Bad Feminist: Essays
By Roxane Gay
- Author: Roxane Gay
- Publisher: Harper Perennial
- Published: August 2014
- ISBN-10: 0062282719
- ISBN-13: 9780062282712
- Format: Paperback
- Size: 7.9X5.2X1
- Weight: 0.55
- Copyright: 2014
- Subject: SOCIAL SCIENCE / Essays
A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay.
“Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to be cool, but it is pink—all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I’m not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue.”
In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of color (The Help) while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.
Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.
Essayist, novelist and pop-culture guru Gay (An Untamed State, 2014, etc.) sounds off on the frustrating complexities of gender and race in pop culture and society as a whole.In this diverse collection of short essays, the author launches her critical salvos at seemingly countless waves of pop-cultural cannon fodder. Although the title can be somewhat misleading—she’s more of an inconsistent or conflicted feminist—the author does her best to make up for any feminist flaws by addressing, for instance, the disturbing language bandied about carelessly in what she calls “rape culture” in society—and by Gay’s measure, this is a culture in which even the stately ;New York Times ;is complicit. However, she makes weak attempts at coming to terms with her ambivalence toward the sort of violent female empowerment depicted in such movies as ;The Hunger Games. Gay explores the reasons for her uneasiness with the term “women’s fiction” and delivers some not-very-convincing attempts to sort out what drives her to both respect and loathe a femalecentric TV show like Lena Dunham’s ;Girls. Although generally well-written, some of these gender-studies essays come off as preachy and dull as a public service announcement—especially the piece about her endless self-questioning of her love-hate relationship with the tacky female-submission fantasies in ;Fifty Shades of Grey. Yet when it comes to race-related matters (in the section ";Race and Entertainment";), Gay’s writing is much more impassioned and persuasive. Whether critiquing problematic pandering tropes in Tyler Perry’s movies or the heavy-handed and often irresponsible way race is dealt with in movies like ;The Help, ;12 Years a Slave ;or ;Django Unchained, Gay relentlessly picks apart mainstream depictions of the black experience on-screen and rightfully laments that “all too often critical acclaim for black films is built upon the altar of black suffering or subjugation.”An occasionally brilliant, hit-or-miss grab bag of pop-culture criticism. Copyright Kirkus 2014 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
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