Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane GayBad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay

Bad Feminist: Essays

byRoxane Gay

Paperback | October 10, 2017

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New York Times Bestseller

From Roxane Gay comes this collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation—now available in a limited Olive Edition.


“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.

“Roxane Gay is the brilliant girl-next-door: your best friend and your sharpest critic. . . . She is by turns provocative, chilling, hilarious; she is also required reading.”—People

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roxane Gay is the author of the novel An Untamed State and the story collections Difficult Women and Ayiti. Her work has also appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Best American Short Stories, and the New York Times Book Review.
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Title:Bad Feminist: EssaysFormat:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 7.12 × 4.5 × 1 inPublished:October 10, 2017Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:006269569X

ISBN - 13:9780062695697

Reviews

Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not the greatest... I learned from this book, I was entertained, I was outraged when the subject matter took dark turns, when a light was cast on misogyny in the system. I was made more aware of my privilege in society, and the overwhelming amount of work that still needs to be done. Still, I have issues with it. One of my biggest pet peeves is repetitiveness, especially in critically-acclaimed works. In “Bad Feminist,” countless words and phrases were overused, sometimes even within the same sentence. Just reading the introduction, the words “feminism” and “feminist” were repeated so often, they was almost like punctuation. It became a hindrance to my enjoyment of the writing style, and took away from the flow of reading – and was also really surprising, considering this is a professional published work. Other words/phrases that were EVERYWHERE were: “nuance,” “and yet” (used on its own as a full sentence), and several variations of “it was, except for when it wasn’t.” It aggravated me, but I digress. When I wasn’t peeved about the constant repetition, I was baffled. Each essay, except for a select few, seemed to lack either direction or substance. Some were moving; when Roxane Gay wrote on sexual violence, racism, and reproductive rights, I was nodding along in agreement or shaking my head in disbelief, underlining revelatory passages on each page. These few essays were solid, reflective, and informative. Unfortunately, however, I would say that a LARGE majority of her essays did not provoke this reaction from me. They lacked a substantial point or message, or I didn’t understand what she was trying to say (or even what topic she was revolving around) amid the jumble of vague summaries, planted quotes, and her seemingly unrelated personal experiences. Most of the time, I found myself going back to search in vain for her thesis or SOME kind of indication of what I was supposed to understand from the jumble. She assumed 90% of the time that I was sharing her brainwave. Clearly, I was not. But thank God she wrote an extremely detailed essay on the history and inner workings of American Scrabble tournaments – the only essay to include footnotes. No confusion there. Throughout the book, as Roxane Gay discussed terrorists, rapists, misogynists, racists, ignoramuses, and wholly incompetent politicians, she retained her poetic composure. She rose above their lowliness and tried to bestow forgiveness wherever she could (which is commendable). But when it came to the movie “The Help,” for some reason, she was so full of rage that she was led to assume every white person in the audience was reminiscing on “the good old days” (her words, not mine) when white people had slaves. Maybe it’s not my place to tell her what she can or cannot rage against, but listen: anything that’s good enough for (Queen) Viola Davis is certainly good enough for me. Her branding of a “bad feminist” is something I didn’t want to get into in this review – but I will say that there is no such thing as her concept of a bad feminist. If you believe in and fight for the equality between men and women, then it doesn’t matter ONE WHIFF if you love the colour pink, or like to cook, or don’t know anything about how to fix your car. The whole point of feminism is to ensure no one is treated differently based on how typically feminine or masculine his/her interests are. I would’ve expected a text ABOUT feminism to at least have that fundamental point established… Other issues: very little was backed up by solid, sound research/stats, she called for the end of trigger warnings, she never delved deeply into any of her topics, she applied the phrase "bad feminist" to all the problems in her life, i.e. being "too lazy" to break up with jerks... I appreciated her point of view and learned quite a bit (though nothing entirely new). I was reminded of the extent to which modern-day feminism caters to heterosexual white women, and how much work still needs to be done to rectify this. It’s unfortunate that such a widely-read book would be so fraught with grammatical errors (that’s me being picky) and meandering topics. But in a book including write-ups on Chris Brown, E.L. James, Robin Thicke, Tosh, Trayvon Martin’s murderer, Paula Deen, and various rapists, I couldn’t overlook her disproportionate focus on a heart-warming, imperfect movie. And Scrabble. I'm still glad I read it. Roxane Gay seems cool. It's possible that I was expecting too much out of her book.
Date published: 2017-10-03

Editorial Reviews

“If you’re in the mood to read wonderful, thought-provoking essays that feel like they’re written by your best friend, check out Bad Feminist. . . . Gay puts you at ease as she shakes the foundations of what you believe.”