Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Bad Feminist: Essays

Bad Feminist: EssaysBad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I quickly devoured Bad Feminist. Even though Roxanne Gay cites some academic heavyweights, the text is utterly readable. These essays are more personal and political than theoretical, and my favourite topics include:

• the question of privilege
• race
• gender: featuring Judith Butler & Helene Cixous
• humour
• pop culture: Loved her essay about the Hunger Games, “What We Hunger For”
• fairy tales
• misogyny –topics as diverse as Junot Diaz’s “This is How You Lose Her” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”

The book won me over at the beginning. When talking about advising and helping students, Gay reports that the students would “generally say, ‘Don’t tell anyone I came to see you.’ It wasn’t that they were embarrassed to get help, most of the time. They were embarrassed to be seen putting effort into their education, to be seen caring” (9-10). A couple of years ago, we had a documentary filmed at our school called, Colour Me.  It was about race and education. The students reported that doing well in school wasn’t considered the “black” thing to do. Wow. Together with Roxanne Gay’s observations, I am stunned.

Sometimes I was bothered about the "shape" of the essays. In some cases, I anticipated that I was being led somewhere and found myself left hanging at the end of the text. Maybe a re-read is necessary.

Some mature content and language.

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Video credit:
Barsoum, Sherien. "Colour Me Documentary Film Official Trailer."YouTube. YouTube, 13 May 2011. Web. 30 Sept. 2014. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZzesdSPdeI>.