Reading Better: Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay/Discussion Post

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?

4 thoughts on “Reading Better: Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay/Discussion Post”

  1. Great post, I love the idea of a ‘Reading Better’ feature! Bad Feminist is on my list but I’ve not got around to it yet – I’ll definitely make it a higher priority as it sounds empowering and refreshingly honest 📚❤️ X

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    1. Thank you, Florence! I hope you can read it soon! It’s nice to see such honesty and see that we can still be our own feminists and there is no hight standard we must conform to. I find that empowering! Please pop in to the post I love seeing comments. I should be doing another one as soon as a crawl out of my chaos for a few minutes. lol

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  2. Thank you so sharing this. The idea I had for my own blog is that I feel that, although I do identify w the movement, I am a total failure (lol) compared to that image I am supposed to move towards. Yet, while I also agree that some public figures use the term for their own brand’s benefit, I also see the positive in that they help promote feminism in itself (whatever the strand, it still stands for women’s empowerment and many of us need to recognise it can exists). Well, at least I am still learning. Lovely to read from you x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am still learning myself, and I have learned a lot more since writing this post. I have read a few more books that address white feminism and realized it goes a lot deeper than I first thought. I am horrible at keeping these posts updated because it takes me so long to gather and put my thoughts to words. I like how Gay addresses how women are represented and digs into the things women face, but she does not get into white feminism. What I have learned is feminism in itself is about equality for and empowering ALL women. For all women to be able to support themselves and their children, to be safe and not oppressed. I do agree I also see the positive in promoting and empowering women but I think we can work on the message that it’s about ALL women.

      Isabel Allende’s definition of feminism. .”It is not what we have between our legs but what we have between our ears. It’s a philosophical posture and an uprising against male authority. It’s a way of understanding male relations and a way to see the world. It’s a commitment to justice and a struggle for the emancipation of women, the LGTBIQA+ community, anyone oppressed by the system, including some men, and all others who want to join.”

      Her book The Soul of a Women is a great one to read. I picked up so much from it!!

      Thank you so much for commenting. I will check out your blog!!


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