"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" (Bad Feminist)
Roxane Gay is a feminist writer who has written an award-winning novel, collection of short stories, a memoir, and even a comic for Marvel. She is a contributing writer to The New York Times, and her pieces have been featured in many other publications. She also loves Scrabble.
When I saw the poster outside of the Union that writer Roxane Gay was coming to visit Ohio State, I was ecstatic. I had not read any of her books (though they have been on my list since I saw Bad Feminist on the NYT charts), but I hoped I would still be able to follow and learn from her conversation.
At 7 PM, all seated and stamped, we were introduced to Roxane Gay along with her interviewer, an associate professor in the Women Gender and Sexuality Studies department, Dr. Treva Lindsey. What followed was a stimulating conversation wherein Gay quickly proved to be honest and humorous, witty and wise. She described her writing process and how fame has affected her ability to write: the more pressure there is, the harder it is to write. She used to write for herself, but her current fame has made that difficult. Also, if something is difficult to write about, Gay explained this indicates that it needs written.
She spoke about her feelings on feminism, how there is too much emphasis on the title in comparison to the state behind it. She uses Twitter for "pettiness" in response to internet trolls and to have conversations
She addressed her experience with weight, trauma, and her opinion on the progress of contemporary movements such as #MeToo. After this engaging discussion, the floor was opened up for questions by the audience. After answering many, Gay stayed longer to sign books and meet students. Overall, the experience was great, both entertaining and informative. Gay was intellectual and down-to-earth. As an aspiring writer and a feminist, the evening's discussions were accessible to me even without having read her books, but now I only have more motivation to read her work and cannot wait to hear more from her.