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Ms Gay has a wonderfully nuanced and accessible writing style. I wish that I could write so well about my own introspection and convey so acutely my observations about the world and the insidious oppression that all marginalised groups experience in the face of oppression. The essays were so evocative of my own experiences and they gave eloquent voice to what I had previously identified as disquiet during the subtle exposures.
Roxane Gay is a gifted writer no doubt, but like a lot of her more prominent work, there are huge amounts of autobiographical information that didn't seem completely relevant.
Her essays on the intersection of feminism with misogynistic pop culture was incredibly on point, exploring E.L. James' infamous BDSM novel Fifty Shades of Grey, as well as other popular novels such as Twilight. She briefly mentions rape culture and how all of the above feeds into this notion.
Similarly her discussion on how race is portrayed in major Hollywood motion pictures is accurately disturbing - showing how African Americans are used in plots as a way to prop up white protagonists (The Help, Django Unchained).
Some of her other chapters seemed disconnected as if they were put in the book because there was no other place for it. This appears in the chapter on Scrabble. (Playing Scrabble doesn't make you a bad feminist).
There were a lot of haphazard thoughts that didn't quite thread together with the rest of the book ie. abortion rights, and male politicians' views on body autonomy. Gay was pretty adamant on her views on this, which appeared to showcase her opinion that she truly is a feminist.
The underlying message was that you may have flaws by enjoying aspects of pop culture, but as long as you are aware of how important it is that women receive equal rights, you can be any kind of feminist. But the book does feel as if she's trying to prove it to herself and to the world which seems rather unnecessary. We believe you Roxane.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Thought provoking and challenging, with a great analysis on contemporary culture. I which more people had views like this.
I enjoyed Roxanne's perspective and her openess when commenting on current events and state of affairs. she does not pander to stereotypical feminist ideals and makes it clear that individuals can be feminists too.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
If you happen to be familiar with all the diverse and, to be frank, outright obscure corners of pop culture that Ms. Gaye spends the book delving into and ruminating on, then you'll probably enjoy the read. If not, then not even her wonderful style will save it.