Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bad Feminist: Essays” as Want to Read:
Bad Feminist: Essays
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Bad Feminist: Essays

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  94,441 ratings  ·  9,391 reviews
Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to be cool, but it is pink—all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I’m not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue.

In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution a
Audible Audio, Unabridged, 12 pages
Published August 5th 2014 by HarperAudio
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Bad Feminist, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Magda ANYONE..interested in the topic of how women are portrayed, treated and how they are trained to behave in the 21st century. Anyone wanting a modern in…moreANYONE..interested in the topic of how women are portrayed, treated and how they are trained to behave in the 21st century. Anyone wanting a modern interpretation of 'feminism'. Especially if they grew up, like me, reading Backlash by Susan Faludi written in the 90's. I haven't hit a 'distressing topic' yet, other than the whole book talking about real issues for women these days. Seriously Laura, most teens just wouldn't be interested but if they were I'd hand it to them without hesitation. It actually affirms women who are different, who want to be different or who just don't fit into main stream expectations.(less)
Carla Lopez I have it in Spanish. I live in Mexico and found it in Sanborns with the title "Confesiones de una maa feminista" published by Planeta.…moreI have it in Spanish. I live in Mexico and found it in Sanborns with the title "Confesiones de una maa feminista" published by Planeta.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  94,441 ratings  ·  9,391 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Bad Feminist: Essays
May 29, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism, essays
2.5 stars

Essays are one of my favourite literary genres and recently I've read some amazing essay collections that have introduced me to new ideas and new writing styles so perhaps I put overly high expectations on Roxane Gay's essay collection. Overall I'd have to say I was disappointed but this might have a lot to do with my high expectations and perhaps that I am not this book's intended audience.

The book started off quite well. I liked the introduction in which Gay discusses what it means t
Nov 14, 2013 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
This writer certainly has a LOT OF OPINIONS. I mean...
Julie Christine
I became aware of the “I don’t need feminism because . . .” meme several months ago. You know—those photos of young women holding up signs that read things like, “I don’t need feminism because I am capable of critical thinking,” or “I don’t need feminism because I am not a delusional, disgusting, hypocritical man-hater.” I shook my head, rolled my eyes, but still, these weird declarations chilled me. How did a socio-political movement founded on the principles of empowerment and equal rights bec ...more
Sep 11, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Trite, trivial, narcissistic and vacuous beyond belief. There's nothing thoughtful or interesting here; the collection is one pretext after another for Gay to publicly exhibit her triviality and bad taste, forgive herself for it and demand applause. Readers are inveigled into service as Gay's indulgent confessors. The repeated routine is a) Gay admits to loving some god awful schlock b) Gay ponders her own courage in making this disclosure c) Gay discovers consuming this schlock is really both p ...more
my becoming-a-genius project, part 12!

for those not yet in the know - sorry for the negative impact this will have on your life, and:
i have decided to become a genius.

to accomplish this, i'm going to work my way through the collected stories of various authors, reading + reviewing 1 story every day until i get bored / lose every single follower / am struck down by a vengeful deity.

last month, i read only books by asian authors, but i didn't think ahead enough and connect my genius project to tha
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
“Feminists are just women who don’t want to be treated like shit”

Well, Roxane Gay and I both have a favorite quote in common now and I'll also be calling myself a bad feminist because "I would rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all."

I went into this book not knowing much about the author. I feel in love with her just with the intro. I didn’t really connect with some of the stories (especially the first third) but things picked up towards the middle of this book and laughed out loud dur
Well this was a huge disappointment. I had such high hopes for Roxane Gay! A Haitian American cultural critic with a master's and a nonperfect body type? Yes! I was sure she would eviscerate popular culture and social injustice with an incisive eye and a unique perspective. But nope. These aren't really essays; they're like unstructured wallowings, ramblings that just flit from thing to thing and never get anywhere or lead to any new thinking.

Yes, Gay takes stream-of-consciousness meanders thro
Diana Stegall
I feel like I'm taking crazy pills when people talk about Roxane Gay. I went into this hoping to love this book, hoping it would be revelatory as promised or that I would be better off for having read it. But it was a slog to get through, and I can't recommend it to anyone who's spent more than a cursory 5 minutes on the internet reading cultural criticism.

It isn’t simply that she fails to offer nuanced critique, or that she contradicts herself - it's that these essays are horribly written. The
Jessica Jeffers
It's not very often that a book causes me to weep uncontrollably in public, but this book did. Roxane Gay moved me in a way that I haven't been moved in quite a while with this collection of essays, ostensibly umbrella'd under the topic of feminism. In reality, only about a third of the essays directly address feminism; Gay also addresses race, culture, and Scrabble competitions. It's equal parts commentary, memoir, and critical analysis. It's pretty phenomenal.

