Title: Bad Feminist
Author: Roxanne Gay
Genre: Non-Fiction, Essays
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Format: egalley via Edelweiss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
My review (published at Read, Run, Ramble):
Thank you Harper Perennial via Edelweiss for providing me with an early copy of this book!
I was beyond excited when I found this book for offer on Edelweiss’s site and even more so when I got approved! As I suspected, I wasn’t disappointed.
Gay shares so much information and opinion, but she never points the finger and dictates what we all should be feeling, thinking, doing, etc. She shares examples, consequences, actual events and shows readers the world we’re living in. Whether it is gender, race, class or some other label, we are limited or empowered by those labels. Gay shows several ways in which that happens.
I love her refreshing honesty, brutal bluntness, and her ability to put words to all the craziness in this world using humor, class, and intelligence. From Tyler Perry movies, to gangsta rap, to Sweet Valley High, she shows us the flaws while reminding us that liking these things doesn’t automatically negate who we are or what we believe in.
I have personally had internal struggles and battles with myself over being the right kind of feminist. Are we supposed to hate pink? Hate men? How about sex – should that be off the plate? And that’s the thing – those are assumptions and stereotypes. We’re really just a group of people who believe in equality and that is what Gay illustrates in several of her essays.
When I heard of this book and subsequently requested the ARC, I thought the book was 100% essays about feminism and that is what interested me about it – the fact that someone out there; someone who is someone is writing about how we all enjoy things or do and say things that seemingly make us hypocrites or “bad feminists”, but we can’t be perfect and we do occasionally have to lighten up so to speak. But she also covers race, class, and other distinguishing labels that trouble our society today. She really opened my mind on a few things – readers will get a lot to think about.
From books, to movies, to music she covers it all. I still stand by my original love of The Help, but I do see it through a different lens now. I will still watch Madea and crack up, but I’ll do so through a different lens. I think that’s what Gay offers by giving us perspective without getting angry or full of blame. She gives us a new way of looking at the world and at ourselves. It is the new lens that will help us move past all the labels we use to pigeon-hole people – to judge them and put them “in their place”. I think now, just as much as any time in the past, it is very important that we do that.
This is a book I’ll buy for my shelf, give as a gift, and recommend over and over again. Readers owe it to themselves to pick this one up.
I was provided with an ARC of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not compensated for any of my reviews.