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Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics

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Author: bell hooks

Published: October 1st 2000 by South End Press

Format: Paperback , 123 pages

Isbn: 9780896086289

Language: English


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Acclaimed cultural critic bell hooks offers an open-hearted and welcoming vision of gender, sexuality, and society in this inspiring and accessible volume. In engaging and provocative style, 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 e Acclaimed cultural critic bell hooks offers an open-hearted and welcoming vision of gender, sexuality, and society in this inspiring and accessible volume. In engaging and provocative style, 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 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.

30 review for Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ciara

    i kind of live-blogged this book while i was re-reading it. yes, i originally read it shortly after it was released, because i loved bell hooks back then & felt she could do no wrong as a feminist theorist. this book was my first hint that she can do some pretty serious wrong. in the decade since, her writing has gone steadily downhill & is currently almost completely unreadable, incoherent, hippie weirdness. there are little hints of the man-pandering mega-christian hooks was to become here, bu i kind of live-blogged this book while i was re-reading it. yes, i originally read it shortly after it was released, because i loved bell hooks back then & felt she could do no wrong as a feminist theorist. this book was my first hint that she can do some pretty serious wrong. in the decade since, her writing has gone steadily downhill & is currently almost completely unreadable, incoherent, hippie weirdness. there are little hints of the man-pandering mega-christian hooks was to become here, but my bigger issue with this book is that 1) the book, despite its brevity, veers wildly away from its own stated thesis to act as a basic introductory primer for people reluctant to align themselves with the feminist movement, & 2) the book instead functions as a repository for hooks's own myriad opinions about what feminism really is & how contentious inter-movement arguments should have shaken out. as such, it is riddled with opinion disguised as fact & questionable arguments built on an ever-shifting bedrock of historical inaccuracy concerning the formations, goals, & fractures within the second wave feminist movement. because there are no citations, footnotes, or leads to supplementary reading about the many, many issues that hooks touches upon in her shallow, four-page chapters, a beginning feminist reader can only assume that hooks's assertions are accurate & true, because they are presented to be so. hooks positions herself as the leading authority on every issue she writes about (in all of her books), & in this one, she writes about topics that she has absolutely zero personal experience with & her expert tone grates. i remembered disliking this book quite a bit when i first read it ten years ago. but because i still respected hooks as a theorist & a writer then, i charitably assumed that the problem was the structure--that hooks just wasn't cut out to with elementary introductory primers. she has historically shone as a thinker when writing about the intersections between race & feminism, & her writing on this topic has not always been simple & easy to digest. so i thought perhaps having to wander so far into a different territory necessitating a radically different authorial voice, hooks struggled. i re-read it this past week for a feminist book club i recently joined, & i discovered that the real problem is that this book fucking sucks. in one of the earliest chapters, hooks shares her perspective that to be anti-choice is to be anti-feminist--that no person can be feminist if they don't respect a woman's right to bodily autonomy in the form of supporting her right to choose abortion. fair enough. then hooks goes on to elaborate that she is personally very opposed to abortion for herself, although she has never been faced with an unintended pregnancy & has not had to actually make the choice. FASCINATING. except not. this is anecdata & it has no place in a book that purports to be an objective primer on feminist issues. this book is not billed as a memoir; therefore, i do not care about hook's hypothetical personal stance on abortion. she goes on to explain that she has had many friends over the years who were reluctant to take birth control lest men find them slutty. rather than interrogating how a patriarchal culture that is hellbent on controlling women's sexualities might be playing a role in encouraging otherwise intelligent women to have sex with men who would classify them as "slutty" for making proactive decisions about their family planning options, hooks instead exorciates these women for behaving irresponsibly & seeking repeat abortions after becoming pregnant. she claims that medical science has taught us that repeat abortions are known to cause health problems. this is where the book lost me. repeat abortions do not in fact cause any health problems. there is some question of whether repeated dilation of the cervix can cause issues like cervical softening or perhaps scarring in extreme cases. but the manifestations of these issues with repeat abortions obviously pale in comparison to the health risks & long-term health impact of bearing repeat babies. & the advent of earlier pregnancy detection & greater abortion access means that women are able to seek abortions earlier in their pregnancies, when less cervical dilation is necessary to complete the procedure. anti-choice advocates, like the ones that hooks condemns as being "anti-woman, & therefore anti-feminist" have been making a lot of in-roads in trying to convince women that they may suffer long-term negative helth effects from having abortions. they have created the false psychological condition known as "post-abortion stress syndrome" (rightfully unrecognized by psychological authorities) & have falsely linked abortion to breast cancer & infertility. these are all scare tactics designed to intimidate women out of pursuing abortion. there is no legitimate medical evidence to support them. it is sad & enraging to see hooks repeat these myths, especially in a book aimed primarily at young or otherwise inexperienced-in-feminism people who may not be privvy to feminist attempts at countering these lies. i had a LOT of other similar criticisms of the book. hooks suggests that wealthy feminists & their male allies should pool their financial resources to open low-income housing co-ops & co-operative feminist elementary schools. she does not address the fact that funding public educations & low-income housing is ostensibly the job of the government, & that feminists could/should also pressure the government to meet that responsibility. she suggests that consciousness raising groups, in