I tried listening to Bad Feminist in audio a year ago, back when I was new to audio books and, frankly, not very good at them yet. I’m really glad I gave it another shot.
Pro tip: If you’re having trouble staying with an audio book (your mind keeps wandering, you lose focus), try bumping up the speed a little, even up to 1.25x. For me, that tiny increase in speed makes all the difference. Some narrators are more deliberate with their delivery, and if you can speed them up to the same pace that your brain typically runs at, it can help you stay engaged.
Part of me wishes I’d managed to get into Bad Feminist closer to its publication date, because so many of its references are to very current, topical issues—from August of 2014, when the book was published. That may not seem like that long ago, but it feels like ages since I watched Orange is the New Black, for example, and that essay would have been more impactful if I had read it while the show was fresh in my mind.
It was a little disheartening to read, simply because Gay points out there’s a lot wrong with the world today, socially and politically. She’s not wrong, but it isn’t super fun to hear the topic of the next essay is a TV show or movie you like, and then hear all the ways it’s problematic. Even Gay admits that sometimes, she just wants to enjoy pop culture and not analyze it to death. That’s the kind of fatigue I was feeling by the end of the book. Still, I respect Gay as a thinker and activist, and will definitely keep an eye out for her work in the future.