Men are from Mars and women are from Venus, or so we are told, as if this means we’re all so different it is nigh impossible to reach each other. The way we talk about gender makes it easy to forget Mars and Venus are part of the same solar system, divided by only one planet, held in the thrall of the same sun.”
-Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist
Synopsis: Bad Feminist is a collection of essays about issues facing women. It is part personal experience, part literary analysis, and part current event/media discussion. It addresses why feminism is difficult and complex, and why women still struggle with huge, multifaceted, systemic issues that feel nearly unsolvable.
The Good: Because of Gay’s acknowledgement that she is a “bad feminist” (namely, that not all of her values and ideals are in line with feminism), this collection feels accessible to people who may not consider themselves feminists or are confused about their own position in relation to equality for women. It’s well-written and covers a wide range of topics related to women’s representation.
The Bad: At times the essays felt a bit too academic or analyzed events/media that I didn’t know about, so I felt a bit disconnected from Gay’s ideas. The collection would been more powerful with more personal essays–examples of her “bad feminism” or interactions with other people that show the necessity of feminism.
Rating: 4/5 stars.
Challenge(s) satisfied: #3, read a collection of essays, and #19, read a nonfiction book about feminism or dealing with feminist themes.
Additional notes: Roxane Gay also has a TED Talk called “Confessions of a Bad Feminist,” so if you’re more of an audio/visual than literary type, you can still experience her thesis about why she’s a bad feminist.
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