I’m horrible at this writing thing. Time and time again I tell myself that I’m going to sit down and do it, just make a plan. 30 minutes a day, 10, 5, anything at all really! But no, I’ve been lazy, or busy, caught up in two jobs and studying and wishing that I could just have a break. None of that matters, because I’m writing now. I’ve had about a million ideas, but this one seemed really peachy, easy enough and brought on by genuine excitement (unlike most of my topic ideas that are brought on by rage). Quite often I find myself blurting out to a friend, family member, or the universe (on twitter) that I’m “smitten” with some person, place, or thing. More often than not it’s a book. It’s also been a podcast (The Whorecast), a song (1990’s Remix by Nova Rockafeller), and a skirt (worn by a woman I’m perpetually smitten over, Mindy Kaling). So, I thought, why not? Why not start a series of things I’m completely smitten over?
I first heard about Bad Feminist a few months ago via twitter, and I didn’t so much hear about it as I saw the title floating around a few of my friend’s tweets. I’m sad to say it took me this long to pick it up. I’m not quite sure what I expected. I’m not usually one for short stories or essays; and the thought of a book of essays about a “bad feminist” made my stomach churn and my brain do flips. Don’t we already label enough people with title of “bad feminist”? It’s constantly in the tabloids, this female celebrity or that calling themselves a feminist before doing xyz thing that the public (aka: person writing the piece) doesn’t agree with. Did we really need one more thing calling out what it means to be a feminist?
But I was wrong.
I was wrong on so many levels that I feel the need to apologize right now. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not reading up on this book, for not picking it up sooner, for not giving it the time or at least thinking that not everyone is quick to point out the flaws that make someone a “bad feminist.” I was wrong in assuming that this book wasn’t powerful and honest, that this book didn’t embrace the flaws that make us human and feminists.
Now, I’m going to admit that I’m only about 25 percent finished with this book (at least, that’s what my kindle says), but who cares. So far it’s made me laugh, made me think, turned me on to new books, new ideas, new people. It’s made me proud to be called a feminist with flaws, a bad feminist if you will.
I’d never heard of Roxane Gay before today, but it continues to amaze me how often I find myself nodding along to her words. I can’t speak highly enough about this book, and I’m sure that the next few chapters will not disappoint.