Badass Literary Babes: Know My Name; The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

By Emily Park

A year ago, I rediscovered my love for books. Since then, I have devoured over 20,000 pages of memoirs, fantasies, contemporary fictions and romances, and historical fictions.

Last month, I decided I would turn my reading obsession into something tangible. So, I started sharing some of the Badass Babes I’ve met between the pages. 

In the first installment of Badass Literary Babes, I started with the very first two characters I met when I started reading again. I thought I would continue along this timeline, but my hunger has only grown in the last month. 

I finish an average of two books a week, and I have a to-be-read list of over 320 books. If I continue going down the line in order of the books I have read, I don’t think I will ever catch up, and I’m scared I’ll forget just how badass these babes are. So, I’m going to switch it up and share Badass Babes from an older favorite and a recent favorite read.

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Badass Literary Babes: Educated & Where the Crawdads Sing

By Emily Park

Before the pandemic hit, I could count the number of books I read for my own enjoyment (at least since I graduated from high school in 2015) on one hand.

When I was a child, I almost always had my nose in a book. I read from the time I got home from school, to the time I fell asleep. I read up in the tree in my backyard. I read nestled in my bedroom closet. I read under the covers with a flashlight. I read under my desk at school. Book after book. 

As I grew up and got distracted by other things, I lost that hunger for books that I used to have. But over the last year, I have found it again, and I have met some inspiring, strong, badass babes among those pages—both real and fictional—I’m excited to tell you about.

In this first installment of Badass Literary Babes, I’ll introduce you to the first two babes I met when I started my rediscovery of literature last year.

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Book Review: Feminism is for Everybody

By Max Sheffield-Baird

Max has started a book club! Every month they’re reviewing one book that educates on intersectionality. Next month, Max is reading Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde. Feel free to join in!

I chose Feminism is for Everybody to start off this feminist book series because it’s a short read. Author Bell Hooks states the purpose of her book is to make feminism accessible and to dispel the notions that feminism is inherently anti-men—which the patriarchy has drummed into popular consciousness for decades now. 

I’m not sure how well she succeeded. 

The tone feels academic and dry. I would consider it a good primer for those looking to do a serious study on gender, race, class, and other aspects to kyriarchy (Psst, kyriarchy encompasses all social systems of oppression we face). But it doesn’t feel like it’s meant for the masses. People who are just looking to get a quick FAQ on intersectional feminism might want to look elsewhere.

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Madison Tufte’s debut novel The Anchor House lets women grow on their own terms

By Kelcie McKenney

Madison Tufte was looking to read new books that made her feel inspired, empowered, and vulnerable, with leading female characters who experienced growth—outside of relationships. But she couldn’t find them. So she decided to write her own.

Tufts’s debut novel, The Anchor House, under the pen name Margaret Spencer was born of that quest, and is the product of over two years of secret writing before Tufte self published earlier this year. It’s a tale about three women, Winnie, Fern, and Eleanor, each struggling to grow in their own way—each both strong and vulnerable. A remote island in Minnesota sets the stage for these women’s stories, inspired by the lakes from Tufte’s home town. It’s a heartwarming look at life’s difficulties, filled with inspirational women who live life on their own terms.

In June, The Anchor House won Next Generation Indie Book Awards’ for Inspirational Fiction. We spoke with Tufte about writing strong women, and being one, as she walks us through the journey to her first novel.

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‘A Feminist’s Guide to: Unlearning White Feminism’ is Babe Collective’s way of telling white feminists it’s time to unlearn that racist bullshit

By Kelcie McKenney

When you opened social media this week chances are you were flooded with black squares. All of your friends came together and supported Black people by sharing a single post on their Instagram! We collectively ended police brutality and racism with a single post! Peak activism! 

Wrong. 

Being an ally doesn’t work like that. And there are a lot of Black, female voices (like these you should follow to start!) telling us—and by us I mean white women—that we’re SO in the wrong. It’s about damn time we listen.

The feminist movement is historically pretty fucking racist, and we’ve got a lot of unlearning to do. A lot, a lot, a lot of unlearning to do. So Aubrey Young and Jihan Bazile of Babe Collective created a zine for white women to use as a jumping off point to “understand our role in White Feminism and to challenge our behaviors and step out of our comfort zone.” 

We spoke with Young, founder of Babe Collective, about the new zine and the launch party and intersectional-focused conversation happening on Friday—which we will be at! (Catcall founder, Kelcie, me!, is on that panel.) It’s a free, virtual workshop, which you can register for here.

There are a lot of resources created by Black women to use after this conversation—which Babe Collective shares in their zine and on social media—so think of this conversation as step one in a lifetime of reeducation, work, and support for the Black community. But we all have to start somewhere.

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