which women in community with one another (neighbors, co-workers, friends) gather together to discuss the issues facing their gender & strategies for integrating feminist practice into their everyday lives should make a comeback. fair enough, but she suggests that CR groups be run like alcoholics anonymous meetings. she does not explain why a feminist discussion group should be structured like a support network for recovering addicts. are feminists in recovery from an addiction to patriarchy? the chapter on feminist parenting pretty much didn't address parenting at all. instead, it functioned as a six-page screed in which hooks congratulated herself for apparently being the only feminist around willing to address the seriousness of child abuse, & to call out female abusers. knowing something about hooks's personal history as a child abused at the hands of her mother, i could only assume that an autobiographical conceit was at work, because hooks is in no way "one of the only" feminists concerned about child abuse or willing to acknowledge the realities of female abusers. hooks offered no practical tips whatsoever for how a feminist might integrate her political beliefs into her parenting--which is unsurprising, as hooks is not a mother & has no personal experience in this area. but then why address it at all? or why address it without doing outside research in order to flesh out the chapter? there are thousands upon thousands of feminist mothers who probably would have been happy to talk with hooks about their issues & strategies. this is one example among many that makes plain the fact that hooks wrote the book with no research, completely off the cuff, in order to meet a deadline. she regularly quotes her own previously published books as sources--& they are almost the only sources in the book. there is no list of citations or recommended further reading in the back of the book. to hear hooks tell it, she is practically the only feminist who has been publishing on the topics the book covers, & her books are the best place to turn for further reading. having read pretty much the entire hooks ouvre, i can say that they vary wildly in quality, often use other hooks books as citations & theoretical examples, & often function as a way for hooks to grind an axe in argument with other prominent feminist writers--generally without acknowledging that that is what she is doing. she subjectively encapsulates their arguments & generally does not even mention their names. in the chapter on female sexuality, hooks spills much ink bemoaning the fact that sex wars of the 1980s "tore apart the feminist movement". she sums up some of the more provocative theories & assertions of radical feminists like andrea dworkin (including her claim that in a patriarchal society, all intercourse between men & women is rape) & then explains why these theories are wrong & offensive to feminist practice. but at no point does she actually say, "this is my opinionated response to the writings of andrea dworkin." to do so, she would have to acknowledge that her theories are opinions rather than facts, & she would be giving a confused reader a name to pursue in doing independent outside research. i knew what hooks was talking about because i have been self-educating in feminist theory for twenty years & have read dworkin's books. but the intended audience for this book is not someone like me. it is a person who is brand-new to feminism & unfamiliar with the big arguments & contentious opinions that have impacted the history of the movement. by presenting her opinions as facts & never naming the theorists she is covertly arguing against, hooks seeks to indoctrinate these uninformed readers into her own school of thought from the outset. it so happens that i do not agree with many of dworkin's theories around sex & sexuality--but it's not right for hooks to mischaracterize them (& she does) in such a sneaky, manipulative manner. i could go on about this for days, but suffice to say, this book is a tremendous disappointment to anyone who comes to feminism hoping to pursue meaningful independent thinking & critical reading skills. hooks shuts down all such possibilities & is obsessed with the opinions one must hold in order to be a "real feminist" she is equally obsessed & tormented by the thought that a feminist could potentially get more media attention that she gets. every chapter contains a snide aside about how people who do not share hooks's viewpoint about one topic or another "got all the media attention & became the face of the movement". hooks seems to be strangely unaware that she is one of the most famous feminist voices in the world & has been for at least twenty years. hooks is routinely catty & competitive with other feminists & particularly with women that she claims are not feminists at all. in the chapter on beauty, she complains that older unpartnered women are now having to "compete for male attention with younger women who are not & never will be feminists." no one has to "compete for male attention". isn't part of feminism eschewing the NEED for male attention? & even if a woman does choose to "compete," can't she do so in a way that doesn't malign women that she assumes are not sympathetic to feminism (because hooks of course has no way of knowing which women consider themselves feminists & which ones do not; though she seems to assume that any woman who is pretty & wears make-up & dresses in a feminine way & dares to flirt with a man hooks wants for herself must not be a feminist). she suggests that lesbians choose to be lesbians, which flies in the face of even the most staid & mainstream gay rights theory. she says that prostitutes are kidding themselves if they think they can prostitute their bodies & maintain sexual agency in their intimate personal relationships (which is about one step away from saying, "you can't rape a hooker"). she essentially calls studies that investigate the impact of patriarchy on the self-esteem of young girls sexist against boys, which is crazy. she even goes so far as to suggest that a renewed respect for the medical value of breastfeeding is sexist, because it shoulders women with more of the burden of feeding a baby. she suggests that a conspiracy is afoot, because the popularity of formula had been experiencing an upward swing until women's liberation started making some headway, & suddenly breastfeeding came back into vogue. she does not stop to consider that perhaps a renewed interest in breastfeeding was in fact a product of women's liberation--that women don't need to be sold an artifical product yoking them to capitalist consumer culture from the moment their babies are born when their bodies can produce a superior product for free. i could go on & on! there was not a single chapter in this book that did not contain something factually inaccurate, bizarre, or offensive. please don't give this book to your newly-minted feminist friends! i don't know what to suggest instead, but there has GOT to be something better!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Samadrita

