Bad Feminist is an essay written by the ever so intelligent, Roxane Gay. Roxane was born in America, with the rest of her ancestors descending from Haiti. She has never had an easy life, yet she is incredibly successful.
Bad Feminist is one of those books in which you simply can’t judge it’s title. This book does not solely focus on women or “how not to be a ‘bad’ feminist,’” as many of you may think. There are so many more topics that arise within it.
The content of this book is not necessarily all meadows and rainbows. It consists of the cold, hard, and sad truth. Some topics in this essay being: gender and race inequality, abortion and rape laws, unfairness in criminal activity, and many more problems that unfortunately are a major component of our modern world.
Roxane does a wonderful job of educating us on these topics. She explains things that everyone should and deserves to be aware of.
A significant portion of the beginning of this text is about Roxane. She tells us what her childhood was like here in America, visiting Haiti during the summer, working hard to receive her education, pursuing a career as a professor and writer, and her life as a feminist. This section of the text allows us to understand the author more deeply. This especially helps us to understand where her point of view is coming from regarding these tough topics.
Although about anything you could think of is brought up in this essay, some hit home more with me as a reader.
There is a section in the book called, “Race & Entertainment.” Within this section, there are many victim stories of rape and abortion—even one from Roxane herself. This portion of the text exposes us to the inequality many citizens of our country face every day. From movies to TV shows, to music—specific races and genders are deteriorated. Popular music is filled with offensive comments towards women and races. Yet, we still listen to it. Apparently “catchiness” overdrives social acceptability these days.
Movies are also suffering from these signs of inequality. Roxane brings up the fact that African Americans only star in historical films. Some examples of these films being, The Help, and 12 Years a Slave. She explains how other than films like these, African Americans always take the supporting job.
Another eye-opening portion of this text is, “Politics, Gender, & Race.” There is a chapter within this section called “When Twitter Does What Journalism Cannot.” I found this segment especially interesting because of the concept introduced. This chapter tells the story of Wendy Davis, a Texas state senator that fought for abortion laws. She stood outside for almost thirteen hours without anything to eat or drink; so that forty-two abortion clinics in Texas wouldn’t be closed. It is no doubt that this occurrence was a big deal—but the only place one could view this event was on Twitter via Youtube steam. None of the major news networks streamed this experience. People of Texas went to the location where Senator Davis was fighting to cheer her on. These people were mostly women; fighting for the reproductive freedom they deserve. As Roxane was watching the live stream she heard them cheering. She comments on this sound, “I will never forget that sound. It awoke something in me I haven’t realized had gone dormant.”
Clearly, Roxane Gay is a “boss.” She has overcome so many instances of oppression during her lifetime. It’s truly inspiring. This essay made me aware of so many incidents happening in our world, that honestly; I didn’t know were so major. Because of this book, I am determined to try to make our world a better place. In the words of Roxane, “I am a bad feminist. I would rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all.”