Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Narrated by Bahni Turpin
Publish August 2014 a collection of essays on various topics, unique ones like scrabble tactics, dated ones like sweet valley high, sad and rage-filled ones when she writes about rape and the murder of Trayvon Martin. It was an odd experience listening to this book. Roxane Gay wrote about things that I should have remembered viscerally but I still felt distanced and detached. What was I doing in the two years before August 2014?
A job similar to what I am doing now, taking care of an elderly person except that person was not a relative. I remember hearing snippets of Gay’s essays on NPR via WNYC radio. There was also a book review. I can’t remember by who and I’m not sure what it said. This review will be completely new and possible less eloquent.
Bad Feminist as I understand it, are parts of Roxane Gay’s life, good and terrible and the idea that most women are bad feminists. Actually, there are no perfect feminists. She writes about the word feminist, used as a slur and used as a shield. She writes on how we as girls can mislead ourselves into dangerous situations. How there is no safety net when something like that happens. How shaming the girl is damaging for the woman she will become. She puts herself out there as an example. I admire the bravery and not sure I will ever be that brave.
Listening to Gay’s book did prompt me to buy a digital copy. I don’t know if reading or listening to the essays would change the experience. I do know that it has made more thoughtful or so many things in our culture. When I use that term “our culture” I mean the United States mass culture. I would love to say I’m not affected by it. But I don’t think it is safe for anyone born and raised in this country. Despite all the achievements made in the last couple of years, the things written in Bad Feminist are issues we have to deal with.
Bahni Turpin did a wonderful job narrating the essay. I don’t know how many audiobooks she has worked on, but I will recognize her name in the future. I have been a member of the Audible since 2011 and haven’t followed the success of voice actors. Even though it may be a growing industry for people who are into that work.
In conclusion, Bad Feminist has impressed on me to read or listen to Roxane Gay’s other two collections of essays, Hunger and Difficult Women. I will definitely look into her fiction writing as well.