    Not until recently had I emerged out of the rock I was living under and located the @everydaysexism twitter account. Keeping an eye on their retweets for a little less than two weeks enabled me to discover that women are not only forced to endure the lecherous male gaze (often called 'stare rape' these days) on public transportation, made the object of innuendo-laced, denigrating remarks since puberty but also masturbated at in public without their consent (not even women over 60 had been spared Not until recently had I emerged out of the rock I was living under and located the @everydaysexism twitter account. Keeping an eye on their retweets for a little less than two weeks enabled me to discover that women are not only forced to endure the lecherous male gaze (often called 'stare rape' these days) on public transportation, made the object of innuendo-laced, denigrating remarks since puberty but also masturbated at in public without their consent (not even women over 60 had been spared) . How blissfully ignorant I was of this last facet of everyday sexual harassment! I went on a kind of mad rampage immediately, flooding my timeline with a deluge of tweets on the subject, appealing to more of my followers to follow the everyday sexism account. A day later when I had checked back in eagerly in the hopes of noticing any visible change - NOTHING. Not even one person among my followers (I have nearly 1600 which maybe just a handful but it's not a very teeny number either) had honored my request apart from the 3 who were already following them - all of them women or women's issues related accounts yes (Zanna is one). It was then that I realized, 'feminism' in the 21st century is actually like a hip, new item of home decor that you place on a wall cabinet among the other borrowed, trendy opinions you profess as personal philosophy, then forget about. Whenever some horrendous instance of brutality against a woman makes the morning news headlines, everyone's 'tch-tch-ing' fake concern for civilization resurfaces, spills over into the realm of their office lunch hour debates and after a while dies a natural death. Then they go back to the comfort of their tweleb status by posting the same old 'jokes' about dumb blondes, unreasonable wives, sluts, 'cunts', boobs and what have you, each of which are guaranteed to get at least 20+ retweets. Lulz just chill, we're all kidding here, getting our kicks out of reinforcing the same old stereotypes that have done considerable damage to society since the dawn of time. No harm done. It is this same all-pervading reluctance of acknowledging the efficacy of a concept like feminism as a panacea for sexism, violence and all the other concomitant shit women face every single moment of their lives that forms the backbone of bell hooks's work. She merely chooses to use 'white supremacist capitalist patriarchy' as a refrain so as to hammer this information into our brains. Yes the recurrence of this phrase gets dull after a while, yes it is somewhat annoying but no it is not irrelevant. Especially since bell hooks seems to support the branch of feminism which brings the concept of equality for everyone (including homosexuals) in all walks of life - sexual, economic, social and religious - under its envelope. She summarizes the inception and journey of the feminist movement through the decades - how it made its first proper appearance (second wave) in the U.S. in the 60s with the waves of bra-burning (she is not against bra-burning btw), angry women who had major grievances against a domestic arrangement where they held little to no power, how initially they believed 'feminism to be the theory and lesbianism the practice', how it has undergone gradual improvement to evolve into the polished academic discipline that it is today, how it was seen as an anathema in the past and how it continues to face a steadily growing list of challenges - apathy of mass media being a major one. She deftly interweaves feminism with the idea of politics, class struggle, physical beauty, love, religion, marriage, reproductive rights, parenting, masculinity and race to present before us a realistic picture of what truly internalizing its precepts can mean for us and our future. But all the conventionally known preachings of the book aside, she makes another very pertinent point about stripping the verbiage of jargon from all the academic work on feminism to make them more accessible to students and laymen alike, and working together to raise awareness of how feminism isn't inherently 'anti-men' or 'anti-religion' or even simply restricted to serving the interests of women in civilization, how feminism is for everybody. "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." To come to the negatives, there are almost none except the monotonous drone in which Hooks drives home her points which makes the reading experience little less than enjoyable, the drabness of her prose and the way her repeated references to her own writings reek of self-importance. And to further account for that missing star, I have this teeny niggling doubt about her defining acts of 'domestic violence', even those carried out by women against other women and children, as 'patriarchal violence'. She reckons some women have been so rigorously conditioned by the patriarchal world order based on principles of domination through violence and other acts of intimidation, that they re-enact the same in their daily lives while dealing with people inferior in status to themselves. Which I agree with but my limited knowledge of the world and its assorted contradictions tells me it's not just the men. Some primeval inclination towards violence and skewing the power balance in any relationship is embedded in the human psyche in general, irrespective of sex. But that aside, the overarching message one gets from hooks's outlook is that the traditional notions of 'manhood' and 'masculinity' have to be flushed down the toilet for feminism to even have a chance at victory. And there's no second guessing it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Em

