Bad, like bad? Or Bad, like good?

One of my biggest take-away’s from this week was from Roxane Gay.  Roxane focused on what being a “bad feminist” meant.  Roxane struck a cord with me because I have always been nervous to label myself as a feminist in social settings because of the different negative connotations that seemed to go along with it. Aside from the judgment of others (which I worry about less the older I get) I also feared that I would be “doing feminism wrong”.  Feminism to me means equality to ALL, not just privileged white women.  I often see posts of people labeling themselves feminist with viewpoints that I don’t necessarily agree with and I wouldn’t necessarily want to be associated with, but if everyone is free to have their own definition of this word, how are we able to agree on our values and what we want the outcomes to be?  For some the outcomes could stop at wage equality, but for me there is a lot more work to be done in our culture than that.


Although I am still a little shaky on the details of what role feminism ultimately plays in our culture as a whole, this video helped me realize that I should not be ashamed to call myself a feminist ever, as long as I am standing for what I believe in.  Roxane has also made me realize that what you believe in and your actions should align, and this is something I am still working on.  Everyday I attempt to make small changes to align my actions with my values, whether it be to eat at places that have the same values, or something as simple as asking someone their preferred pronouns when meeting them.  I will definitely be looking into reading Roxane’s book and becoming more enlightened by her viewpoint.


6 thoughts on “Bad, like bad? Or Bad, like good?

  1. Hey Kiera, after watching Roxane’s TED Talk I was like “literally me!! I’m a ‘bad’ feminist too!” I really liked the point you brought up that if everyone has their own definition of the word, how can people agree on what needs to come of feminism? I also agree that there is a lot more work that needs to be done as well. The main take-home message I got from Roxane’s TED Talk was do what you can do, to the best of your ability. If you don’t agree with something, voice your concerns. If you are passionate about fighting for something, fight for it. Don’t be concerned with being on the pedestal. Just do what you think is right, and other people will start fighting for what they think is right, not afraid of being judged or worrying about having a negative connotation or not.


  2. Hey Kiera, I totally agree with you about your takeaway from Roxane’s TED Talk. I never really considered myself a feminist either and am guilty for always putting a bad connotation to the word ‘feminist’. After hearing her thoughts about feminism, I could relate to the “bad feminist” ways defined her. When she said, “its better to be a bad feminist than no feminist at all,” it resonated with me. Watching Roxane’s TED Talk changed my viewpoint on today’s feminism. I guess I could say I am a feminist, even if I’m a bad one, I’d rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all.


  3. Kiera, I can relate to you on almost every level of this post. I felt the same way about the TED talk and I think it opened up a lot of other students eyes as well, as to the different meanings of feminism and the somewhat loose boundaries one has to follow in order to call ones self a feminist. Any one can say they are a feminist whether they act like one or not, but to be a true feminist I think what the TED talk was trying to say was that equality should be the overall takeaway from movements, and talks and articles speaking for feminism and equality. The idea of a bad feminist almost makes being a feminist more appealing and seem less restricting to some individuals including myself. Before taking this class I was nervous people would think I was not being a true feminist when I say that I myself love listening to Chris Brown (who undoubtable has disrespected women), or that I don’t wear the clothes I think of when I think of a feminist but in all reality I have learned that those are just stereotypes, and a way to put down the hard work and effort feminists have made to try and get their message of equality across.
    I also liked how you mentioned that equality goes beyond the wage gap for you, because I feel the same way. The wage gap is one of the major issues we see today especially in politics but the rights for women’s bodies involving the choices they are able to make is also another very important issue to me. Planned parent hood is something that, in my opinion, should never be taken away, given the many benefits, services and even education their facility can provide.


  4. Kiera, I agree with you when you say that one of the biggest takeaways from last week was learning about Roxane Gay and watching her TED talk. Just watching her humorous ways to define feminism and to share that she believes she is a “bad” feminist, helped me realize that I guess I am a bad feminist as well. I never before would have called myself a feminist, but after hearing how Roxane Gay defined a feminist, I believe that I am. I will stand up for women’s rights and equality, because it is only fair that women are given the same chances as men. I do not go to extreme ends to voice my opinions or participate in social gatherings for women’s rights, but as a woman myself I will always choose to stand up for fairness in our country.


  5. As defined by the trusted Oxford dictionary, Feminism is defined as such: “the belief and aim that women should have the same rights and opportunities as men; the struggle to achieve this aim.” Feminist are those “having or based on the belief that women should have the same rights and opportunities as men.” When defining your own alignment, it’s probably best to keep some skeleton definition in your noggin and structure your actions around your ideals. I use that definition to decipher who is a true feminist and who is not. I don’t agree that there are “bad” or “good” feminists. However, there are definitely connotations prescribed with being an active and apparent feminist who partakes in actions in support of the cause and there are connotations with those who don’t initiate such commands. I will agree with Gay’s point with having you actions align with your values but I find it actually harsh to define oneself (let alone many) as being a “bad” feminist. I hope this clerical text helps!


  6. Roxane’s video was the perfect reminder that feminism is something that can be embraced by anyone and how it is practiced can vary from person to person. Your post and the video also reaffirmed my belief that feminism is a journey. Personally, feminism helped me to be less ashamed of my feminine side and more open to embracing it. Sometimes I still struggle with being comfortable in my femininity. I think it’s cool that you are actively still working towards a better understanding of what feminism means to you in your everyday life and your daily interactions.


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