So You Think You’re a Feminist?

As most people of my generation, I identify as a feminist. The problem with any label one uses is that it’s always misconstrued. There are always negative conotations, so I’d like to state what it means to me. When I say feminist I mean that I believe that women and men deserve equal rights. Bad Feminist, by Roxanne Gay, changed many of my ideas of feminism for the better. Most people can probably relate to the feeling of inadequacy that I feel. Frequently. I know I don’t reach my full potential in nearly everything I do. I know that I’m not alone in that feeling.

I would love to say that I shut down every crude sexist joke I hear and that I turn off the radio when I hear degrading songs. But I don’t. I let “little things” slide and I’m not perfect. I opened my new book in curiosity, but with a heavy heart ready to be judged by the ink on the paper before me. I was so wrong. From the first moment, it was clear that Gay is not a stereotype. She is every one of her readers. She  Gay’s essays are divided into segments based on issues they address such as racism, class, and sexuality. Her essays are engaging and easy to read, you unconsciously learn from her life experiences as you go through her life experiences along with her.

This collection is beautifully written; it is raw, but professional. Her relatable words create a comfortable environment in which the reader can escape. The heavy topics could lend to dramatic reactions, but, although she is rather black and white about her beliefs, I never felt threatened by her beliefs. She encourages everyone to be feminists in the way that they are capable. The book is truly an example of the fact that everyone can do their part, even if it seems insignificant. I would tell anyone to read this book, if only for more insight on the subject. This book could change your life, if you let it. We can all be bad feminists.

Leah