    I liked this book and would absolutely recommend it, but I think the title was misleading and it didn't serve hook's purpose, as I understood it. She calls for the creation of feminist children's books, door-to-door chats, accessible explanations of feminism to those for whom "feminism" is the other "f" word. This is just another example of the academization of feminism hooks critiques; Its language is not exactly easy to follow, it assumes sympathy to feminism from the first page, and relies on I liked this book and would absolutely recommend it, but I think the title was misleading and it didn't serve hook's purpose, as I understood it. She calls for the creation of feminist children's books, door-to-door chats, accessible explanations of feminism to those for whom "feminism" is the other "f" word. This is just another example of the academization of feminism hooks critiques; Its language is not exactly easy to follow, it assumes sympathy to feminism from the first page, and relies on at least some prior knowledge. It's less of the introduction it frames itself as and more of a mid-level course (but an excellent one which continues to be relevant 12 years after publication, hello, birth control and abortion debate!). I'd have called it The Patriarchy Hurts Everybody, as that's the main (and totally valid!) argument she makes here. (Also: she straight up says you cannot be pro-life and a feminist, which I 100% agree with, but makes for a sloppy title.) My other issues, from the petty to the more serious. 1: Who the hell proofread this and what did they have against commas? 2: I read the phrase "white supremacist capitalist patriarchy" so many times that it stopped having meaning. (Also: this is what I mean about the language not being the most accessible). 3: The book makes some very excellent points about internalized misogyny manifesting in mother to child violence and abuse, which I honestly hadn't thought of before, and does mention that some men find themselves experiencing domestic violence, not as the abuser but as the abused, but seems to ignore homophobia and the myriad of violence it carries with it, for men and women, as an aspect of the sexism entrenched within our society. Seemed like kind of a gaping omission. 4: Speaking of gaping omissions, there was not a single mention of trans* women (or men). This was disappointing, but honestly not shocking. Trans* women may not have the all of the exact same concerns as cis women (mostly when it comes to abortions and contraceptives to prevent pregnancy) but this doesn't mean they aren't women just the same and shouldn't be part of the "everybody" in the title. I wasn't surprised to see trans* women left out, but it does speak to one of hooks' central themes: that feminist women too often get stuck in the constraints of race, class, sexuality, political affiliation education level, and nationality and we need to look beyond them in order to attain true "sisterhood". I just wish she'd included sex/gender identity in that list as well. 5: I was actually deeply distressed by the amount of times she made the connection between lesbianism (and to a lesser extent, bisexuality) and the notion of choice. It came up so often that it can't have been a misunderstanding on my part. I sincerely hope what she meant was more along the lines of "the choice to live as an out lesbian/bisexual woman and to embrace that side of oneself" and not "the choice to BE a lesbian/bisexual woman". Though she only explicitly states this version once (page 88 "choosing bisexual practice"), every other mention of sexuality and choice seems to frame queerness as an active decision. Just in case this is any way unclear: coming out of the closet is (usually and ideally) a choice. The way in which you present (whether or not you can "pass") is also, usually, a choice. Being in the closet in the first place? Is not. This aspect of the book left an incredibly bad taste in my mouth and is the reason I can't give it more than 3 stars. Despite my issues with Feminism is for Everybody I still wholeheartedly agree, am still proud to call myself a feminist, and greatly enjoyed reading something academic in nature after nearly 2 years out of college. It's been a while since I've read anything which made me think the way this did, and I missed engaging with texts.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I love bell hooks! She is a little less hardcore and not so angry in this book, which makes it more accessable to the masses.... I guess she did that on purpose, given the title of the book "Feminism is for Everybody." Her earlier works are great if you want a taste of angry lesbian, black feminist. And who wouldn't want a taste of that?

