On Feminism, Femininity & Success: 15 Wisdom Nuggets from Roxane Gay

Girlboss Radio, hosted by Sophia Amoruso, has been back with a vengeance for a couple of months now. Whether you follow the #GIRLBOSS tribe or not, there’s no denying the brand’s impact on making feminism approachable.

During the season premiere, Sophia immediately made a statement by hosting the bold, unapologetic Roxane Gay. They discussed a wide variety including feminism, femininity, and owning the word “fat” amongst other timely topics.

This episode is our favorite so far because Roxane is unabashedly transparent and her unforgettable wisdom applies to so many areas of our lives. We baked the episode into a bite sized version below!

Can writing be taught?

“Yes, of course. I don’t think brilliance can be taught, I don’t think creativity can be taught, but writing can absolutely be taught. And it’s important to remember that.”

On weight loss

“I think for many women life is a weight loss journey.”

What she would tell her younger self after being raped at age 12

“I wish I had told my parents… I know that they would have given me the support and resources I would need to appropriately deal with the trauma.”

To women who have kept secrets about trauma & sexual violence to themselves:

“You keep your secrets for a reason, but you don’t have to hold onto them forever. If there’s someone if your life you can trust, open up.”

On the word fat, who can use it?

“I think that if you ask five different fat people you’re going to get five different answers. But, in my opinion, fat is an adjective and it’s totally appropriate to use. I prefer it to the medical terminology of obese or morbidly obese… it’s how you use the word and the context in which you use the word that matters.”

advice on loving your body

“We should all be kinder to ourselves. All too often people think that means we should be complacent and be fine with whatever, but I also think that we should be fine with whatever if you’re happy.”

On bravery

“You can be terrified and do something anyway”

On her method for writing:

“I think slow, write fast, and once I get it down I read it out loud.”

On being a woman with a career

“Whenever you’re a woman who does something, it automatically becomes branded as feminism… we’re not allowed to be more than one thing and I think that’s to our detriment.”

on dealing with criticism and publicity

“You can’t control the public narrative, so you shouldn’t try… and all you can do is be yourself and continue to put the work out into the world that you want to put out.”

On Modern day feminism

“How are we still being this self-reflective about feminism instead of actually doing the work of feminism?

What would be super feminist would be for an older woman with a rounder body to be like ‘I own my sexuality and I am super sexy.’ If we move out of the traditional ideas of beauty then that would be feminist.”

On not being the perfect feminist

“It’s okay to be flawed and inconsistent and to say stupid things as long as your heart is in the right place and you have a sense of trying to do the best that you can. Accountability is incredibly important.”

how to not fuck it up

“You have to stop listening to all of the outside noise. You have to do what you’re going to do and maybe you’re going to fuck it up… it being life. You’re going to fuck some things up. You’re going to get more things right than you’re going to get things wrong. But how you overcome the fuck up is more important.”

on the idea of success

“There isn’t one answer. Success has to be more than financial, though I absolutely consider financial freedom to be a hallmark of success. The ability to pay my student loans every month and to pay my rent frees me up to do the things that I do.

It’s being able to give the things that you take… are you creating opportunities for other people who look like you? Are you helping other women? That’s what success for me is. Otherwise your measure of success is very impoverished.”

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