Roxane Gay is my hero. She's so articulate and so fiercely passionate that reading anything she writes— from works of nonfiction like Bad Feminist to novels like An Untamed State to tweets— lights a fire under me. A champion of feminism, intersectionality, equality, and more, Roxane Gay is a feminist force. When she says something, I pay attention, and so should you.
My copy of Bad Feminist is probably the most highlighted book I own. It is at the top of my list of books that everyone should read. From feminism to sexual violence to issues of race, Gay drops glorious truth bombs in nearly every sentence. More importantly, though, she makes her readers feel like they have a voice and the power to make significant change in this world.
One of the most prolific writers alive today, Gay has some piece of writing hitting the web almost daily. Her novel, An Untamed State, is a masterpiece. Her Twitter account is legendary. Her upcoming book, Hunger, promises to amaze as well. She is absolutely killing it.
Whether you're a long-time fan of Gay's, or you've somehow managed to miss her shining star, these 12 quotes by her will power your feminism and inspire you to read (or re-read) everything she's written.
1. “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.”
2. “Books are often far more than just books.”
3. “It's hard not to feel humorless, as a woman and a feminist, to recognize misogyny in so many forms, some great and some small, and know you're not imagining things. It's hard to be told to lighten up because if you lighten up any more, you're going to float the fuck away."
4. “We need to stop playing Privilege or Oppression Olympics because we’ll never get anywhere until we find more effective ways of talking through difference. We should be able to say, 'This is my truth,' and have that truth stand without a hundred clamoring voices shouting, giving the impression that multiple truths cannot coexist.”
5. “When women respond negatively to misogynistic or rape humor, they are 'sensitive' and branded as 'feminist,' a word that has, as of late, become a catchall term for 'woman who does not tolerate bullshit.'"
5. “We don’t all have to believe in the same feminism. Feminism can be pluralistic so long as we respect the different feminisms we carry with us, so long as we give enough of a damn to try to minimize the fractures among us.”
7. “Abandon the cultural myth that all female friendships must be bitchy, toxic, or competitive. This myth is like heels and purses―pretty but designed to SLOW women down.”
8. “When you can’t find someone to follow, you have to find a way to lead by example.”
9. "Some women being empowered does not prove the patriarchy is dead. It proves that some of us are lucky.”
10. "Change requires intent and effort. It really is that simple.”
11. "It is often women who pay the price for what men want.”
12. “I have never considered compassion a finite resource. I would not want to live in a world where such was the case.”
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