  5. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    I read this for my Intro to Gender and Women's studies course and I absolutely loved it. It's the perfect place to start if you're interested in diving into feminist studies or even if you're already well versed in the subject. It really is for EVERYBODY (pun very much intended).

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Tough book to rate. Take the first and last chapter, and you have an incredibly well written book that perfectly sums up feminism, where it's been, where it lacks, and where it could go. Feminism in theory is about respect, about choice, about re-evaluating beliefs and including and affirming everyone. 5-star all the way. The hundred pages in between are full of humble bragging (the only time she doesn't use generalizations is to either slam a particular target or quote her own books), lamenting Tough book to rate. Take the first and last chapter, and you have an incredibly well written book that perfectly sums up feminism, where it's been, where it lacks, and where it could go. Feminism in theory is about respect, about choice, about re-evaluating beliefs and including and affirming everyone. 5-star all the way. The hundred pages in between are full of humble bragging (the only time she doesn't use generalizations is to either slam a particular target or quote her own books), lamenting the ineffectiveness of the movement and Hooks' personal disillusionment with it, and endless bitter screeds against the "privileged-class, affluent highly-educated white women" who in her opinion co-opted and destroyed the movement that only Hooks is in the best position to set straight. "White supremacist capitalist patriarchy" is another phrase that makes a regular appearance. With all of that on display, it's hard to know whether to renounce feminism (in favor of "humanism" perhaps?) or continue working toward greater equality for all under its name. I would never recommend it as an introduction. No one barely becoming interested wants to know only why feminism failed or who broke it, when so many would dispute that it even was diminished. This book would turn off any newcomer. Hooks has a particular habit of denouncing what she unconsciously affirms: Denouncing the retreat of feminism into academic jargon, she uses "patriarchy" constantly without actually defining it, along with "hegemony," "pedagogy" and so on. Denouncing classism while basically engaging in class warfare. It's a university-level book, and deeply fails at its stated goal of being the pamphlet that anyone could be handed to quickly get an overview of why feminism is important, what its loftiest ideals are, and what gains have been made in its name. As long as it is, much more research should have gone into the book; it should have relied far less on the crutch of Hooks' own experience, and more on quotes from other people. It seems as if this entire book was banged out in her study one afternoon, presenting the entire rest of the movement as nameless and faceless groups who all fit into one of several molds. (The early "radical" movement, the later "classist white-supremacist" movement, or the splintered "male hating" movement.) This book would make it appear that Hooks is the only person in all of feminism who preaches love, inclusion, and education for all. Getting specific: It's ludicrous that back to back chapters on nearly the same topic could be so different, such as 16 & 17; both are about sexual politics, but 17 is well thought out and well written with a powerful message from the beginning, while 16 is a bitter, meandering mess focused on how feminist bigotry helped turned back the clock on sexual rights. Oddly, all of the best points of that one were made in the last page: We are all too human and can bend our convictions in the face of intense stress, and that sexual freedom isn't about choosing a different path, but about being able to choose any path we desire. I almost wonder whether the best parts were written by one person, and the rest fleshed out by someone else. But is the worst the ghostwriter, or the best?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Anushree

