#CBR9 Review #23

I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi

I don’t’ remember how I heard of Luvvie Ajayi or her Awesomely Luvvie blog, but I need more of her in my life. I’m always looking for insightful feminist commentary, and it delights me to read works by feminists of color. And it doubly delights me when they are young. I think so much of what we define as “feminism” in an academic context stems from the 1960s-1990s, and frankly, the term and its applications have changed so drastically, that we need work to represent women of my generation (born in the 1980s and beyond). I would argue that Ajayi’s work should be placed in hands as a feminist text.

Ajayi writes in several parts: she writes judgy posts about manners and behavior, dress, and pop-culture bits. But she also writes quite seriously as a Christian about being judgmental towards others, being homophobic, and being sex-negative. She writes about Black Lives Matter and representation, intersectionality in feminism, and how to be a better ally. She is whip smart, incisive, and deeply funny in a breath, and her advice is highly relevant for the era of Snapchat and Muslim bans.

While this book was published just before the election, Ajayi senses the shift in tide in American culture, which makes her book a must-read. I’ve read a few of her election posts, and they are a thing of heartbreak and beauty. White Americans, we fucked up big time.

I’d just like to add that the humor and bloggish wit *just* tipped this over Bad Feminist for me, though I deeply appreciate what Roxane Gay writes and does. I just think that Bad Feminist (like Lindy West’s Shrill) was marketed as this rollicking hilarious book about feminism—and it’s really actually quite serious. Ajayi’s is much more lighthearted in nature, which can make it a bit easier to digest at times. I would say, however, do read this and Gay’s work alongside each other.


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