Bad Feminist and Baby Books

I’m currently reading Roxanne Gay’s Bad Feminist. So far, I highly recommend it. Gay discusses a feminism that isn’t high and mighty; that’s flawed because it’s made up of people who are always somewhat flawed. Gay admits to being a “bad” feminist. I love this concept because sometimes the pressure of feminism is what keeps people from trying it on at all.

I realized I’d been a bad feminist when it comes to Mae’s books today. The books we keep downstairs are a small portion of her “library,” but they are the ones we consider her favorites. After reading The Hungry Caterpillar today, and wondering why the caterpillar is a male, I decided to categorize her books based on male protagonist, female protagonist, male and female protagonists, and gender neutral animal protagonist. Here are the stacks of books:


The tallest stack, unsurprisingly, is the male protagonists. The stack with two books is gender neutral, and the stack with one has both male and female characters. No fourth stack: no solo female protagonist. Baaaaaaad feminist.

I think I’m conscious of sexism and the ways women are treated unfairly, but then I’ll get smacked in the face time and time again with something I missed. For right now, I can just replace the he/him pronouns with she/her, but we’ve also got to make a conscious choice to buy books with strong female characters. Raising a daughter means I have to accept my imperfect feminism more often than I did in the past, because it’s shoved at me all the time, but I’d much rather be an imperfect feminist than not one at all.


One thought on “Bad Feminist and Baby Books

  1. I didn’t read it get, but it’s on my list! Great post! I’d say I’m a feminist in search of balance. Can’t wait to read the book! But I also wanna say: Don’t transform your feminism into guilt. Sometimes, guilt is hepful, but if you’re feeling guilty for this one, don’t. It’s good to keep the “strong female character” in mind, but you can always add new favorites to her library, it’s not set in stone!

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