by Roxanne Gay
This book is amazing. It is a series of personal essays by Roxane Gay published in 2014, but completely relevant today in 2021. Indeed, I felt myself being saddened by the fact that almost every issue that she addressed, we are still struggling with as a society so many years later.
While the book is called Bad Feminist, it is really about humanity, equality, the rights of marginalized and underrepresented groups, privilege, politics, teaching, and respect for others and self. She covers tough topics like rape and sexual assault, abortion and reproductive rights, the “outing” of LGBT individuals and the right to privacy.
She also talks about why she chose the title Bad Feminist, which embodies the concept that not all feminism needs to be militant, consistent, all-encompassing, or “good” in some way. To me, I feel like her definition of feminism is broader and more inclusive — think anti-misogyny. It makes room for different ways of being a woman in the world, while still demanding respect and equal treatment.
Some of the essays struck such a deep chord with me that I will probably need to read them again at some point in the future after I have a chance to let them marinate. Gay is a voice I will be constantly be reaching for to help me make sense of these difficult concepts.