The “Woke” White Woman Reads

I’m a super great “woke” white woman.

I believe with all my being that Black Lives Matter, that Islam =/= hate, that Love is love is love is love.

But beyond retweeting, I don’t do much about it. And I’m awesome at getting my feelings hurt when WOC call out white feminism for its hypocrisy. Because how dare they. Do they not see how very ENLIGHTENED I am?

I’m getting better, and I’m learning, and was even feeling a little proud of myself, but then the amazing Nyasha Junior posted the following:

um, excuse you, did you not see all my retweets?

Because really, the answer is “not much”. I’m the queen of the virtue-signal.

White women love to profess our support with our lips, and then skip out when payday comes or worse, when our feelings get hurt. Like supporting equality is somehow predicated on our own comfort, rather than it being just the right thing to do.

The Problem


Old white men, every one.

Around the same time, I realized that 80% of my bookshelf, Alexandre Dumas and Anne Rice notwithstanding, was super white and super male. Which makes no sense coming from the great feminist killjoy I aspire to be.

And I didn’t want it anymore.

Which isn’t to say that I don’t love Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. I do.

But I’ve heard every possible iteration of the male voice, and I’m done.

I want to hear female voices. And female voices of color.

Especially in science fiction and fantasy, my personal bread and butter. I want women writing spaceships and elves and, if possible, elves on spaceships.

The Challenge

The next year is my foray into the voices of women. I’m planning two books a month, and will add in others as I finish. 50% of the books are written by women of color, and that metric is one I will be applying to any additional books I add in.

And I realize that a reading challenge by a nobody book blogger isn’t going to make any huge strides for civil rights or equality. But it’s a small (very small) way I can support other women, specifically women of color, while taking the time to do that one thing white women are terrible at, and just listening.

And also blogging. Because I can’t be the only white woman who didn’t know NK Jemison exists. Though I could be, which would be embarrassing.

If you want to join me, (and I would love it if you did!) you should check out the book list and the Challenge page. Maybe I’ll make a badge for your blogs? Not sure? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Speaking of badges, I grabbed one from Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf. I’ll be participating in her Witches and Witchcraft Reading Challenge, in honor of all the male commandeering of the term “Witchhunt” this year.


I’m going for the Initiate level, because let’s not get crazy.

If you want to follow along, I’d love for you to follow me here. I’m also on Instagram @myweekendsbooked and on Twitter @rhyannonyates.

If you’re going to do this with me, in full or in part, let me know below. Happy reading!


4 thoughts on “The “Woke” White Woman Reads

  1. jenclair says:

    Two of my favorites from last year were Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke and Hidden Figures, which is nonfiction, but immensely readable, by Margot Lee Shetterly. And for science fiction there is always Octavia Butler and N.K. Jemisin. 🙂


    • Rhyannon Y says:

      I’m reading Hidden Figures this month! Nonfiction isn’t usually my thing, but I’m excited about this one. I’ve got Octavia Butler and NK Jemisin later on this year and I can’t wait!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s