“Feminism is flawed because it is a movement powered by people and people are inherently flawed.” These are the words of Roxane Gay in her essay “Bad Feminist” in which she admits that she is not a perfect or ideal feminist since she does not have all the supposed characteristics of a feminist (Gay x). According to Roxane, feminism is a movement that drives women to fight for their rights if they so choose and still uphold female characters. Gay’s idea of letting women choose to be feminists may be viewed from different angles. Proponents of her argument agree that her statement that although feminism as a movement falls short of expectations of many people, it has major achievements in women rights holds water. for example, the movement has reduced inequalities and injustices against women in the society
Foremost, Roxane explains that women in the past had little to no say over many issues. However, with time they have gained avenues to voice their concerns. The author asserts, “If a woman does not want to be a feminist, its her choice” although her rights will still be fought for (Gay xii). Feminism is based on the philosophy that women have the liberty to be well represented and have their issues addressed in the society. I agree with this view and applaud the feminists who have contributed to key changes in the society such as equal pay for men and women. Nevertheless, many successful women do not want to associate with feminism due to the fear of the negative connotations that come with feminism. Roxane thus explains that having the right information about feminism allows one to be a bad feminist whereby the person does not have to be imperially perfect.
Gay’s argument’s strength is the idea that women can choose to voice their concerns without being ostracized by the society. Feminism allows females to live their fantasy, that is to live in a society in which they are treated right and enjoy hero-like relationships (Moore 12). Feminism gives women the avenue to be heard and to reduce the inequalities in the society and have a fair share of resources and rewards. Currently, women can earn equal salaries to their male counterparts and are well respected for their positions that are earned through hard work. Empowering women ensures that they have a level playing ground with men and there is no guilt associated with being a feminist. Herewith, Roxane is an example of a bad feminist who admits her failures while celebrating her achievements.
While many support Roxane’s argument, others believe that it diminishes the work of real imperial feminists who have fought hard for women rights. By claiming to be a bad feminist, she makes the good ones seem like an odd idea without acknowledging their efforts. Good feminists are not entirely “angry, sex-hating, man-hating” ladies but rather focused women who desire to have equal representation in the society (Gay xi). The cultural perspectives are changing, and women need not feel guilty for being feminists, whether good or bad, as far as they stand for what they believe. In conclusion, feminism has played a major role in the society, and many women are openly acknowledging being feminists. In agreement with Roxane, there are not characteristics cast in stone, and therefore one can be a good or bad feminist so long as there are feminists.
Gay, Roxane. “Feminism.” Bad Feminist: Essays, Harper Perennial, 2017.
Moore, Hannah T. “Bad Feminist.” Dissent, vol. 61, no. 4, 2014, pp. 10-14. doi.org/10.1353/dss.2014.0070. Accessed 28 July 2018.