Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay: Book Review


Obtained: Purchased @ Chapters
Pages: 336
Publish date: August 5, 2014
Rating: ★★★★

When this book of essays first came out, a lot of the book bloggers I followed raved about it – everyone needed to read this book, it was amazing, it was eye-opening. Well, it wasn’t the rave reviews that had me interested. The minimalism and the pink title caught my eye, style-wise, but the word ‘Feminist’ is what got me to buy a copy. The topic of feminism is one that I find extremely interesting, paired with the fact that everyone was actually enjoying reading this book, it made me curious. How good was Bad Feminist?

The answer: Very.

First of all, when I begin to read any non-fiction books, I’m normally very skeptical simply because the writing style can be dry, or too thick for my taste. I can read a paragraph and have no idea what I just read. This was not the case with Bad Feminist. I was immersed throughout the entire book. Gay’s storytelling mixed with informative perspectives and facts was not only educational but actually highly entertaining to read.

Not only did Gay write about gender issues and feminism, but there is an entire part dedicated to the issue of racism that I found particularly interesting. As a woman, I could identify with the gender issues, but as a white woman, I don’t have the experiences that she has had with the media misrepresenting her identity. It was educational to read about the way she looked at movies such as The Help and Django Unchained, and what she may look for in properly being represented.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Bad Feminist. As someone who identifies as a feminist myself, it was nice to know that other women struggle with the title. Can a person be a feminist and still have typically feminine hobbies? Does it make you a bad feminist if your favourite colour is pink and you read girly magazines? I don’t necessarily think so. Gay uses very current examples of feminist issues and examples of good representation of women in pop culture to make her point, and it kept me thinking until the very end.


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