What does a bad feminist look like?

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Roxane Gay is an American writer and editor. Oh, and she's a "bad feminist." She's okay with that label - it's even the title of her latest essay collection. Bad Feminism explores feminism as an idea and philosophy that is bound to be nuanced in practice. Gay, who writes about cultural trends, race, gender, politics and more, stopped by CBC Radio's Q to discuss the book and the current state of feminism. You can listen to her conversation with guest host Stephen Quinn in the audio player below:


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Gay originally used the bad feminist label in a tongue-in-cheek manner. But with more and more women disavowing feminism, she decided to explore the concept more seriously. "I wanted to own my feminism while also acknowledging that I'm very imperfect at it," she said.

Gay is troubled by the Women Against Feminism movement, which she says is a reaction to the "angry, humourless, man-hating" caricature in our popular imagination. "People forget that feminism is an idea, it's a philosophy. And feminists are people who act in the name of an idea," she said.

What many of the female detractors of feminism don't realize - or don't acknowledge - is how much they have benefited from the movement. Thanks to their gains, it has become possible to be "a little more human, and a little more flawed" while still being committed to gender equality. They also made gains that we can take for granted today. "If you can vote, if you can read and write as a woman, if you can have a credit card or bank account in your own name, you are standing on the shoulders of giants."


Our pals at Q put together this handy checklist. Are you a bad feminist? Find out!


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