I am a Bad Feminist - Coffee Shoppe Reads (REVIEW)

I started off my summer reading with Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. I know that this book was quite talked about a couple of months back, and I filed it in my head to pick it up when the semester came to a close and I was able to opt for some pleasure reading over textbook reading. I can honestly say that I knew very little about the book before jumping into it, yet it was still on my list of books to read, I think due to a combination of the title catching my attention/hype/book aesthetics (I have to be honest – I will totally judge a book by its cover!).

Bad Feminist is a collection of essays which makes it quite an enjoyable read for almost anyone, whether they are an avid reader or not. I can’t say that I have read many essay collections before but I found the format to be quite helpful as it gave me places to take pause more easily as I suffer from the issue known as, look! I’m reading! Please talk to me!

I found the book to be interesting and engaging and I feel like it really gets the reader to think about things perhaps in a deeper way than they would have before. I really appreciate how Gay doesn’t push a perfect version of being a feminist and how in calling herself out as a bad feminist, she allows others to do the same. No one is perfect and I think you could argue that we are all, in MANY ways, bad humans! In identifying as a bad feminist, she not only accepts what might be considered as flaws in herself but also attacks the idea of what feminism is, isn’t and should or should not be.  There is certainly a stigma attached to the word feminist and Gay challenges this with honesty and even some humor. I enjoyed reading through her perspectives on the world.

I enjoyed her thoughts throughout the book, but one of the subjects that really stuck with me, was the idea of privilege and of acknowledging the various ways in which we are privileged and how that influences our lives. I don't think that this is something most people identify very often.

The only element of the book which I struggled with, were the parts where she spoke of books or movies which I had not read/seen. I found it a little more challenging to follow along since I did not know exactly what she was referring to at times. Although, I will say that I very much enjoyed her break down of Fifty Shades of Grey, despite never cracking open one of those books (which is something you will never see me do – sorry to the fans).

I think that Bad Feminist is a book everyone should make an effort to read, and I feel that you can learn a great deal from her book, not only in regard to feminism but also issues such as race and others. The ways in which Gay blends together her personal life experiences and elements of pop culture and history make for an educating and thought provoking read.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on Bad Feminist in the comments and as always, please share any book recommendations as well! 

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