I don't even know where to begin
I fucking hate Roxanne Gay’s Bad Feminist. It’s disappointing on every level and has nothing thought-provoking to say about anything. It’s full of obvious statements, juvenile essays about YA books she loves! and easy, breezy criticisms of other books. If you want to read about feminism, don’t start with this book. It was reviewed (and marketed) as a book about gender issues and feminism. Aside from the introduction, the topic of gender and feminism isn’t broached in any serious way until page 7 ...more
Jen Padgett Bohle
An inconsistent collection of ultimately shallow essays. Gay is funny, personable, thoughtful, and obviously intellectual but her essays don't delve deep enough into her subjects. Furthermore, I realize that essays can explore topics without coming to any definitive answers or conclusions, but I want more than an introduction to a problem. I want long and winding explorations with a surfeit of allusions, copious amounts of pattern-hunting from history, deeper thoughts on why something is the way ...more
I've been on the look-out to read more feminist books, but most of the ones I tried reading before focus heavily on either privileged males and/ or sexual assaults, which then leads to me feeling terrified to leave my home...

However, Bad Feminist focuses more on Gay's opinions about “misogyny, institutional sexism that consistently places women at a disadvantage, the inequity in pay, the cult of beauty and thinness, the repeated attacks on reproductive freedom, violence against women, and on
Whitney Atkinson
This was a very sophisticated book that blended memoir with an educational resource perfectly. I think the chapter that will stick with me most is the one about female characters having the quality of likability held over their heads moreso than male characters, and readers don't ever realize that. It wasn't something I'd never thought about before, and it made me think critically about my expectations of female characters. I'm just gonna let the quote speak for itself:

"In a Publishers Weekly in
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
In my attempt to escape that comfortable bubble I live in, I am looking to read better by reading more books that help me understand the world better. To keep my thoughts organized, I decided to start a new feature on our blog called Feeding My Head by Reading Better, where I keep my thoughts and notes together as I read a book. So I have added some of those thoughts here for the first few essays for my review but will be adding more thoughts on my blog as I break down my thoughts for the essays ...more
I openly embrace the label of bad feminist. I do so because I am flawed and human. I am not terribly well versed in feminist history. I am not as well read in key feminist texts as I would like to be. 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 cannot tell you how freeing it has been to accept this about myself.

In her collection of essays Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay blends anecdote, critical analysi
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brunch-club, essays
This book solidified my girl crush on Roxane Gay. Earlier this year I had the good fortune to hear Roxane speak at a conference, and she was so smart and funny that I kicked myself for not reading her stuff sooner.

Bad Feminist is a collection of essays on a variety of issues, including gender, race, pop culture and politics. Basically it's a book for our times. The writing is sharp and insightful, but it also has wit and grace. There were a few essays in this book that were so powerful I could h
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
5 stars for helping me expand my thinking and self-reflection. I'll be returning to this audio collection of essays on much more than "just" feminism. ...more
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

Hey, you know what pairs really well with red wine? Books on feminism. BAD FEMINIST has mixed reviews among my friends, with some of them loving it and others hating it. As with any controversial book, that mixed reception only made me want to read BAD FEMINIST for myself. Because your favorite neighborhood snowflake here loves to read up on feminism in its many incarnations, to get the dirt on the latest schools of thought.

First off, BA
Peter Derk
Well...I gave up. I bought the audio for 30-some dollars and figured it might be a great listen. But I find myself dreading listening.

Part of it is the bleakness of the current landscape. That's certainly not Roxane Gay's fault. Every day is something new. Author Colleen McCullough dies, and in her obit someone basically feels the need to point out how unattractive the woman was, physically. Patricia Arquette makes a speech about how women should be paid the same to do the same work, and Fox New
Lucy Langford
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Isn't it obvious I am a feminist, albeit not a very good one?

This book contains funny and insightful essays from the brilliant writer Roxane Gay. Through this book she is critical of culture from the view point of a woman of colour. She comments on the state of feminism, gender and sexuality, depictions of race in the media and the political climate which plays a role in all of these things. These are her opinions on this topic and I was ready to delve into them. Some of these essays really
Aug 23, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought I would love this book but I didn't. Let's start by saying that if I wanted to hear about what Roxane thinks about certain films and books, I would have consulted her Goodreads reviews; I wouldn't have spent money on a book. Nevertheless I did enjoy her essays on The Hunger Games and Shades of Grey. But initially her essay about Junot Diaz and Girls and I forgot what else made me put the book on hold and read something different because I couldn't make myself pay attention. Once I had ...more
Emily B
An interesting book of essays that are worth reading. I liked how the author explored a range of different subjects with different levels of seriousness and humour, using both popular culture and current serious events.

I definitely learnt a lot from reading this book and I would say it opened my eyes to things I had not considered before.

