Am I a Bad Feminist?



CURRENT BOOK:  Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

While dinner was cooking yesterday, I decided to start getting the collection of essays over with.  Actually, they are more enjoyable to read than I expected.  This is another book by a black feminist, but while Ain’t I a Woman was very historical and academic, Bad Feminist is more personal and approachable, and much of Gay’s essays reflect her own experiences, particularly as a college professor.

Gay is clear about her intentions from the outset to explore feminism from her own perspective, and she describes herself as a “bad” feminist in the sense that she is not familiar with most of the traditional “feminist” literature.  Well, in that case, despite my English degree I think I might be a bad feminist too!  Although I always considered myself a feminist (I’m a girl, how could I not be), I would have had a hard time articulating exactly what that means.  Gay gives one of the best definitions of feminism I have ever read:

I believe in equal opportunities for women and men.  I believe in women having reproductive freedom and affordable and unfettered access to the health care they need.  I believe women should be paid as much as men for doing the same work.  Feminism is a choice, and if a woman does not want to be a feminist, that is her right, but it is still my responsibility to fight for her rights.  I believe feminism is grounded in supporting the choices of women even if we wouldn’t make certain choices for ourselves.  I believe women not just in the United States but throughout the world deserve equality and freedom but know I am in no position to tell women of other cultures what that equality and freedom should look like.

So far so good…but I’m not quite sure what the part about the Scrabble tournament had to do with feminism.


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