She's powerful ... but accepting. Here's what she has to say.
Roxane Gay is a role model, yet maybe not the type of role model you might originally seek out for yourself.
Instead of being the type of person to stay in her lane, even when she wants to talk about something controversial, touchy, or something that is royally pissing them off, she comes out swingin’ every. single. time.
Why? Because Roxane Gay doesn’t have the patience to deal with your sh*t. Nor should she — when she’s had to deal with it all her life.
Being a black woman, queer, and a feminist has proved to be twice as hindering when trying to relate to those who don’t believe in the same values she does, or don't 100% support the person she is.
But has that ever stopped her from getting her point across? Absolutely not.
She's not just hard-ass, though. She's quite the opposite, actually.
Roxane Gay more like the best friend you confide in when you need advice and love but don’t want someone who is going to beat around the bush when you need total honesty.
Her writing is raw and unapologetic, but she writes with humor, too. With works like Bad Feminist, a collection of essays, and her debut novel, An Untamed State, Gay is quickly making a name for herself.
But instead of painting herself into a small, neat box, her “Bad Feminist” label says that she doesn’t have to be perfect to be someone who deserves respect and equality, just like all women do.
And because she believes in the equality and respect of ALL women, including herself, she doesn’t stand by idly when she’s fully aware of injustice going on.
So, what exactly does that mean? That she would much rather halt the release of her upcoming book than to work with a publisher who supports someone whose words and thoughts are charged with racist hate.
And if I can be honest for a minute, this is what I like to see — not just someone who stands up for something they know is wrong, but who actively chooses to do something about it, even if that means sacrificing something that means a lot to them in the process.
I love the raw emotion Roxane Gay not only writes with, but speaks with. She makes me feel like I don’t have to be a cookie-cutter version of a feminist, that I can get angry and blunt and humorous with it.
And having someone like Gay to be a leader in this new movement of feminism, especially now when we need it most, is refreshing.
She teaches all of us that we can lead by example, without apology, and get sh*t done.
So, check out her website for more info on her and her work, and read below for some of our favorite Roxane Gay quotes.
If you’re looking for a little inspiration, we’ve got the best quotes to share and savor. For quotes from the most inspiring celebs, activists, and poets, look no further! You might even find the quote that motivates the best parts of your life (and love!) forever.
“I believe feminism is grounded in supporting the choices of women even if we wouldn’t make certain choices for ourselves.” — Roxane Gay
“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.” — Roxane Gay
“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.” — Roxane Gay
“I get angry when women disavow feminism and shun the feminist label but say they support all the advances born of feminism because I see a disconnect that does not need to be there.” — Roxane Gay
“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." — Roxane Gay
“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.'" — Roxane Gay
"Some women being empowered does not prove the patriarchy is dead. It proves that some of us are lucky.” — Roxane Gay
“No matter what issues I have with feminism, I am a feminist. I cannot and will not deny the importance and absolute necessity of feminism.” — Roxane Gay
“What goes unsaid is that women might be more ambitious and focused because we’ve never had a choice. We’ve had to fight to vote, to work outside the home, to work in environments free of sexual harassment, to attend the universities of our choice, and we’ve also had to prove ourselves over and over.” — Roxane Gay
“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.” — Roxane Gay
“I am trying to become better in how I think and say and do - without abandoning what makes me human.” — Roxane Gay
“You have to be consistent. You have to be yourself. You have to be committed to what you're doing. You have to not be afraid to be ambitious.” — Roxane Gay
“So often feminism is built up as this thing where you have to be perfect. You have to be consistent and you can't ever deviate. That's just not realistic.” — Roxane Gay
“I am totally down with disagreement. I don't like Haterade, but disagreement is wonderful. When someone disagrees, we try to reach common ground. That's good.” — Roxane Gay
“Feminism is just an idea. It's a philosophy. It's about the equality of women in all realms. It's not about man-hating. It's not about being humorless. We have to let go of these misconceptions that have plagued feminism for 40, 50 years." — Roxane Gay
“I have certain interests and personality traits and opinions that may not fall in line with mainstream feminism, but I am still a feminist. I cannot tell you how freeing it has been to accept this about myself.” — Roxane Gay
“We must look to how we can best support the least among us, not spend all our time blindly revering and trying to mimic the greatest without demanding systemic change.” — Roxane Gay
“Don’t tear other women down, because even if they’re not your friends, they are women and this is just as important.” — Roxane Gay
“If women’s fortunes improve, it must mean men’s fortunes will suffer, as if there is a finite amount of good fortune in the universe that cannot be shared equally between men and women.” — Roxane Gay
“What about other women of color? For Hispanic and Latina women, Indian women, Middle Eastern women, Asian women, their absence in popular culture is even more pronounced, their need for relief just as palpable and desperate.” — Roxane Gay