Feminist Gifts for Teen Girls


Do you have a younger sister / cousin / niece / friend who could use a gentle push in the direction of empowerment? Bitch magazine, purveyor of fine feminist responses to pop culture since 1996, has put together a list of Feminist Gifts for Teen Girls, which I’m sure you’ll find inspiring and useful, even if you don’t have a sister / cousin / niece / friend who is a teenager.

Fun fact: Someone I know very well once gave her sister a copy of Jessica Valenti’s Full Frontal Feminism and it was promptly confiscated by her mother. Isn’t that cute? NO IT’S NOT.

Laneia is the Executive Editor and founding member of Autostraddle, and you're the reason she's here.

Laneia has written 926 articles for us.


  1. my little sister makes me sad. not only is she a scary republican, full on catholic in the making, but she also looks at taylor swift as a hero and can not comprehend twilight. not like she doesn’t understand because it disgusts her, its just too complicated? she told me she wanted to be a “homemaker, so she could take care of her husband and stuff” this morning and i know that choosing that is her right, but COME ON LITTLE ONE. :( and whats even sadder is that my mother is like cheering her on. ITS RIDICULOUS WHAT DO I DO?!? /end rant

    • I understand your frustration, but she makes her own choices. Just keep living your life. You can’t “make” someone be a certain way, and even if you could, why would you want to? I hear you though. It’s like watching a train wreck. An avoidable one, too, since life doesn’t have to be that way…

    • Put different ideas out there, and let her know that you’re there for her no matter what (Even if she is a Republican. I know this might be a little difficult. You may have to do some soul-searching). Just be available as her older sister who loves her for whoever she is. Growing up is hard. Hopefully, she’ll figure some things out when she enters the real world. Sometimes, I feel like maybe we need to remember that we should extend the same love and acceptance we want for being who we are to others who are just being who they are even if that means they want to be a Taylor Swift loving, Republican homemaker.

    • In my teenage years I was part radical feminist and part pro-life conservative homophobe – sometimes both at the same time. A lot of it was really me not realising how seemingly incongruent positions actually went together, or vice versa (e.g. it took someone else to tell me that “I may not want an abortion but it’s not my place to judge others or limit them” was a pro-choice position). Also, I was massively inexperienced, rather sheltered, and didn’t really know how to articulate a lot of things. Now I’m a sex-positive queermo feminist/womanist who still has a lot to learn but is discovering new things every day.

      Give it time :)

  2. I like the Holga camera idea for a teen gift, but the upkeep on buying the film and developing it is a drawback.

    I’m a big fan of just letting people pick their gifts. It’s nice gesture to give someone a gift having to do with something you think might be interesting to them, but if it isn’t of their own choosing, it often just sits in the box. I go with the gift card to an arts and crafts store type thing. They get to pick, and it’s something where they create (as opposed to just consume).

  3. I could use some female empowerment right about now. Earlier this week, this girl I know told me I should “learn how to cook, ’cause if you don’t, you’ll never find a man.” A couple of days later, I got denied being treasure of my volunteer club to a less qualified guy because “guys are better at math.” Then this morning, I heart two soldiers talking about how it’s a bad idea to have women in the military because they’re “too emotional” to handle it.

    But, I guess I’m pretty used to homophobia and sexism where I live.

    • This shouldn’t (but it totally does) remind me of watching Star Trek as a kid.

      I spent hours dreaming of getting into Star Fleet Academy and of becoming the new female!Chekov until my dad told me to get over that dream because they certainly wouldn’t accept a stupid farmgirl on the show, especially one who didn’t spend hours fantasising about William Shatner’s rippling biceps.

  4. Laneia I gave Full Frontal Feminism to my little sister for her 17th birthday when she was having various troubles at school/with jerks, and we thought she should prob hide it from my mum (who is neither sex postive nor a fan of swearwords). I think this helped make it kind of cool though and she read it all, and then I spied it in her box of books she took down to uni with her. I think its empowered her a bit, so I defo recommend it as a gift for teenage girls!

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