The BookLook

The BookLook: Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay

by Gemma Pearson

This book, found filed under ‘smart thinking’ at my local library, helped me get to grips with an interesting question. Can we consider ourselves a feminist if we do things that other feminists disagree with? The answer I found was yes.

The BookLook: Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay

Roxanne Gay is a bad feminist, and isn’t afraid to tell you.

This is exactly the book i’ve been looking for. We (mostly) all understand that the basis of feminism is that men & women should be equal. However, Gay raises the point that the thoughts of individual women (and men) who identify as feminists are often packaged as being representative of all feminists. When this happens, and when someone who also identifies as a feminist ‘fails’ to live up to the expectation in some way, it’s sometimes seen as feminism failing, rather than a human failing.

I know it’s a complex one, but it’s something that Gay approaches with such ease. Through these essays, covering diverse topics as sex, race, scrabble, Chris Brown, Sweet Valley High and politics, she acknowledges how the complexities of a person’s experience shapes one’s vision of feminism.

This is a passionate collection that states her truth, of belonging in this world as a woman. We don’t need to read it in the context of anyone else’s perception of feminist discourse.

Gay helped me to understand that I can be complicated, contrary, love men, dislike a woman, want to be loved & supported, enjoy having my dinner paid for on a date, be independent, have a bad boyfriend, show vulnerability and enjoy reading celebrity gossip whilst still being a feminist. And a good one at that.


You can grab your own copy of Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay in hard cover, kindle or kindle for iPad from Amazon.

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