Female Representation in Books

Becoming by Michelle Obama 

In Becoming by Michelle Obama, she writes about her life growing up on the South Side of Chicago to when she was the first African American First Lady of the United States. Throughout the book, she displays how she had become an advocate for women and girls globally. Additionally, she explains how she worked to be inclusive and help women all over the country by advocating appropriately for people. Michelle Obama’s descriptive autobiography touches on everything related to gender equity; from health to motherhood, to discussing about her time in the public spotlight. 


Women, Media, and Politics by Pippa Norris 

In Women, Media, and Politics by Pippa Norris, the eternal struggle between the media, gender, and modern politics. While the book was written in 1996, the narrative and ideas are still relevant and provide great examples as to how women are portrayed in the media. Additionally, the book discusses how gender was not considered extremely influential in politics, but it is quickly being recognized as one of the defining divides within elections and related events. The novel mainly focuses on how the way  that the media presents women contributes to the marginalization of women within politics.  


Lean In by Nell Scovile 

Lean In is a nonfiction book that spans multiple genres. Drawing on both research and her own experiences, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg describes how and why gender inequality continues to operate in the modern workforce and offers advice for women seeking to balance a career and family.


The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The novel focuses on the journey of the handmaid Offred. Her name derives from the possessive form “of Fred”; handmaids are forbidden to use their birth names and must use names derivative of those of the male, or master, whom they serve. The Handmaid’s Tale explores themes of women in subjugation in a patriarchal society and the various means by which these women attempt to gain individuality and independence. The Handmaid’s Tale is structured into two parts, night and other various events. This novel can be interpreted as a double narrative, Offred’s tale, and the handmaids’ tales. The night sections are solely about Offred, and the other sections (shopping, waiting room, household, etc.) are the stories that describe the possible life of every handmaid, though from the perspective of Offred. In many of these sections, Offred jumps between past and present as she retells the events leading up to the fall of women’s rights and the current details of the life that she now lives.

By Melanie Golden and Claudia Salgado

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