“Roxane Gay is so great at weaving the intimate and personal with what is most bewildering and upsetting at this moment in culture. She is always looking, always thinking, always passionate, always careful, always right there.” — Sheila Heti, author of How Should a Person Be?
A New York Times Bestseller
Best Book of the Year: NPR • Boston Globe • Newsweek • Time Out New York • Oprah.com • Miami Herald • Book Riot • Buzz Feed • Globe and Mail (Toronto) • The Root • Shelf Awareness
A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched cultural observers of her generation
In these funny and insightful essays, 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, coming from one of our most interesting and important cultural critics.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
In this collection of fiercely intelligent, eminently readable essays, author and academic Roxane Gay tackles privilege, race, gender, and the songwriting talents of Robin Thicke and Kanye West. Gay examines feminists’ mini-dilemmas (can I sing along to this catchy but misogynistic pop song?), as well as today’s big-picture crises: rape culture, racism, and the chronic underrepresentation of women in positions of power. Warm, witty, and utterly lacking in pretense, Bad Feminist feels like a spirited conversation with your smartest, funniest friend.
This trenchant collection assembles previously published essays and new work by cultural critic and novelist Gay (An Untamed State). Even though she loves pink, feels nostalgic about the Sweet Valley High series, and lets degrading rap lyrics blast from her car stereo, Gay is passionately committed to feminist issues, such as equal opportunity and pay and reproductive freedom. Writing about race, politics, gender, feminism, privilege, and popular media, she highlights how deeply misogyny is embedded in our culture, the careless language used to discuss sexual violence (seen in news reports of sexual assault), Hollywood's tokenistic treatment of race, the trivialization of literature written by women, and the many ways American society fails women and African-Americans. Gay bemoans that fact that role models like Bill Cosby and Don Lemon urge African-Americans to act like ideal citizens while glossing over institutional problems in the education, social welfare, and justice system that exacerbate racism and poverty. Although Gay is aware of her privilege as a middle-class Haitian-American, she doesn't refrain from advising inner-city students to have higher expectations. Whatever her topic, Gay's provocative essays stand out for their bravery, wit, and emotional honesty.
One of the best
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Roxane Gay. For taking what's in my gut, so many women's guts, and articulating it with intelligence, level-headedness, and joy, thank you.
This book reads as a report and judgment of other feminist literature with a few unique takes from the author’s mind. While there are some eloquent and well reasoned points, I prefer a book to include more than summarizing other books.