Roxane Gay, New York Times opinion writer and university professor, writes about feminism, fat acceptance, homophobia, racism, sexual violence, kink, pop culture, and a lot more in this collection of essays. She doesn’t come across as a know it all like some essayists do; she consistently admits to her own failings and prejudices. She’s funny and insightful at times; heartbreaking at others. Her own brutal gang rape at age twelve is fodder for her writing, as is 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight. The book is a mixed bag.
I have seen a lot of reviewers criticizing this book. One, for the writing not adhering to regular essay format but rather being more like blog posts. Yes, this is true. But I don’t feel that detracts from the content, and they are easy to read and digest. There is a trend among people today to glance at a more formal looking piece and think ‘tl;dr’. The other complaint I’ve seen is that a lot of them are on pop culture. I don’t see why this is a problem. Pop culture is what people are reading/watching. It’s what’s influencing people. Pop culture needs to be written and thought about. She doesn’t solve the feminist problem- she considers herself a bad feminist because she likes pink and she’s not a man-hating, angry woman. Well, I’m a bad feminist, too, despite being right out of the 1970s feminist wave. I, too, like pink, and I love makeup (I am angry, though, a lot of the time).
I loved this book. Is not only funny and thoughtful, she puts herself out there. I came across this book by happenstance, but I’m going to look for her other work now.