, October 31, 2007
(view all comments by jgeneric)
This book is a nice short read covering the basics of feminist theories and detailing bell hooks's experience in becoming a feminist. She touches on a variety of subjects and how they relate to feminism in practice. Class, work, race, bodies, relationships, sexuality, and others are all touched upon. It's pretty good, especially for a beginning text.
I picked it up because I thought I could use a little brushing up on some feminist theory, and I always prefer the basic theory stuff as opposed to the thick theory stuff. While I don't find some of hooks' stuff about the battles in Academia all interesting, I do like the points she makes about how many reformist feminists have stopped fighting for the rights of women after they got some money as high level managers, or how many white feminists used white supremacy in achieving gains. Instead, feminist organizers should make alliances with other intertwining causes like race, class, sexuality, since ultimately they all are related.
She also points out that patriarchy, which feeds into capitalism and other forms of oppression, is a system, and not an individual action, and men acting as allies are needed for any real change to happen (though men shouldn't lead it.) If you want a good primer on why feminism is truly a philosophy of liberation, and isn't anti-male or anti-sex or just limited to educated white academics, I would recommend you check this out.