“I’m Judging You” is a collection of essays/blogs compiled into a book. I enjoyed the shade that Ajayi threw at the subjects she writes about, from friends, pop culture, to politics, and relationships. I appreciated her humor and willingness to say what needed to be said.
Two of her chapters that stood out to me were her pieces on feminism and race. While Ajayi isn’t saying anything that most informed people already know, her perspective and tone add a new element to the discussion. Many times when feminism and race are discussed it seems like a lot of people zone out, tune out, or try to be too academic. Ajayi, on the other hand, boils down these topics to their most basic elements and explains the complexities as if she’s sitting in our living rooms talking directly to readers. While she still adds her blend of humor and sarcasm, she doesn’t take the topics any less seriously. For me, this made it that much more powerful because it made it relatable.
When discussing feminism, Ajayi lays out some of the biggest criticisms that feminists are struggling to deal with: ignoring the role of women of color. Until recently I hadn’t considered feminism being a White women’s movement, but in recent years I have started to see how many feminists don’t consider the issues relating to all women, instead focusing on issues pertaining to White women. We’ve seen this several times in recent elections for example, in which White women abandon all other women because their White politics are at stake. Then there’s the sometimes hypocritical statements some White feminists say when they speak of sisterhood. Where’s this sisterhood when women of color need support?
Using the same approachable tone, but still not avoiding the issues, Ajayi addresses race and racism in the United States. One of the points she brings up that really impacted how look at the issue is when she talks about how there’s in the United States there’s an expectation imposed on Black citizens without taking into account the fact that there’s only been about two generations since the end of the Jim Crow era and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s. How can we as a society expect a culture that has been oppressed for centuries to suddenly be the same as the White culture that has been oppressing them for so long? Ajayi further explains how in many ways there’s still oppression by White culture to subvert Black progress. Just look at 2017 alone and you can see this playing out.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in pop culture and who enjoys opinions on current issues in society and culture. It’s a better read if you know going into it the book’s a collection of essays rather than a cohesive narrative.