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How Bad Feminist Inspired My Writing

Recently, I finished reading Roxane Gay’s memoir, Bad Feminist, and I really enjoyed it. The memoir was funny and relatable. One example of this is when Gay mentions the fact that she feels that she’s a bad feminist because she loves rap music. Gay mentioned this a few times in the book, and I was thinking “Me too!” I always felt guilty listening to rap music and loving it so much because of how derogatory and misogynistic it is. I felt that I wasn’t alone in my flaws.

Another sentiment that Gay and I shared was at the time of this writing she was very disappointed with the programming on BET. In the almost three years since this memoir has been published BET has definitely stepped it up with the original programming including The New Edition Story, which I discussed in full detail last month, and other TV shows including The Quad and Rebel. Gay’s essays reflecting on race, gender, sexuality, class and pop culture were not only informative but easy to understand. I loved this about her writing.

After I finished this book last week, I was talking to a coworker about how I wanted to write a book similar to what Gay did. My coworker thought that this was a great idea and that I would be good at it. I was inspired not only by Gay’s book but another book that I read last year called I’m Judging You: The Do Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi, which is another great memoir. I love how both memoirs talk about race, gender, sexuality, class and pop culture with their own twist.

A lot of my personal writing involves talking about these subjects, so I want to continue to do so and work my way towards writing a book. Bad Feminist made me feel better about enjoying certain things like rap music and football even though I know that both need extensive lessons in how to treat women. It also showed me that you don’t have to be perfect in being a feminist, because nobody is.

What books have you read that inspired your writing?  Let us know in the comments below!


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Kayla works at Squirrel Hill as a Clerk, so when you come up to the customer services desk you might see her face! When she’s not at the library she enjoys reading, watching TV & listening to music. You might also find her at your local Starbucks, because she loves her Frappuccinos.

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