Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist
This book has been on my 'to-read' list for too damn long. I'm so glad I finally got round to feasting on its goodness because it is a blessing.
Roxane Gay is the kind of writer that I aspire to be like. Her perfectly dry sense of humour is that of a woman tired of dealing with people's constant shit, it screams "SIT YOURSELF DOWN AND RECONSIDER YOUR LIFE CHOICES, JEEZ" with a slight dash of "Christ, why am I with these assholes?".
Bad Feminist is a collection of refreshingly honest and genuine essays in which Gay reflects on being a black woman, growing up with strict Haitian parents, playing professional Scrabble and everything in-between. It's equal part upsetting and uncomfortable as it is cringey and relatable.
'How We All Lose' is probably my favourite essay, as it draws on popular contemporary feminist writers like Caitlin Moran to reflect the current state of womanhood, particularly the widely disputed perception that the patriarchy is dead: "Some women being empowered does not mean patriarchy is dead. It proves that some of us are lucky."
Being the total babe she is, Gay draws attention to the 'better world' we live in being a smokescreen for the ongoing struggles experienced by women in work - earning 77 per cent of what their male counterparts do - candidates for US Senate and state representatives openly condoning "legitimate rape", "honest rape" and "emergency rape" because if someone is raped then God obviously intended for it to happen, and there is still a blindingly bizarre opinion that to be a feminist means to lose your femininity.
The cliche 'voice of a generation' gets thrown around a lot, probably too much. Roxane Gay may not be the voice of my generation, but she is putting into words the internal monologue of hundreds, if not thousands, of women who are frankly sick and tired of being pigeonholed by archaic and demeaning images and ideas of what women are 'expected' to say, do, wear and think. GIRL, this is what modern feminism is all about.