An Interview with Erin Gibson
On September 4th, a new book by writer, comedian, and podcaster Erin Gibson hit the shelves: "Feminasty: The Complicated Woman's Guide to Surviving the Patriarchy Without Drinking Herself to Death." We couldn't wait to read it so, to get ready, we had a few questions for the author. Here's what she had to say!
Hi Erin! Thank you so much for your time today. We are huge fans of your work, especially your podcast “Throwing Shade”!
We think we already know the answer to our first question but we’re going to go ahead and ask it anyway: Do you consider yourself to be a feminist? If so, how do you define feminism?
Absolutely without a doubt, I’m a feminist till I die. And ever in the afterlife, I’ll haunt famous statues of people like Charlie Chaplin and ghost moan things like “heeee was a child moooolllleeeesssttteeerr! ahhahahaaahooooooooohhhh.”
It’s easy to be a feminist. Ask yourself, “Do I think women should be treated equally?” If the answer is “yes,” congratulations, you’re a feminist. We need you because the world does allow women to be on equal footing as men. So when Carrie Underwood says “I wouldn't go so far as to say I am a feminist, that can come off as a negative connotation. But I am a strong female”, she’s taking the definition of feminism that’s been rebranded through the lens of misogyny and accepting it as truth. It’s patriarchal David Blaine-style trickery.
You wrote a brand new book that we can’t wait to read called “Feminasty: The Complicated Woman’s Guide to Surviving the Patriarchy Without Drinking Herself to Death” (Available September 4th!) What inspired you to write this?
I really love reading feminist propaganda, but it’s very dry. Which is great for people like me who get a lady boner when reading a list of women erased from the history of the Gold Rush, but I wanted to write a book for young dumb me, an emotional hole filling 18 year old with an appetite for cigarettes and dick and completely oblivious to the kaleidoscope of my marginalization. This book is about entertaining the choir I am preaching to and luring the hesitant feminist in with jokes about mascara and Betsy DeVos.
Who is your primary audience for the book? What do you hope they will learn or experience while reading it?
Hopefully everyone will read it! Everyone except my grandpa. I don’t think he can handle it. I do really want guys to read it. I think it will explain a lot especially if they haven’t yet reached the point in their lives where they have bad ass platonic lady friends.
Feminists Act! is all about helping people determine how they can take action on issues that affect people who identify as women and girls in the United States. In addition to your podcast and your book (both of which are excellent tools and resources for folks wanting to get informed and involved), what are some of the ways you recommend taking action on feminist issues?
The best place to start is your own life. What are you mad about? Have you noticed there are different expectations for you than your male colleagues? Does your kid’s ballet teacher body shame little girls? Seeing the problems can be overwhelming, but once you do, you can start finding ways to make these situations better. It took me a long time to, as we say in the South, feel my feelings, and once I did, I understood they are valid and not everything bad that happened to me was my fault.
What are your thoughts on turning anger into action?
I don’t think it’s always healthy to be angry, but it is my first reaction to terrible shit. Then I take a step back, remind myself that these fuck turds don’t know nuthin’ about women and they never will and a reckoning is coming. That puts a smile on my face and I can then concentrate on what I can do that’s productive.
One thing we try to do well at Feminists Act! is amplify existing voices, organizations, and resources. Do you have any recommendations for people to follow on social media, articles to read, organizations to know, etc.?
YES! Brittany Packnett, Charlotte Clymer, Ilyse Hogue, Shannon Watts, and Shaun King, just to name a few wonderful activists. I love subreddits like Two X Chromosomes and the New York Times has a gender newsletter you can sign up for. Depressing news delivered right to your inbox or Instagram.
Any parting words for the Feminists Act! community?
Remember, other women are not your competition. Do not let them dilute our power.
Thank you so much again for your time and your voice!
All views and opinions expressed in this interview are those of the author.