Please give a warm welcome to author, essayist and baddest feminist Roxane Gay!
Roxane Gay is a force of nature. She is insanely and enviably prolific: in the past year, she has come out with An Untamed State, her critically acclaimed debut novel about a young woman who is kidnapped in Haiti and — last week — Bad Feminist, an insightful, incisive and poignant collection of essays about gender, race, sexuality, body image, pop culture and much, much else (including, but not limited to: sexual violence, Scrabble, loneliness, coming out stories the Sweet Valley High series).
Bad Feminist is refreshing, sharp, at times hilarious and at times heartbreaking. It's a loving study of flaws, contradictions and inconsistencies. Rather than pretending these flaws don't exist, Gay embraces them — a move that feels at once radical and obvious, not to mention far rarer than it should be. In the introduction, she writes:
How do we reconcile the imperfections of feminism with all the good it can do? In truth, feminism is flawed because it is a movement powered by people and people are inherently flawed. For whatever reason, we hold feminism to an unreasonable standard where the movement must be everything we want and must always make the best choices. When feminism falls short of our expectations, we decide the problem is with feminism rather than with the flawed people who act in the name of the movement ...
I openly embrace the label of bad feminist. I do so because I am flawed and human. I am not terribly well versed in feminist history. I am not as well read in key feminist texts as I would like to be. I have certain... interests and personality traits and opinions that may not fall in line with mainstream feminism, but I am still a feminist. I cannot tell you have freeing it has been to accept this about myself.
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