If I could have Roxane Gay follow me around for the rest of my life contextualizing my experiences as processed through her personal brain filter, I would have no more wishes for my genie, even if he insisted that I had two wishes left. I would tell him to fuck off, I’m all set: I’ve got Roxane Gay.
I’m going to re-read this one. Probably twice or thrice. She is my new best friend. She is the smartest person I know (I don’t know her). She loves the things I love, and things I don’t love, and she’s not ashamed of being complicated and broken and uniquely herself. And she is a serious normalizer in a time when complexity and individuality need all the normalizing that we can provide.
The essential premise of this book of phenomenal and important essays is that Roxane Gay is overwhelmed by the responsibility of big “F” Feminism, and can’t we all just agree that the world has been fucking over women since time began, and recognize the patterns, and here’s some proof, and also can’t we just additionally agree that anyone who believes this and recognizes the patterns and hates them and identifies as feminist is a feminist, and there’s no way to do it “right” and we should be a lot nicer to each other?
How do we reconcile the imperfections of feminism with all the good it can do?
and she declares:
No matter what issues I have with feminism, I am a feminist. I cannot and will not deny the importance and absolute necessity of feminism. Like most people, I’m full of contradictions, but I also don’t want to be treated like shit for being a woman.
And she then she declares her love for the Sweet Valley High twins, and a few pages later opens up incredibly bravely about her history of sexual assault.
She is real, and wonderful, and brilliant, and I’m incredibly proud and very relieved to accept permission from her to be a bad feminist, too.