For many loyal listeners, the hilarious and topical Throwing Shade podcast is a safe space to learn about the news of the week (generally bad) via comic geniuses Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi. They discuss issues “affecting ladies and gays” and have been doing so since 2011. The Obama era? Did we even have problems then? (Yes.)
Throwing Shade was the first podcast I ever looked forward to and I’m continually impressed by the things I see its co-host Erin Gibson create. Gibson was a political writer for the punchy, sophomoric Funny or Die comedy site even before she and Safi began collaborating on Throwing Shade. She also created, writes, and directs Funny or Die’s Gay of Thrones, which I am obsessed with and which stars her real-life hairstylist Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness.
Now Erin Gibson has produced a hilarious fiery screed of a book, Feminasty: The Complicated Woman’s Guide to Surviving the Patriarchy Without Drinking Herself to Death, which functions partly as a teachable moment autobiography and partly as Gibson’s opportunity to take on some of the perennial feminist beefs of our time. (For example, Woody Allen: “Jesus take the wheel. ‘I liked her youth and energy’ is something a fantasy villain says before using an amulet to suck the life force out of a newborn.”)
Feminasty is an easy book to inhale. Gibson blazes across the page like a firework shooting over a landscape of ALL CAPS and italics for emphasis. It can be hard to keep up at times, but it works for her. It isn't hard to backtrack as necessary. Feminasty reads like the Erin Gibson rants we’re frequently treated to on Throwing Shade, but the writing itself is much tighter. The asides and footnotes are all pertinent and charmingly snide. And there are sources. Gibson brought the realest weapon to the feminist fight: citations in the back.
Feminasty is a Best-Friend Book. Reading it feels like having a feminist hype-woman in your corner. She’s taking patriarchal bullies apart with the catty, flippant venom they deserve. She’s pouring you a glass of something bubbly. She’s making you laugh 'til it runs out your nose.