The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
I recently read an article by Roxane Gay titled “Why I Am a Bad Feminist.” The article, published by Buzzfeed, only consisted of a quick blurb of her book “Bad Feminist,” where she talks about her life-long ups and downs with feminism, how to mold feminism into your own definition, and some newly coined terms that you will want to put into your vocabulary. Just like every other movement in the world, feminism evolves thus changing what it means to be a feminist. As a result, Gay proposes that creating your own definition that is malleable and fits your own personality is the best way to ensure your constant commitment to the movement. This proposal defines Gay’s term, which she deems is her descriptor, “bad feminist.” She says that “[she] embrace[s] the label of bad feminist because [she’s] human. [She’s] messy. [She’s] not trying to be an example. [She’s] not trying to be perfect. [She’s] not trying to say [she has] all the answers. [She’s] not trying to say [she’s] right. [She’s] just trying — trying to support what [she] believe[s] in, trying to do some good in this world, trying to make some noise with [her] writing while also being [herself]: a woman who loves pink and likes to get freaky and sometimes dances her ass off to music she knows, she knows, is terrible for women and who sometimes plays dumb with repairmen because it’s just easier to let them feel macho than it is to stand on the moral high ground” (Gay). In comparison, her other self-made term “Capital-F Feminists/Feminism,” is a massive juxtaposition. But it is one term she doesn’t identify with. This term instead describes feminists who support an outdated and elitist version of feminism. By this I mean people who support a movement only focused on the betterment of the lives of white, heterosexual, cis-gender women. She created this term to illustrate a wrong narrative of feminism and therefore bring awareness to it. As a society this allows us to learn from our mistakes and evolve, which is exactly what Gay wants to inspire. Personally, I know I’m a bad feminist and I happily embrace the label. I do because I know I’m not perfect and that as a human, I can only do the best that I can.