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Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate…
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Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics (2000)

by bell hooks

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Leaves you wanting more. Very theoretical. ( )
  catnips13 | Oct 27, 2016 |
bell hooks' Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics is a brilliant book.

The reason I love this book is that it's short, it's sweet and it's accessible. Anyone (and everyone) should read it. The chapters are short and while it can be a little bit wordy, the concepts she addresses in her book are familiar.

She's critical without making you feel guilty about any transgressions. hooks moves not only to celebrate the feminist movement but to also deconstruct the problems within it and to provide solutions for the future.

If you're not sure where to start with feminist books and you want to read something that looks at a lot of aspects of feminism, this is a good place to start. If you want a book written by a woman of colour who addresses classism and racism and the exclusivity of the feminist movement, this is a good place to start. If you think that feminist books really aren't for you because they're too difficult or too upsetting to read, this is a good place to start.

This book is powerful, bell hooks is powerful, and I certainly plan to read more of her work in the future. ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
This book is a short primer on feminism that bell hooks always wanted but had to write it since it didn't exist. hooks lays down the basic concepts and theory on feminism and how it intersects with race, class, and lesbianism, among other things. It's a book that at times is also very critical of some ways in which feminism is practiced. hooks makes an interesting distinction between feminism that seeks to advance individual women in careers, education, and politics without challenging the system within which they exist - what hooks defines as "reform feminism" and notes is beneficial mostly to privileged white women - and a "revolutionary feminism" which seeks to overturn patriarchal systems and create feminist alternatives. It's also a personal book as hooks recalls her own feminist journey from the earliest consciousness raising through various conflicts. It's a great introduction to feminism if you're interested in learning more about the theory and practice, especially since feminism is all too often defined by its opponents.

Favorite Passages:
From the outset, reformist white women with class privilege were well aware that the power and freedom they wanted was the freedom they perceived men of their class enjoying. Their resistance to patriarchal male domination in the domestic household provided them with a connection they could use to unite across class with other women who were weary of male domination. But only privileged women had the luxury to imagine working outside the home would actually provide them with an income which would entitle them to be economically self-sufficient. Working-class women already knew the wages the received would not liberate them. - p. 38

While visionary feminist thinkers have understood our need for a broad-based feminist movement, one that addresses the needs of girls and boys, women and men, across class, we have not produced a body of visionary feminist theory written in an accessible language or shared through oral communication. Today in academic circles much of the most celebrated feminist theory is written in a sophisticated jargon that only the well-educated can read. Most people in our society do not have a basic understanding of feminism; they cannot acquire that understanding from a wealth of diverse material, grade school-level primers, and so on, because this material does not exist. We must create it if we are to rebuild feminist movement that is truly for everyone.

Feminist advocates have not organized resources to ensure that we have television stations or consistent spots on existing stations. There is no feminist news hour on any television or radio show. One of the difficulties we faced spreading the word about feminism is that anything having to do with the female gender is seen as covering feminist ground even if it does not contain a feminist perspective. We do have radio shows and a few television shows that highlight gender issues, but that is not that same as highlighting feminism. Ironically one of the achievements of contemporary feminism is that everyone is more open to discussing gender and the concerns of women, but again, not necessarily from a feminist perspective. - p. 112 ( )
1 vote Othemts | Jul 11, 2016 |
hooks has written a short, very readable selection of essays on a variety of topics, from sexuality to domestic violence to intersectionality. This could be used as an intermediate introduction to feminism--maybe what you give someone after they've already ingested the basic facts of current inequalities. [b:Feminism is for Everybody|168484|Feminism is for Everybody Passionate Politics|Bell Hooks|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327933698s/168484.jpg|843092] doesn't make the case for feminism's existence, but rather is a slightly disjointed history of feminism from the 1960s through the 90s and a basic primer on what hooks envisions feminism needs to challenge and produce. We need to document how feminism has helped women, especially older women who have stories about illegal abortions and what society was truly like before feminists started talking about and pushing for gender equality. We need to make sure the movement does not just focus on one gender (include how to raise boys as well as feminist girls, how men can be masculine but not patriarchal, examine and challenge problems men have within patriarchy), sexuality, class, race. (And not let mass media present well-educated attractive white straight women as the only members of feminism, or the spokespeople!)

Overall, feminists need to work to create a mass-based movement that includes visions and models of what non-patriarchal relationships, norms and society look like. We need to communicate those ideas outside of people we already think agree with us, or are like us. Or, in her own words: "While visionary feminist thinkers have understood our need for a broad-based feminist movement, one that addresses the needs of girls and boys, women and men, across class, we have not produced a body of visionary feminist theory written in accessible language or shared through oral communication. Today in academic circles much of the most celebrated feminist theory is written in sophisticated jargon that only the well-educated can read. Most people in our society do not have a basic understanding of feminism; they cannot acquire that understanding from a wealth of diverse material, grade school-level primers, and so on, because this material does not exist. We must create it if we are to rebuild feminist movement that is truly for everyone." ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
After reading this book, I can understand why it's recommended as the best primer on feminism. bell hooks is interested in tracing out an expansive view of feminism, one with the historical understanding of why the movement evolved the way it did, and what should be done to bring it back to its roots. But she manages to do so in some of the most plainspoken language out there. Sure, she'll drop lots of "-ist" language when discussing the issues that often weave through the feminist frame (race, class, gender, etc.) but they're all pretty self-explanatory and she justifies their placement in the text.

So is it really the best first book to read on feminism? Well, yes and no. It's certainly the best intro book on theory out there, but a better way in might be reading a feminist critique of something else. For all bell hooks' amazing efforts at easing the way in, jumping straight into the theory can be rough unless you already agree with some of the major premises. Other books—like The Terror Dream by Susan Faludi—systematically lay out the evidence about how sexism still exists today and how poisonous it can be. Sometimes, more specificity is better. Still, a pretty good book and a really quick read. ( )
1 vote gregorybrown | Oct 18, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0896086283, Paperback)

A genuine feminist politics always brings us from bondage to freedom, from lovelessness to loving....There can be no love without justice.—from the chapter "To Love Again: The Heart of Feminism"

In this engaging and provocative volume, bell hooks introduces a popular theory of feminism rooted in common sense and the wisdom of experience. Hers is a vision of a beloved community that appeals to all those committed to equality, mutual respect, and justice.

hooks applies her critical analysis to the most contentious and challenging issues facing feminists today, including reproductive rights, violence, race, class, and work. With her customary insight and unsparing honesty, hooks calls for a feminism free from divisive barriers but rich with rigorous debate. In language both eye-opening and optimistic, hooks encourages us to demand alternatives to patriarchal, racist, and homophobic culture, and to imagine a different future.

hooks speaks to all those in search of true liberation, asking readers to take look at feminism in a new light, to see that it touches all lives. Issuing an invitation to participate fully in feminist movement and to benefit fully from it, hooks shows that feminism—far from being an outdated concept or one limited to an intellectual elite--is indeed for everybody.

bell hooks is the author of numerous critically acclaimed books on the politics of race, gender, class, and culture. A frequent lecturer in the United States and abroad, she is Distinguished Professor of English at City College, City University of New York.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:53 -0400)

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