The idea of a good feminist is a role model that behaves and constantly meets a certain expectation. There are unsaid rules set for feminists that they must uphold in order to maintain a “good feminist” image. Roxane Gay labels herself as a bad feminist because she sees how feminist role models are vulnerable to all sorts of criticism and feels she’s constantly contradicting her beliefs with her actions.
Roxane Gay should not have to defend her title as a bad feminist. The idea of being a good feminist is being a textbook feminist. This expectation is as impossible as being the perfect daughter, mother, friend, etc. Humans are inherently flawed, and women who are seen as feminist role models receive constant backlash because of this. Feminism shouldn’t have to be perfect. Women supporting other women is more than enough. Roxane Gay is not a bad feminist, she is thoughtful, understanding and interested in helping women.
To me, the notion of being a bad feminist is someone who understands what is considered problematic and worries how others may view them despite being a feminist. Being a proud feminist should not make one vulnerable to certain standards. I believe feminism in all forms should be embraced, and enjoyed however one pleases.