Bad Feminist: Take Two

“At some point, I got it into my head that a feminist was a certain kind of woman. I bought into grossly inaccurate myths about who feminists are – militant, perfect in their politics and person, man-hating, humorless.

I bought into these myths even though, intellectually, I know better. I’m not proud of this. I don’t want to buy into these myths anymore. I don’t want to cavalierly disavow feminism like far too many other women have done.

Bad feminism seems like the only way I can both embrace myself as a feminist and be myself, and so I write. I chatter away on Twitter about the small things that make me angry and all the small things that bring me joy. I write blog posts about the meals I cook as I try to take better care of myself, and with each new entry, I realize that I’m undestroying myself after years of allowing myself to stay damaged.

The more I write, the more I put myself out into the world as a bad feminist but, I hope, a good woman – I am being open about who I am and who I was and where I have faltered and who I would like to become.

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.

I am a bad feminist. I would rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all.”

 

 

 

 

Bad Feminist

“For whatever reason, we hold feminism to an unreasonable standard where the movement must be everything we want and must always make the best choices. When feminism falls short of our expectations, we decide the problem is with feminism rather than the flawed people who act in the name of the movement.

The problem with movements is that, all too often, they are associated only with the most visible figures, the people with the biggest platforms and the loudest, most provactive voices. But feminism is not whatever philosophy is being spouted by the popular media feminist of the week, at least not entirely.

I openly embrace the label of bad feminist. I do so because I am flawed and human.

I have certain… interests and personality traits and opinions that may not fall in line with mainstream feminism, but I am still a feminist.

I embrace the label of bad feminist because I am human. I am messy. I am not trying to be perfect. I am not trying to say I have all the answers. I am not trying to say I’m right. I am just trying- trying to support what I believe in, trying to do some good in this world, trying to make some noise with my writing while also being myself: a woman who loves pink and likes to get freaky and sometimes dances her ass off to music she knows, she knows, is terrible for women and who sometimes plays dumb with repairmen because it’s just easier to let them feel macho than it is to stand on the moral highground.

When I was younger, I disavowed feminism with alarming frequency.

I disavowed feminism because I had no rational understanding of the movement. I was called a feminist and all I heard was, “You are an angry, sex-hating, man-hating victim lady person.”

This caricature is how feminists have been warped by the people who fear feminism most, the same people who have the most to lose when feminism succeeds.”

Exerpts from Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay.

 

 

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I first read this novel over a year ago and absolutely fell in love with it. I would actively encourage everyone to read The Goldfinch, as well as Tartt’s other two novels, which are equally as good.  If you don’t fancy reading The Goldfinch but aren’t sure which novel to pick up next, have a look here for other book reviews.

Told in a retrospective first person narrative, Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch tells the tale of Theo Decker, a young boy whose life crumbles before the readers’ eyes when he loses his mother in an explosion in a local art gallery.
The reader witnesses the heartbreaking dislocation of the protagonist, both physically and emotionally, when he is sent to live with his deadbeat father in Vegas. The despair and emotion Theo experiences is presented in such a raw manner that it becomes difficult not to become emotionally invested in his tragic life. The reader becomes drawn into a series of tumultuous events and must watch helplessly as they witness Theo spiral out of control as he descends into adolescence.
During the chaos and panic following the aftermath of the explosion, young Theo takes something from the gallery and the consequences of these actions haunt him throughout the rest of the novel. To Theo, the stolen artefact provides him with his sole connection to his dead mother and he develops an obsession with it that is evident throughout the novel. The reader sees Theo long for this item during the times it is not in his possession and this yearning resonates with the longing he feels to be reunited with his mother and to regain the life that he lost on that fateful day at the art gallery.
The novel follows the journey of Theo through his troubled teenage years into an equally troubled adulthood; however, it also follows the journey of the stolen artefact as it passes through various hands until Theo regains its possession. Theo becomes mixed up with a dark world of art thieves and crime in a bid to retrieve the item he stole as a child and the harrowing tale of a grieving young boy is expertly merged with the plot of an action thriller, resulting in a gripping novel. The two plots of The Goldfinch are rich in detail and wonderfully entwined to create a beautifully written, exciting and emotionally charged thriller.
The Goldfinch is full of fascinating characters that weave their way in and out Theo’s life and the constant stream of dramatic events will keep you in suspense as you become desperate to discover whether adventure or disaster will be next to befall the protagonist.
Theo’s determination to be reunited with what he sees as his only link to true happiness, despite the odds being so against him, results in an outstanding story of survival. A true masterpiece.

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