However some of these essays were not as impactful to me due to living in England and not America. I often had to look up people or events that were mentioned
Jan 29, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
HAVE to read something by this remarkable woman who just pulled out of her next new book contract as protest over the horrific contract given to the racist (Black Lives Matter as "legal hate group"), sexist ("feminism is cancer") Milo Yiannopoulos out of the Breitbart toxic waste dump that produced Trump's main thinker, Steven Bannon. This mentioned that Milo was given a promotion of $250K for his hateful vile, that was more than all five previous advance ...more
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: barbie loving feminists
Spoiler alert: Roxane Gay is not a bad feminist. Nope, not bad. She is a thoughtful feminist. She more interested in making things better for women than being a so called good feminist. Most of all, she is a human feminist.

Bad Feminist is a collection of essays, some of which you may have read on Salon. She takes on many topics including reality TV, movies, books, gender, sex, news media, social media, politics and Scrabble. They are for the most part interesting, informative and entertaining.

Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous. Great read. So much I could relate to, but also so much that I'd never thought about. I didn't agree with all of it, but I don't need to agree to grow and learn from an opinion. My only complaint is that it wasn't longer. I wanted more more more. Thumbs up.
Also, now I feel a little less conflicted about cranking up J Cole's 2014 Forest Hills Drive album (it's not the worst in terms of vulgarity, but it's got plenty that I have a problem with...yet it's so good). I see myself as more o
Debbie "DJ"
It is awe-inspiring to go for a ride inside Roxane Gay's head and heart. She opens up the conversation on the word feminism, talks about her own shortcomings, and labels this word is affiliated with. She writes of her own thoughts about current events as well as past. Feminism is a demand for equal rights for women in all areas of life, yet it has become a word with endless connotations.

It is truly staggering to read how sexual violence against women is embedded in our culture. How conservative
Nandakishore Mridula
When I became active on social media, and began expressing my opinions openly, I was tagged as a feminist. Even though I didn't care for labels, I didn't mind this one: I did believe in equal rights for women. I was naive enough to assume that was all there to it.

Apparently not.

I came to understand that as a feminist, I am supposed to behave only in certain ways, express only certain opinions, and hold only certain ideas. If I went against any of these, I was immediately attacked as a "bad femin
Bad Feminist isn't the ultimate feminist manifesto and it doesn't try to be. It is incredibly successful, however, at what it sets out to do: pinpointing small and big injustices, analyzing constructs of gender and race in everyday life and popular culture and finally, calling for action and change.
Some reviewers seem to criticize that a) Roxane Gay references and talks about pop culture too often and b) she talks about her personal life too often — two aspects of this book I personally really a
I finally finished this audiobook, after a kinda unofficial semi-hiatus from it (well, reading in general, to be fair) while on the plane to San Francisco, a town that some random guy on a plane once called "too liberal". So, appropriate timing?

If you're hoping for this to be an insightful or in any way analytical review, you're probably new to my reviews. I'm not really great at those. If you want that kind of review, there are many other people out there doing it better than I ever could. Thi
Oct 09, 2018 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
DNF ~30%

You know how people sometimes say they feel as if they read a completely different book than everybody else? So, I guess what this book has done for me is that I finally know what that feels like.

The best way I can describe my experience with Bad Feminist is this: Imagine yourself outside, maybe in a park, on a crisp autumn day. Leaves are falling, the sky is a greyish blue but it's dry, the sun is just about to come out. It's cold but not too cold, sunny but not too sunny. The perfect
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
"Bad Feminist" -- Roxane Gay 2 41 Mar 15, 2021 06:36AM  
Love Yourshelf: Bad Feminist Review 1 7 Oct 21, 2020 08:49AM  
Mentor Texts: Mentor Texts 1 7 May 07, 2020 11:54AM  
Play Book Tag: Bad Feminist, by Roxane Gay: 2 stars :( 7 39 Apr 03, 2019 01:37AM  
Play Book Tag: Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay (Trim the TBR) - 3 stars 2 14 Jan 30, 2019 03:37AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #87 Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay 1 2 Sep 23, 2018 07:25PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Men Explain Things to Me
  • We Should All Be Feminists
  • Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot
  • Green Girl
  • Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches
  • Wow, No Thank You.: Essays
  • So You Want to Talk About Race
  • We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.
  • Between the World and Me
  • Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
  • Girl, Woman, Other
  • Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions
  • In the Dream House
  • How to Be an Antiracist
  • Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion
  • Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race
  • Know My Name
  • Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Roxane Gay’s writing appears in Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many others. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. She is the author of the books Ayiti, An Untamed State, the New York Times bestselling Ba ...more

Articles featuring this book

“I'm in a weird place because the book is about to come out. So I'm basically just walking around like a raw nerve and I'm not sure that I...
46 likes · 9 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“I embrace the label of bad feminist because I am human. I am messy. I’m not trying to be an example. 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.” 585 likes
“I believe feminism is grounded in supporting the choices of women even if we wouldn’t make certain choices for ourselves.” 438 likes
More quotes…