Their “I’m With Her” T-shirts are worn-through, and how many “Smashing the Patriarchy” mugs can any one person have? When shopping this year for the feminists in your life, consider these fun ideas for those women and men who have the audacity to believe in equal rights for all. Unfortunately, you can’t wrap equal pay or shards from the glass ceiling just yet. Until we can, here are some unique holiday gifts for the feminist in your life.
For those who are trying to avoid overdoing it this year, consider the Want-Need-Wear-Read philosophy. When purchasing, hit only one of each of the four — something they really want, a necessary item, something to wear, and a good book. I’ve broken down some fun gifts by each category.
Want: Gifts They Don’t Even Know They Want
A great gift is a thoughtful gift, and the best ones are always a surprise. Consider these fun and clever gift ideas for the feminist in your life.
Safety Pin Earrings
Since the election, safety pins have become a symbol that say “I will help you” to someone who is being bullied for being different. Safety pin earrings are a gift to the wearer and to the world. If the feminist in your life cares about helping others but doesn’t want to be overly show-y, these earrings are a perfect way to express the earnestness of the cause.
Cactus iPhone Case
This iPhone case is a great gift because it speaks to everyone. It features 12 colorful cacti — all of which are unique. In between the plants, the text reads: “No Wrong Way to Have a Body.” It’s an encouragement, a reminder and a statement piece all in one.
Sheela Na Gig Necklace
No one knows exactly where these kinds of carvings originated, but they can be found on ancient buildings and churches throughout Ireland. These reliefs of women revealing exaggerated vulvas may have represented everything from fertility to the power of female goddesses. Worn artfully as jewelry, most won’t recognize the image immediately. It’s a bold piece, but isn’t the feminist you are giving it to bold as well?
Need: Take Care of Those in Need
Let’s face it — there are very few needs that go unmet in the United States, at least for most of us. Consider gifting something to those who need it most and doing it in someone else’s name. Here are few ideas.
In developing countries, girls and women must go to extraordinary lengths to take care of what is in the U.S. merely an inconvenience. From tearing up old mattresses to using leaves, women suffer infections from these unsanitary practices because actual menstrual pads are too expensive for them.
For $35, you can gift a girl a package of sustainable menstrual care from Femme International, which is dedicated to helping girls maintain their periods healthily and with dignity.
Millions of girls around the world are denied a proper education. Unfortunately, this often comes down to money. From having to help at home to lacking proper attire — including basics like shoes — getting to school for girls isn’t the norm in certain areas of the globe. There are many organizations where you can gift a year of school to a girl or gift classroom supplies.
A Safe Birth
For $24, you can give a woman in a developing country a safe birth. The small amount of money means clean blankets, hygienic gloves and soap – all elements that mark the difference between life and death for a woman in labor or her baby. There’s not a feminist in the world who wouldn’t want their name attached to that.
Wear: Wear Your Feminism on Your Sleeve or Your Hat
Clothing is more than style; it’s how we identify ourselves. From hats that read “Feminist as F**k” to T-shirts that say “This is What a Feminist Looks Like,” there is no shortage of clothing and bags with feminist mantras. Consider who you are gifting to before deciding. A mom of three may feel feminist as f**k, but she may not want to explain what that means to her six-year-old.
Read: Books to Gift Your Favorite Feminist
Giving a book means giving an experience. Make it extra special by buying two copies and reading along with the receiver.
“Women Who Read Are Dangerous”
This beautiful book does more than adorn your coffee table. It captures important works of art involving women with books. The introduction is insightful, as are the explanations that accompany the artwork. From Vermeer to Hooper, these paintings are forward thinking, even if the times when they were created weren’t.
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
You — and the person you are shopping for — likely read Atwood’s dystopian novel in college. Reading it now, however, you realize how creepily prescient it is, especially considering how November’s election turned. It’s a good time for a refresher, too, since a television series based on the book is in development on Hulu, with a release date of next year.
“Life After Life”
Not your typical feminist fiction, Kate Atkinson’s novel gives readers an in-depth analysis of what it means to be a woman going through varying stages of life by killing the same character off over and over — each version of a life a different experience. With historical perspective and real insight, it is good enough to read twice.
Whether you are buying for your grandmother or a new boyfriend, there are plenty of kick-ass feminist gifts that will make your favorite feminist happy — I know these would all make me smile.