It’s not exactly a secret that women above a certain size are looked down upon.
Earlier this year, best-selling writer Roxane Gay released her new book, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. Her most personal book to date, the book reads like a therapy session or an entry from her personal journal. After she was raped at a young age, she began to gain weight to hide her shame and mask her misery.
I’ve been a fan of hers since reading Bad Feminist (another book I highly recommend) for the first time three years ago.This book is poignant, emotional and it felt, for me as a reader, that writing this book was her catharsis not just as woman, but as a human being.
This past weekend, I finally purchased a copy of Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist. I’ve been in love with this book for nearly two years, but I was not sure if I wanted to buy it. On Sunday I gave in.
So, in no specific order, here are the reasons I re-read Bad Feminist…
• Bad Feminist is this generation’s The Feminine Mystique. Just like Betty Friedan’s now classic book asked our grandmothers to ask themselves hard questions, this book asks our generation to ask hard questions.
• Ms. Gay makes no apologies for who she is and what she believes in.
• She is not afraid to reveal her imperfections to the readers.
• She does not tolerate b*llsh*t, especially from members of the male sex who think they know more than she does.
• Her twitter feed is awesome and never dull.
• She is not afraid to call out the chinks in the armor of the feminist movement: the limited visibility of women of color, the limited visibility of LGBTQ women and other women who are doubly or triply stigmatized for their race, sex, sexual preference, etc.
• She would rather be a bad feminist than not be a feminist at all.
And those are the reasons why I re-read Bad Feminist.
I’ve read many books over the past 12 months. Some were good, some were merely decent and some were a waste of time. In this last post of 2014, I’m going to list the top five new (to me) books of 2014.
5. Thank You For Firing Me– No one is immune to the pain of loosing their job. This book is the perfect balm to the emotional and professional wounds that come with being fired.
4. Bad Feminist– No one is perfect. Even those of us who claim Feminism as our own still cling, in some small way, the double standard that still exists in the world.
3. Downtrodden Abbey– This very funny spoof of a television program that in five short years, has taken on a life of it’s own.
2. Tie- Enchanted & Ash– Fairy tales with a twist that kept me hooked to the very end.
While the larger goal of feminism is equal rights, there are many smaller goals under the banner of feminism that still need to be reached.
Roxane Gay’s 2014 book, Bad Feminist, is a series of essays on feminism. She writes about topics that include Chris Brown, the Sweet Valley High book series and the images of women of color that we currently see on screen.
What I liked about this book is that it comes from the perspective of a woman of color. Ms. Gay is the daughter of Haitian-American immigrants. Feminism often comes from the view of a Caucasian woman from the upper and middle classes. While the feminist voices from women of color are getting louder, they are not as prominent as they could be. The title of the book is very appropriate. Even the staunchest of feminists may sometimes fall back to the male/female double standard because that is what many of us were raised on.
The last few lines of the book are as follows:
“No matter what issues I have with feminism, I am a feminist. I cannot and will not deny the importance and the absolute necessity of feminism. Like most people, I am full of contradictions, but I also don’t want to be treated like shit for being a woman.
I am a bad feminist. I would rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all”.
I agree with that statement completely and I absolutely recommend this book.