- Title: Bad Feminist
- Author: Roxane Gay
- Genre: Non-fiction
- Structure: Essay collection
- First Line: “The world changes faster than we can fathom in ways that are complicated.”
The good is great. I’ll summarize for you in my usual points. There’s more than these three points, but I think these are great starters.
- Non-fiction books are ones that you either get into right away or you don’t. I think this is one that hooked me right off the bat. While her writing definitely lends itself to more of an academic background, it still stays relatable and entertaining. I have to warn you, she does curse (f-bomb included) so if you’re sensitive to that, just be aware.
- So many quotable moments! I found myself jotting down quotes from the book with intention of marking down a few sentences, but ended up copying the whole paragraph. Let’s put it this way: I almost highlighted the whole book. It’s just that good!
- Besides the fact that she’s funny, she’s also incredibly relevant. This is not a book reminiscing on the past or pointing out the obvious. This a collection of well thought out and mind provoking essays that will make you close the book, lie back, and think for awhile about the truth of it all. That’s the part that makes it a challenging read, but also, an excellent one.
The “bad” is deeply personal to me and probably is not “bad” to others. And, the bad for me is that not every idea outlined fell in line with my Catholic faith. Some ideas were on the opposite end of the spectrum of the Catholic faith. Now, I am not so petty and naive to think that everything that is ever published needs to follow Catholicism to a tee to be heard or for someone to see the good in it. I’ve been a practicing Catholic for years, I love this book. I think having different perspectives and agreeing/disagreeing with ideas is the entire premise of a “bad feminist”. So, even if there are many things you disagree with, I still highly recommend this book.
THE SWEET SPOTS
In this section, I cover some of my deeper, personal thoughts. Books are meant to make you think. I always think the best books are the ones that help you discover pieces of yourself.
- Did this book remind you of anything that has happened to you?: Besides the fact I’m a woman and this is my life? Snark and sarcasm aside, it was so great to read a book where I could say “me too” or nod my head in agreement at the truths presented. Solidarity is real and it is alive in this book.
- Did this book give you any new ideas of yourself?: I think it taught me to keep plugging away. It’s easy to get discouraged, especially recently, and think, “What is this all for?”. I think many of us have been struggling with the sense of “what if”, especially when it comes to “what if it never changes”. This book also taught me that there’s no cookie cutter way to be a feminist, which is relieving. It’s a relief to know that you can be a feminist and a wife, a feminist and religious, a feminist and still participate in traditional female roles.
- What lesson did you learn?: I think the biggest eye-opener is how much the feminist movement really only caters to one type of female: white, heterosexual, which is the exact category I fall into. I’ve assumed that it was about everyone, not realizing that I was blind to the bias because the bias doesn’t effect me. Another lesson I’ve learned are the various ways to be a feminist. Like I was saying above, there’s no one way to be or not be a feminist.
I think this book is much-needed for our times. Though it’s a lofty read, Roxane Gay is entertaining and enlightening (a hard combo to come by). On a random note, I think this would make a great book for a book club as it’s definitely material that you’re going to want to turn to someone and discuss. If you’re struggling with feminism (the movement feels too aggressive for you or down the wrong path or not inclusive enough of other religions, races, or genders), then this book is definitely for you. You don’t have to agree with it word-for-word, but I think you would find a lot of great perspectives in it.