Reigniting My Inner "Bad" Feminist

This is a review of Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist

I quickly read Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, a writer I was unfamiliar with before picking up this intelligent and emotionally raw collection of essays. Gay’s essays have revived my inner “feminist”, a word I still struggle to define and often feel obliged to defend, in certain social circles. “Feminist" is a word that incites flashbacks of many Women Studies lectures during my sophomore year in college; of discussions about race, masculinity, motherhood, sexuality, and the always enticing question: Can Fathers Mother?

Although Gay doesn’t define “Feminist” and only offers the multitude of ways people define "Feminism," her social commentary is inevitably communicated through the perspective of one, of course. You have to be a feminist before considering yourself a “bad” one. Gay’s social commentary is a critical study of pop culture, contemporary literature, and television as an intertwined entity working towards perpetuating many of the same gender and racial stereotypes that have already existed. Few things, she shows, defy the confining gender roles we, as a society, willingly accept. Gay’s perspective is a personal one, not a representation of all women of color. However, her essays are a critical study of society, and give a voice to many underrepresented women of color.