”. I hope you enjoy the ones I suggested! And thank you so much, I’ll definitely check that out 💕

  7. I recently purchased this book, my sister is pregnant with her first child (a girl) and i’m very much looking forward to reading this book to my new niece!

    Thank you for confirming that this is a great book for women and girls.

  8. Reblogged this on Life's fine w(h)ine, served with nuggets and cheese and commented:
    A few days ago, I expressed my angst and ire at the incredible sexist portrayal of women in fairytales. They’re shown as damsels in distress without fail. One cannot even begin to imagine how detrimental such images are to the impressionable minds of young girls a growing up
    a to believe they need to wait for someone to come rescue them However, I also mentioned Disney Films were changing this perspective now with their recent crop of movies. Then I went on to expound upon how the character of Princess Devasena from a South Indian movie, Bahubali, was a lesson in feminism and a breath of fresh air.
    Sarah, from Written Word World’s, has very admirably made a compilation of Feminism in Fiction and I’m sharing her work here for your benefit.

  9. I could connect to each and every word
    ‘The last thing we want is you Facebook stalking us to come to our houses…’
    Its just the same at every corner of Earth!
    The book seems to be really impactful!

  10. Nice post!!! Society’s a boiling pot of hatred that I’d rather avoid at the moment till things cool down, but reading stuff like this shows that there are some people trying to cool things down. I’ve always been a tad woried that my fiction would appear… I gotta say it… sexist, and trust me, I’d never forgive myself if it was but I’m trying to slowly encourage myself that having 16 female characters and only 1 (mute) male character has gotta be good thing, right????

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