A few months ago I (naturally) picked up New York Times Bestseller Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. I began reading the introduction titled “Feminism (n): Plural” and have continued to read it quite frequently. I find everything that she has to say about the different aspects of modern feminism, good and bad, extremely fascinating. Here is my “official” response to it:
I think that you can be as sensitive and insensitive of a feminist as you want to be. As Gay points out, so much of our music culture is based on the degradation of women. Her examples such as Robin Thicke singing about how “we want it” and Jay-Z using “bitch” like punctuation definitely resonates with me but I also admit I find myself singing to music similar to theirs all of the time because they are just so damn catchy. This doesn’t make me any less of a feminist than someone who spends most of their time crusading against sexist music, movies, acts, etc.
Does it make me a bad feminist?
The extremely valid point that Gay makes is that we are all bad feminists, no matter what specific aspects of it we agree and don’t agree with. This is because feminism is a movement by humans, and humans are inherently flawed.
Now, while I think that she makes a great point, I have to stop and ask why this is being explained and/or written about in the first place. Everything that Gay explained both instilled a lot of girl power in me but also made me really sad that I was reading it.
Why do we have to write novels admitting that feminism has flaws in order for people to be more accepting of it?
I believe that feminism is the most self-explanatory, yet most misunderstood term of our time. I don’t think the term has a guilt by association with “man-hating,” I think hateful men and women make you feel guilty for being associated.
Yes, feminism is definitely flawed. But, so is every other movement that has ever “moved” across the Earth. I stand with Roxane Gay as a “bad feminist” but I don’t owe an explanation.