Surprisingly, our taste in books doesn’t always line up. It’s also rare that either of us will pick up non-fiction. But, every now and then, we’ll read the same book and have similar reactions to it. That was the case with Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist. This book and its author get a lot of flack. You only have to follow Ms. Gay on Twitter to be witness to some of it. Is Roxane Gay absolutely right about every thing she critiques in her essays? No, of course not. That’s why they’re considered opinions. Does her voice matter in regards to modern feminism? You better believe it! What we took away from this book is that there is no one-size fits all feminism. Her opinion matters. Our opinions matter, even when they don’t match up.
These reviews originally appeared on Goodreads.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
There were moments while reading this collection of essays when I felt as if Roxane Gay had crawled into my head and exposed my inner-most thoughts. Everything from Sweet Valley (though I always wanted to be Lila Fowler) and 90210, to the desire to be independent and still have someone to come home to. And even when I didn’t agree with her, I was able to draw something from her words, to question whether I am too complacent on matters of race and gender equality. — TB
A great collection of critical essays about pop culture and the world we live in. I enjoyed Gay’s voice and think her feminist lens at which she looks at the world is smart.
From my brief review, I don’t really share any opinions, but I definitely feel that Gay opened a feminist lens that I had neglected for a long time. I gave it four stars because I was frustrated that every essay seemed to be negative. Maybe I disagreed or maybe not. I read it very quickly and just kept thinking, “doesn’t she like anything?” But I connected with her ideas, respect her as a writer, and am a fan forever. –HA
Roxane Gay is a treasure. Her collection of essays escalates the narrative of feminist literature and it’s just a damn good read. Feminism gets such a bad rap. It’s time that changed. And here’s a radical thought: no one is a perfect feminist. Maybe we’re all bad feminists, which is probably a good thing.