Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
I loved this book... even though I was made to feel like an unapologetic racist for enjoying myself some Quentin Tarantino and being moved by The Help. I actually had to hold off on reviewing Yellow Crocus because I no longer trusted that my thoughts on ANYTHING race-related wasn't racist. Gay made me question my own biases... so although I didn't necessarily agree with her views on some of these pieces of pop culture, she made me think. This woman also made me weep in my car at 7:30 in the morning over what Sweet Valley High meant to her. So that was quite the accomplishment. The Wakefield twins ruined my makeup. Brava, Roxane... brava!
The fact that "feminist" has become the other f-word has been a societal problem for awhile. And the issue is both sides. The women who proudly proclaim "I can only be friends with guys because girls are so catty." The women who think that someone who choses to be a stay-at-home mom is undoing hundreds of years of work towards women's rights. The women who think feminism is synonymous with bra burning and militanism. The women who that that loving pink and wanting to cuddle babies is anti-woman. In the end, feminism is simply a call fo equality. Do I deserve to make 1/3 the salary as that of my male counterpart just because I'm in possession of a vagina? Do I get 100% of the responsibility for the care of a child even though I'm only 50% responsible for her existence? While there may be some argument about how certain people go about getting there... the ultimate goal of feminism is equality. And what can be wrong with a little more equality in this world?
Even discussing a difficult subject, Gay's voice is equal parts honest, humorous and poignant. She exposes her own wounds to her readers, simply to ensure that they know that they are not alone in their thoughts or experiences. Her passionate love of reality tv and social media makes her relatable and accessible, thereby giving her message even more weight.
A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay.
“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 (Sweet Valley High) of color (The Help) while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). 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.