Closing – Feminist Literature

Lo and behold, March is already over! I’d planned on reading five books dealing with feminism in March; I ended up reading three.

1. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
I’ll just link my review here.

2. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This book is briefly mentioned in my review for A Room of One’s Own. But basically, this is a short but powerful appeal for gender equality and deconstructing gender stereotypes. She also gives a glimpse into the Nigerian society and how they (although I’m sure there are exceptions) perceive women.

3. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Bad Feminist is a collection of Roxane Gay’s essays. She prefaces this collection by saying that she is a “bad feminist”, i.e. sometimes she’s too tired to care, she likes to sing catchy songs whose lyrics degrade women, she shaves her legs, and so on. She says she embraces the label of “bad feminist”.
Her essays are not only of feminist hot topics such as reproductive rights, sexual violence, portrayal of women in pop culture, everyday sexism, and so on. Some of the essays are about her own history. Others are about seemingly random topics like bridge. There are very, very good essays on racism and intersectionality using recent and popular examples and infamous cases in which killing an unarmed black teenager is not a crime but self-defense.
I find it sad that to be a human and feminist, you have to be a bad feminist. Humans are flawed; they are contradictory. They can still fight for gender equality. Why do we have to be more than humans, more than just women* to be feminists? That’s just another burden we place on ourselves.
Final verdict: If you care about gender equality, please read it. Especially if you have only a vague sense of intersectionality. It is frustrating to be a part of the minority that is subject to discrimination. The least the rest can do is to try to understand. I know it is difficult where to start. If you want to understand sexism and racism and how they overlap, I suggest Bad Feminist.

*My apologies for male and genderqueer feminists.


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