A review by jessica_lam
Bad Feminist, by Roxane Gay

reflective fast-paced


This book is extremely of its time and if you are old enough to remember the early 2010s in the United States, you'll recognize most, if not all of the references Gay makes in the book. Beyond that, it probably gets a bit too specific. A collection of personal essays, Gay reflects on a variety of topics from her personal and extremely specific lens, mostly on pop culture - large swaths of the book focus on popular media of the time. Each chapter could be summarized by a well-formulated series of tweets, especially as Gay is an extremely approachable writer. 

The title comes from her reflection on the implications of the word "feminist," and how she still holds views or have preferences that may not conform with the mainstream stereotype of feminism, especially as they were in 2014 (and earlier when she was writing this book). There's also the extremely legitimate criticism of the history of white feminism, but ultimately concludes that "being a bad feminist is better than not being a feminist at all."

It was an interesting trip down memory lane as someone who also consumes perhaps a disproportionate amount of media. Each section feels like a conversation I might have after watching the Fruitvale Station/50 Shades/The Hunger Games/etc. with a friend - fairly surface level observations, but well written and probably a level deeper than most media consumers. 

Bonus: did all of us want to be Jessica's but, lbr, were Elizabeth's?

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