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Roxane Gay Bad Feminist Summary

Good Essays
Roxane Gay’s collection of essays, Bad Feminist, falls under third-wave feminism. Third-wave feminists focus on the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, and social class. Gay talks about all of these issues in her book, calling upon her own experiences as a Haitian-American to explore the intersectionality between growing up a woman and growing up biracially in America. More than anything else in her book, Gay focuses on her imperfections as a human being that cause her to interpret feminism differently from anyone else. “We don’t all have to believe in the same feminism,” she writes. “Feminism can be pluralistic so long as we respect the different feminisms we carry with us, so long as we give enough of a damn to try to minimize the…show more content…
Gay writes, “A lot of ink is given over to mythologizing female friendships as curious, fragile relationships that are always intensely fraught. Stop reading and writing what encourages this mythology.” Likewise, Gay challenges the notion that only books by women are given the title of “women’s fiction,” and that topics of marriage and children, and parenthood are primarily marketed towards women when they concern both men and women. She argues against the stereotype of angry feminist as well. “When women respond negatively to misogynistic or rape humor, they are ‘sensitive’ and branded as ‘feminist,’ a word that has, as of late, become a catchall term for ‘women who does not tolerate bullshit.’” Gay says that women have always had to fight for their rights, when men have not, but that women’s struggles to succeed are chalked up to lack of ability. “What goes unsaid is that women might be more ambitious and focused because we’ve never had a choice. We’ve had to fight to vote, to work outside the home, to work in environments free of sexual harassment, to attend the universities of our choice, and we’ve had to prove ourselves over and over to receive any modicum of consideration.” She also finds great offense at the media’s portrayal of female relationships: “Abandon the cultural myth that all female friendships must be bitchy, toxic, or competitive. This myth is like heels and purses -- pretty, but designed to SLOW women down.” Like many third-wave feminists, Gay fights to draw attention to these issues in order to change
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