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10 Essential Feminist Texts That Everyone Should Read

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, a book that, as the Times put it, “ignited the contemporary women’s movement in 1963 and as a result permanently transformed the social fabric of the United States and countries around the world.” To celebrate the book’s anniversary, we’ve put together a list of ten essential feminist reads, from fiction and poetry to essays and nonfiction dissections. Read through our picks after the jump — and since there are so many more than ten important feminist texts worthy of pressing into any friend’s hands, add your own favorites to our list in the comments.

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The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan

Friedan’s 1963 investigation into “the problem that has no name” — that is, the unrepentant unhappiness she found among housewives — is one of the most influential books of the 20th century, and is generally credited with being the catalyst for the rise of second-wave feminism in the United States.

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