Thursday, April 21

Thoughts I Had While Reading Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

  • What the hell does an essay about Scrabble tournaments have to do with feminism? 
  • "Typical First Year Professor" is a pretty good.
  • Okay, wait . . . I thought this was a book about essays on feminism and suddenly I'm reading extended book reports. 
zooey deschanel confused wat new girl huh

  • Granted, there is a connection made between the books she critiques and feminism. Given the inclination, I have zero doubt Gay could turn each critique and analysis into a beautifully written, in-depth A+ thesis paper. However, what we are given in this book is more like a junior high or high school level of "My Book Report on Book Title and how it relates to modern day feminism.
  • My god, more book reports?
  • Oy, this book is fucking d-r-y. I thought it was advertised as having cutting wit, touching intimacy, and I'm still reading freaking book reports.
  • Ugh. Daniel Tosh is a jackass. 
  • Wait, that's all you have to say about Robin Thicke? 
  • Huh. Anastasia Steele's name is shortened to Ana, which is also the shortened form of anorexia, and both are obsessively restrictive, so maybe 50 Shades has symbolism after all. Probably not. (Not something mentioned in the book; my own little distracted observation.)
  • God, is she still talking about Twilight and 50 Shades?
  • If you want to talk not just about women's sexual desires, but specifically a BDSM lifestyle and how 50 Shades addressed it, and the impact it had on popular culture - then go ahead and do so. 
  • Yes! I am not the only one who wants to slap the shit out of Quentin Tarantino (who is sometimes incredibly talented and sometimes incredibly overrated - it's a 50/50 situation). 
  • Do not get me started on Tyler Perry.
angry mad buffy the vampire slayer hate buffy
  • Am I allowed to have an opinion on Tyler Perry, since I am white? (Sarcasm.)
  • There are a lot of movie reviews here.
  • Oy, This woman doesn't like anything. 
  • Obviously Orange is the New Black is going to exist as the story of Piper as the center of her universe and everyone else is a planet orbiting her - it is based on her memoir. Not on someone else's memoir. Doi. 
  • And what is the deal with the scathing, sarcastic, "it's diverse, you know." Were people praising it for it's diversity? I mostly thought people were interested in the acting and the stories and the drama and the general crazy.
  • Perhaps I am WAY too uncultured.
  • Also? Orange has really grown as a show since then and no one even cares about Piper anymore.
  • Well, shit. Since I don't like Twitter and don't follow and obsessively keep up with it, I'm pretty much out of the loop on everything of importance in the world. It's just too much noise.
  • Seriously, how do people keep up with all the noise on twitter?
loop mario xpost snes final
  • Wow. For a woman who celebrates her own uniqueness, who embraces her contradictions and confusions, she sure does come across as someone who wouldn't embrace it so much in others.
  • Is she aware that not all feminists can agree on reproductive freedom? I mean, there are some women who are all equal work/equal pay, but are totally pro-life. It's not a cut-and-dry situation.
  • This book was hyped way too hard.
  • No, I don't feel like I had unrealistic expectations. She is a Purdue professor who openly says she does not feel the need to lower her standards and expectations for her students. Why should her audience lower their standards of good work?
Despite what it may look like above, I actually did like this book. There are plenty of interesting enough essays, and even the dullest, driest of essays has at least a section that could capture my attention. There are a decent enough amount of clever, if not necessarily humorous, lines. And a handful of humorous ones, too.

Gay was not on my radar before this book was published, so I did not know until after I finished reading it that she was already a well-known blogger, writer, feminist, and that the essays were almost exclusively previously published blog posts. If I had been following her prior to the publication of this book, I would have felt cheated, a sentiment I discovered to be widely echoed by those who did.
I borrowed this from the library, so I'm not out the $15.99, but had I bought it - I would be irritated about the quality of the writing.

Gay raises a lot of good points, but really isn't adding anything new to the conversation. And really, that's okay, too. Maybe this could serve as an introductory guide, maybe a young lady who is unsure or unaware of many things will be inclined to read this book (especially given how well-known it is in mass media), read this book and learn some things she didn't know before. In that end, it could be very successful. 

Unfortunately, the essays that are meant to be personal are some of the most cold, distant, and impersonal. (Which is ok. Just not how it was marketed; it was marketed as being touching and intimate and clever and sharp and witty.)  
A large portion of the essays are essentially book reports, which read like a junior high or high school level of "My Book Report on Book Title and How it Relates to Feminism."  
Which in and of itself is perfectly fine. There is nothing wrong with dissecting a book and looking at its elements for better or worse and the portrayal of gender, race, politics, all of it. 
But again - that is not what this book was marketed as being.

The biggest disappointment I had when reading this book is that I felt nothing. I wasn't angry, sad, happy. I never chuckled, I never felt outraged, just kind of bored.

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