    Review will come up soon - Till then check this passage out - "We have not amassed enough testimony to let the world know the sexual pathologies and horrors women endured prior to the existence of dependable birth control. It evokes fear within me just to imagine a world where every time a female is sexual she risks being impregnated, to imagine a world where men want sex and women fear it. In such world a desiring woman might find the intersection of her desire and her fear. We have not amassed Review will come up soon - Till then check this passage out - "We have not amassed enough testimony to let the world know the sexual pathologies and horrors women endured prior to the existence of dependable birth control. It evokes fear within me just to imagine a world where every time a female is sexual she risks being impregnated, to imagine a world where men want sex and women fear it. In such world a desiring woman might find the intersection of her desire and her fear. We have not amassed enough testimony telling us what women did to ward off male sexual advances, how they coped with ongoing marital rape, how they coped with risking death to deal with unwanted pregnancies. We do know that the world of female sexuality was forever changed by the coming of feminist sexual revolution." AND this - "Often I tell the story of being at a fancy dinner party where a woman is describing the way she disciplines her young son by pinching him hard, clamping down on his little flesh for as long as it takes to control him. And how everyone applauded her willingness to be a disciplinarian. I shared the awareness that her behavior was abusive, that she was potentially planting the seeds for this male child to grow up and be abusive to women. Significantly, I told the audience of listeners that if we had heard a man telling us how he just clamps down on a woman’s flesh, pinching her hard to control her behavior it would have been immediately acknowledged as abusive. Yet when a child is being hurt this form of negative domination is condoned. This is not an isolated incident - much more severe violence against children is enacted daily by mothers and fathers." AND AND AND THIS --- "Problematically, for the most part feminist thinkers have never wanted to call attention to the reality that women are often the primary culprits in everyday violence against children simply because they are the primary parental caregivers. While it was crucial and revolutionary that feminist movement called attention to the fact that male domination in the home often creates an autocracy where men sexually abuse children, the fact is that masses of children are daily abused verbally and physically by women and men. Maternal sadism often leads women to emotionally abuse children, and feminist theory has not yet offered both feminist critique and feminist intervention when the issue is adult female violence against children. In a culture of domination where children have no civil rights, those who are powerful, adult males and females, can exert autocratic rule of children. All the medical facts show that children are violently abused daily in this society. Much of that abuse is life threatening. Many children die. Women perpetuate this violence as much as men if not more. A serious gap in feminist thinking and practice has been the refusal of the movement to confront head-on adult female violence against children. Emphasizing male domination makes it easy for women, including feminist thinkers, to ignore the ways women abuse children." A thought-provoking and lucid guide to intersectional feminism that stresses on male allies and is to a large extent - male-centric, in terms of toxicity faced by men trapped in patriarchy.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pink

