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Want to read like Olivia Rodrigo? It’s time to learn about intersectional feminism

In a livestream, the artist recommended 'Hood Feminism' to her fans: "It's awesome"

By Kory Grow

Olivia Rodrigo in a still from the 'bad idea right?' video, 2023
Olivia Rodrigo (Photo: YouTube)

In a recent livestream with fans livestream with fans on Stationhead, Olivia Rodrigo told her fans that the last book she read was Hood Feminism: Notes From the Women That a Movement Forgot, a 2020 collection of essays by Mikki Kendall. “The last book I read is this book called Hood Feminism that’s so good,” she said, as captured in a tweet. “I really recommend it. It’s so good. It’s, like, a very intersectional feminism book. It’s awesome.”

Kendall saw another tweet about Rodrigo’s hat tip and first wrote “… What?” on Twitter, and then: “I listen to her on car trips. This is just … hunh.” Then she found the audio: “Oh wow. WOW.”

The author’s website describes Hood Feminism as a book that explains how the feminist movement failed many women. “Drawing on her own experiences with hunger, violence, and hypersexualization, along with incisive commentary on politics, pop culture, the stigma of mental health, and more, Hood Feminism delivers an irrefutable indictment of a movement in flux,” a description of the book says. “An unforgettable debut (with a combined 14 weeks on the NYT Bestseller List and over 200,000 copies sold), Kendall has written a ferocious clarion call to all would-be feminists to live the true mandate of the movement in thought and deed.”

Essays in the book bear titles like “Solidarity Is Still for White Women,” “It’s Raining Patriarchy,” “How to Write About Black Women,” and “The Hood Doesn’t Hate Smart People.” Time, the BBC, and Bustle all named Hood Feminism one of the best books of 2020.

Rodrigo, who just released her second album, Guts, graces the October cover of Rolling Stone. In the article, she discussed some of her reading habits, including a book that inspired her to rethink her relationship with social media. “I was reading a book that said — I’m going to butcher the number — but our brains are only wired to know 200 people in a clan setting,” she said. “We’re not supposed to know what some pretty girl in Australia is doing at the beach today. Our brains aren’t hard-wired for that information. So, I try to take it all with a grain of salt. It does make me feel depressed sometimes.