In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of colour (The Help) while also taking listeners 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 sincere 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.
"Let this be the year of Roxane Gay." ( Time Magazine)
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Suswati on 23-11-17
A mixed bag of essays
Roxane Gay is a gifted writer no doubt, but like a lot of her more prominent work, there are huge amounts of autobiographical information that didn't seem completely relevant.
Her essays on the intersection of feminism with misogynistic pop culture was incredibly on point, exploring E.L. James' infamous BDSM novel Fifty Shades of Grey, as well as other popular novels such as Twilight. She briefly mentions rape culture and how all of the above feeds into this notion.
Similarly her discussion on how race is portrayed in major Hollywood motion pictures is accurately disturbing - showing how African Americans are used in plots as a way to prop up white protagonists (The Help, Django Unchained).
Some of her other chapters seemed disconnected as if they were put in the book because there was no other place for it. This appears in the chapter on Scrabble. (Playing Scrabble doesn't make you a bad feminist).
There were a lot of haphazard thoughts that didn't quite thread together with the rest of the book ie. abortion rights, and male politicians' views on body autonomy. Gay was pretty adamant on her views on this, which appeared to showcase her opinion that she truly is a feminist.
The underlying message was that you may have flaws by enjoying aspects of pop culture, but as long as you are aware of how important it is that women receive equal rights, you can be any kind of feminist. But the book does feel as if she's trying to prove it to herself and to the world which seems rather unnecessary. We believe you Roxane.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Erzulie on 16-08-18
For a critical book of essays like this, tone is important
I’ve listened to a number of brilliant books written and performed by WoC on Audible and this was the first time that I felt that the tone was completely wrong. I really feel that having WoC perform books written by WoC is important, and I think that Roxane Gay would feel the same about this. There’s no doubt about the fact that the book itself is a mixed bag - some essays are brilliant, others less so, but there were times when I just got angry because the narrator made Gay’s narratorial voice sound sanctimonious and snobbish - and it was in these moments that I had to resist the urge to switch off, reminding myself that this was a WoC speaking (albeit a middle class one). I do think that the book is worth reading, but I would urge Audible to think seriously about its casting choices when putting together such audiobooks. I mean, I don’t really know why they couldn’t have had Gay read it herself (like Cullors and Eddo-Lodge) WoC are underrepresented in the publishing industry as it is, so representation is SO important. The personal really is political.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Monty on 06-03-18
Eloquent introspection and acute observations
Ms Gay has a wonderfully nuanced and accessible writing style. I wish that I could write so well about my own introspection and convey so acutely my observations about the world and the insidious oppression that all marginalised groups experience in the face of oppression. The essays were so evocative of my own experiences and they gave eloquent voice to what I had previously identified as disquiet during the subtle exposures.