In my attempt to escape that comfortable bubble I live in, I am looking to read better by reading more books that help me understand the world better. In my search to read better I started to add a few book to my must read list and I have created some book chaos for myself and am all over the place with reading them. So I decided to start a new feature on our blog called Reading Better where I keep my thoughts and notes together as I read a book. Please join me in following my journey, or reading with me and/or discussing the book with me by adding your thoughts in the comments.
My first book is Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Roxane Gay starts off by addressing “flawed if not damaging representations of women we’re consuming in music, movies and literature.” Gay gives us some examples of how women have been represented and asks “how do we bring attention to these issues in ways that will actually be heard?” I now find myself paying more attention to how women are represented in books along with so many other things we need to do better with and I am hoping by reading better I can find the books that represent woman well and use my little space here to share them in hopes they will be heard.
In the Introduction Roxane addresses the state of feminism and hits on some of my feeling as to why I was not interesting in being a feminist till now. I instantly connection to her voice and tone of her essays.
“feminism is flawed because it is a movement powered by people and people are inherently flawed. When feminism falls short of our expectations, we decide the problem is with feminism rather with the flawed people who act in the name of the movement.”
“The problem with movements is that, all too often, they are associated only with the most visible figures, the people with the biggest platforms and the loudest provocative voices. But feminism, as of late, is not whatever philosophy is being spouted by the popular media feminist flavor of the week, at least not entirely. Feminism, as of late, has suffered from a certain guilt by association because we conflate feminism with women who advocate as part of their personal brand” “When these figureheads say what we want to hear, we put them on a Feminist Pedestal”
Gay gives us her reasons for disavowing feminism when she was younger and some of her reasons are same as mine for disowning feminism till now. Like Gay, I mostly disavowed because I had no rational understanding of the movement. I was listening to those loud voices and often felt like they used the movement for popularity, or their convenience or to be put on “feminist pedal” Gay says we all don’t have to believe in the same feminism and I agree, so I am finding my feminism by listening to the voices I want to see move us through the world. I am starting with Roxane Gay.
She doesn’t claim to have all the answers, doing what is right or wants to be an example she is trying to support what she believes in, trying to do some good while being herself. She is embracing the label of bad feminist because she is human and messy.
I am embracing the label of bad feminist because I am human, flawed and messy and I want to be myself while I find my feminism.
I will be back with another post with thoughts as I continue through the book.
Are you a “Bad Feminist” or Feminist or thinking about becoming one? Have you read Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay? Any thoughts?