Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Bad Feminist

Overview from Barnes & Nobel

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 listeners 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.


I read this book for the book club that I joined at Paper & Glam. It is believed that we should stretch ourselves in our reading to become more diversified. (Right now I am having a love/hate relationship with that word). So I bought the NookBook (at $11.80) and downloaded it to my Nook. I could afford to stretch myself a bit, I thought!

This book started out okay. And then it got angry and bitter. I am hard pressed to say the book is about feminism at all. It is must more about race. She does touch on gender, sexuality, and a variety of other topics. I feel she totally missed her opportunity to rave about feminism and how far women have come. Or at least explain how we can change the way we look at feminism to become better instead of staying 'bad' feminists. Instead she just went on and on and on about the black person's oppression. And that is what she was 'bitching' about films and TV doing. She didn't do it any better in my opinion.

If I buy a book about feminism I want to read about feminism and not about the problems with the races. Her anger and bitterness did not encourage me to want to change things. Or even to look at it from her point of view. This book certainly did not live up to being funny or insightful in my opinion.

I truly believe there is a way for the races to come together. But, first we need to drop the labels "black" and "white" and replace it with "people". And we need to quit blaming each other for things that happened many years ago. It is part of our American history. But it's not your fault and it's not MY fault.

I reluctantly gave it one star.

20 comments:

  1. I don't read much about feminism. I'm not opposed to feminism or reading about it, but often neither is done well. I learned from my grandmother and my mother. They both broke new ground for women in various ways and then stayed the course throughout their lives. Sounds like you were generous with your one star.

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    1. I, too, learned about feminism from my mom, who was a pretty strong woman! Feminism to me is more about equality than it is about race. I was generous with one star!!

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    2. I agree. That is the correct 'ism' for feminism, the focus of which is gender equality. Racism is the 'ism' where racial issues need to be addressed. If we lump everything together the agendas don't work. That's whybI respect my grandmother and what she had to do, and my mother too, Good for you t have a strong mother! My mother did what she neded to do quietly, but broke ground that way because nothing was written off as fanaticism.

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    3. My mother had a very strong personality. There was nothing quite about her either. But she did what she had to do and raised 5 kids. And we are all strong and independent. She was too. At least for a long, long time she was!

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  2. I can understand how people become and stay angry when thinking of past injustices, but it also seems to me that too many in some communities wish to make it all about them. I see how that comes about, but it isn't helpful and it lacks universal truth. I can't think of a group that hasn't been marginalized and demeaned at some point in history, even redheads! People are very busy with their agendas and always have been, and yes, it's time for all to move on. We need a paradigm shift! Education that teaches people to THINK and doesn't twist history - that would be a good start.

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    1. I can understand it too! But I also know that after years and years and years it might be time to change your focus to something else. I agree with you that there have been many groups that have been demeaned at some point but some just can't seem to get on with their lives. It is these people who are keeping the races separated, in my opinion!

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    2. Yes, when there is so much anger, there isn't room for anything but more anger and reactions to anger. And living in the past! And that gets people nowhere!

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  3. Sound be interesting to see/hear what others think about the book as part of the book club. I don't think I would have enjoyed it at all.

    betty

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    1. It was a struggle for me to read! I was beginning to wonder if it was worth it just so I could discuss it with a bunch of strangers. I'm glad I persevered. I won't be reading any more of her books

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  4. Oh, that's too bad. Such a great topic for a book. Too bad she squandered it.

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    1. I'm afraid she did! At least to me she did!

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  5. Amen....I hate reading whiny books just as much as I hate talking to whiny people. Get on with your life already!!

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  6. Good for you, sticking this one out. Hate to say it out-loud, but the title itself was a turn-off for me. Ya, I'm probably over-simplifying the term ... but 'feminist' (to me) makes me imagine angry women who've forgotten how to be ladies.

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    1. I consider myself to be a feminist, Myra! But certainly not the kind that this author wrote about.

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    2. Oh dear! Apologies(!) ...and no offense intended!
      I believe strong women are to be applauded and emulated. Unfortunately, I've witnessed a few who mis-use their God-given strength.

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    3. I wasn't at all offended. I was just explaining why I felt this author didn't have a clue what a feminist is.

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I love to hear what you might think. Leave me a comment. I guarantee though that I will delete your comment if you are just here to cause trouble. So tread lightly!