As you can probably tell, I was rather apprehensive when I sAt down to start reading Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist. However, the book really surprised me and did a fantastic job of giving me new ways to think about how I view this important movement.
(Summary from GoodReads)
Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to be cool, but it is pink—all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I’m not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue.
In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman of color while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years and commenting on the state of feminism today. The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.
Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.
I like the fact that Roxane has a sense of humour. I also like the fact that she owned up to things that many might mistakenly feel are not feminist, or that Feminists can do, such as liking: pink, rap music, being in love, or enjoying sex. She covers many of the basic ideas and principles that people associate with feminism, such as: the patriarchy, privilege, and things like safe spaces and trigger warnings. She also covers many global and intersectional concerns--something often overlooked or misunderstood by people or potentially ignored by first world Feminists.
The thing I think I like the most about how the book was presented is the way Roxane wrote it. I felt like I was sitting down and having coffee with a close friend, rather than being lectured by someone who felt that, for whatever reason, she is superior to me because of her background. I admired her honesty and candour, and the fact that she, as well, has experienced self doubt about whether or not she is a Feminist
The only thing that really didn't work for me was the chapter on Scrabble. I admired some of the humour in it, and I find Roxane interesting enough that I didn't completely hate it or feel it was a waste of time, but I found it it was kind of a strange choice to include in an otherwise well put together collection of essays. I'm not sorry to have heard it--I listened to this as an audiobook--but I did think it was an odd choice.
My favourite pieces were those on reality television, privilege, and rape culture. These things can often be misused to present other opinions that don't actually have anything to do with these topics. I was very glad to not see that happen here.