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Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay
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Bad Feminist: Essays (2014)

by Roxane Gay

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,522707,018 (3.95)2 / 158
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Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
The last main section is 5 stars. Rest is four. Good stuff all around. ( )
  jeninmotion | Sep 24, 2018 |
I roared through this collection of essays for which the tag "feminism" falls far short. Gay certainly brings a feminist lens to her essays of literary criticism and deconstructions of pop culture, but her perspective is far more complex than that. The collection's title comes from her assertions that feminism is flawed, that she is an inconsistent feminist (aren't we all?), and that neither she nor feminism should be disregarded because of these facts. She notes, as well, that eschewing the entire movement based on its failings is exactly what those who would most benefit from the movement's demise would like to see happen.

Gay's essays explore race and class and sexuality as well as gender. I found myself laughing out loud at times, googling certain personalities or events to learn a bit more, saying "amen" under my breath. Her writing is deft and accessible, which is not to say that it's not sophisticated. It is. Her voice is steady but nuanced, suggesting that she is exquisitely conscious of various audiences. I love her boldness. I love her frankness. I love her vulnerability (although I suspect she would have something to say about why I love that latter quality). I loved the essay about the Scrabble tournament.

Here's one favorite example of her straightforward writing style:

In "Some Jokes Are Funnier than Others," she is exploring the ongoing debate about comics' and others' "right" to tell jokes at others' expense, especially rape jokes, racist jokes, etc. I hear this debate a lot on college campuses where the tension between "free speech" and "safe spaces" is palpable, and students all too frequently want their own free speech protected but not necessarily the free (and often hurtful) speech of others to be controlled by the administration. Gay simply says "We are free to speak as we choose without fear of prosecution or persecution, but we are not free to speak as we choose without consequence." I will be repeating this sentence.

The essay collection is divided into sections and the one called "Race and Entertainment" was where I learned the most. This is probably because, as a white woman, her musings on gender and feminism fit within my longer-term consciousness. Also, I'm in my mid-50s (well, I'm probably more accurately in my late 50s but who's to say?) so many of the pop cultural references were less familiar to me. I googled. I learned. I resonated and appreciated and considered my own reactions to some of the films or songs or tv shows with which I was familiar. This was an enlightening read.

I can't wait to read more of Gay's work. ( )
3 vote EBT1002 | Jul 30, 2018 |
The essays in this book range from several relating to the title to reviews of books and movies from Gay's very personal point of view, which I like a lot. But because the reviews tended to be short, I listened to only a few at a time. It's the kind of book I'm tempted to get in print (electronic or otherwise) so that I can dip back in to see what she thought of this or that film. Gay also gets very personal about her own painful backstory, and why the title of the book fits her and what she means by it.

The reader, Bahni Turpin, was excellent. Gay narrates her next book, Hunger, herself. It will be interesting to compare the two voices. ( )
  ffortsa | Jul 23, 2018 |
The premise of the books is you can be a feminist and make mistakes, be a hypocrite, and be a flawed human. Roxane Gay takes on race, pop culture, politics, feminism in her essays. Her writing is insightful and thought provoking. I found myself going yassss and wtf no in the same essay. I'm glad she included personal essays about her life and experiences. I would of liked there to be a more defined theme and flow. Some of the essays repeated things she said in a previous essay a few pages earlier. Really enjoyed the book and plan to read more by Roxane Gay! ( )
  wellreadcatlady | Jul 9, 2018 |
Nothing new on this book, Gay just rehashes all the same topics and opinion that you can find over tumblr or feminist websites withouth much searching.

She talks a lot about pop culture but says nothing interesting in the end, doesn't reach particular conclusions or even does serious soulsearch.

It's a basic book, too simplistic, too old news, and Gay isn't particularly engaging neither, some of her opinions demonstrate a lack of self-awareness, she's also guides herself more on her emotions than logical thinking.

I didn't learn anything, it didn't make me think, it was a waste of time. ( )
  Rose98 | Jun 22, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roxane Gayprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bilardello, RobinCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manchikanti, SunilDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Turpin, BahniNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The world changes faster than we can fathom in ways that are complicated.
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Don't flirt, have sex, or engage in emotional affairs with your friends' significant others. This shouldn't need to be said, but it needs to be said. That significant other is an asshole, and you don't want to be involved with an asshole who's used goods. If you want to be with an asshole, get a fresh asshole of your very own. They are abundant. — From "How to Be Friends With Another Woman"
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A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay. "Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to be cool, but it is pink, all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I'm not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue." In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of color (The Help) while also taking readers 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 spot-on 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.… (more)

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