Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

This is a collection of essays, if I did not know the title of the book and if someone had asked me what the unifying theme of the collections was, I may have struggled to tell them. This book is not too focussed on feminism as such. Gay spends a lot of time discussing popular books and films and TV, so if you do not like those things then this might not be very interesting for you. She discusses some books I have read and films I have seen, so I enjoyed that, and skipped through most of her essays/rant on books I have not read (50 Shades, Gone Girl, and something about a counsellor at a fat camp).

I listened to the audiobook of this, and I am disappointed to say that Gay does not read it. This is one of my pet peeves. So, I have no idea what she sounds like. After she grumbled about doing a Google image search of the writer of the book about the counsellor at a fat camp I did look up what she looks like, though.

Apart from the whole not-reading-your-own-audiobook thing, I think Gay and I could be friends, although I may have to ask her to chill out a little in the cinema. She likes The Hunger Games. She does not really get Girls either, but she watched it anyway. She loved Sweet Valley High as a kid. We could chat about them while she beats me at Scrabble. I know lots about this woman after reading the book, and there are a few thought-provoking parts, but it certainly is not a how-to feminist book. Which I suppose is the whole point of the title. She is just a woman, going about her own business and being a feminist while she does it.

The closing chapters are about the title. She quotes a few people saying what feminism is in a handy short sentence. I do not think that feminism should be a brand, or be a list of things that we all have to tick in order to be one. If you say you are a feminist then you are a feminist. If you are a different feminist than I am, fine. That is the whole point, that women have the choices to be who they are. So, I am probably a bad feminist too. And hooray for that.

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