I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight by Margaret Cho

Review by Susan Chenelle

Comedian Margaret Cho is someone you want on your side. In her new book of writings culled from her blog, she declares her fierce devotion to anyone and everyone who’s ever been marginalized or made to feel bad about themselves for being gay, for being a woman, for not being white, and for speaking up. She addresses everything from current events—particularly the injustices committed by the Bush administration—to body image to the people she loves. Some of the most endearing pieces are those in which she’s a fan herself, sending open mash notes to Richard Pryor or sharing the story of how she met David Bowie. The book captures everything people read blogs for: the immediacy, the strong voice and personality, the quasi-intimacy. However, it also exhibits the shortcomings of committing a blog to paper: Entries are often short and reactive to a particular topic of the day, and don’t always stand up well on their own or connect coherently with other selections in a chapter. But everyone should read the chapter on feminism, in which she unequivocally declares, “Feminism is nonnegotiable. If you’re not a feminist, you do not deserve to live.” —Susan Chenelle

Originally published in the Anniversary 2006 issue of Bitch Magazine.

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Author: schenelle

Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction in Jersey City, NJ. Co-author of Using Informational Text to Teach literature series. Doctoral student in Teacher Education and Teacher Development at Montclair State University.

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