    There's really not a lot I can add to the title. Feminism is for Everybody. This book is especially good for people who denounce feminism, or don't think we need to shout about it any more. It's the sort of book that should be on every school syllabus, to open discussions and make young people think about these issues. To realise that talking about feminism goes beyond wanting equal rights in the workplace. It's not a woman only book, it's not man hating, it's very intelligent, insightful and re There's really not a lot I can add to the title. Feminism is for Everybody. This book is especially good for people who denounce feminism, or don't think we need to shout about it any more. It's the sort of book that should be on every school syllabus, to open discussions and make young people think about these issues. To realise that talking about feminism goes beyond wanting equal rights in the workplace. It's not a woman only book, it's not man hating, it's very intelligent, insightful and relevant. The only reason I haven't rated it five stars is because it's fifteen years old and while most of it is still applicable today, there are obviously limitations in dealing with today's societal issues.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Julie Ehlers

    I'm very glad I read this book. The intersectional discussion of feminism was really interesting and made a lot of sense. There's a big emphasis on intersectionality in feminism nowadays, which I appreciate and agree with, but it's been a little difficult for me to envision how everything would work together in terms of policy and activism. This book was so helpful in this regard, and in that sense it was very valuable to me. I also really appreciated the more personal bits where bell hooks talk I'm very glad I read this book. The intersectional discussion of feminism was really interesting and made a lot of sense. There's a big emphasis on intersectionality in feminism nowadays, which I appreciate and agree with, but it's been a little difficult for me to envision how everything would work together in terms of policy and activism. This book was so helpful in this regard, and in that sense it was very valuable to me. I also really appreciated the more personal bits where bell hooks talked about her own life and how she came to be a feminist. However, I need to dock one star because I'm not really sure if bell hooks accomplished what she set out to do with Feminism Is for Everybody. In the introduction, she states that people are always coming up to her and asking questions about what feminism is and why they should believe in it, and she wrote this book as something that could be handed to "newbies" in response to such queries. But I'm not sure the book is ideal for that purpose. First off, hooks writes as if the reader already has a basic understanding of feminism—terms like "the feminization of poverty," for example, go unexplained. Second of all, I'm sorry to say that the writing is somewhat dull—which explains why it took me nearly a month to read 130 pages. I worry that it might not be engaging enough to really pull in the uninitiated. I might still recommend this book to someone new to feminism, but I would probably suggest pairing it with something like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's We Should All Be Feminists for some more basic background.

  10. 5 out of 5

    A

    I read this because I'd like to be better read on feminist theory and wanted a quick/easy "refresher." Also, I recall reading Hooks in a collection of feminist essays way back in 1999 or so and appreciating her particular perspective. I can't now recall what the title of the book was (I'll need to ask the friend who lent it to me) or even what the essay was about, but I do know that Hooks is an instrumental figure in bringing race and class into the discussion and has rightly criticized white mi I read this because I'd like to be better read on feminist theory and wanted a quick/easy "refresher." Also, I recall reading Hooks in a collection of feminist essays way back in 1999 or so and appreciating her particular perspective. I can't now recall what the title of the book was (I'll need to ask the friend who lent it to me) or even what the essay was about, but I do know that Hooks is an instrumental figure in bringing race and class into the discussion and has rightly criticized white middle-upper class feminists for avoiding these issues. So I appreciate her perspective and thought I would read this "primer," which another friend thought highly of. Before I get into the issue of whether Hooks fulfills her stated purpose, I'd like to say that there is plenty she says and ideas thrown out that make this book worth the read. Hooks is precise with her language and inventive, cutting to the heart of the issues while offering some food for thought. I already knew that she tries to go beyond the basic analysis of "patriarchy" and more broadly contend with what she labels "white supremacist capitalist patriarchy" (say that five times fast). An unwieldy phrase, to be sure, but a better description of how these power structures intersect. She also hits on a great definition of feminism as "a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression." This is deceptively simple and concise, brilliant because it totally bypasses issues relating to the common definitions involving equality, rights, and what all that can mean, and gets right to the heart of what feminism's all about. Hooks is also able to cover the wide range of issues that feminism addresses and continually clarify how these issues are addressed. For instance, she stresses the importance of safe, readily available birth control and its relation to women's freedoms. She discusses how gender roles limit these freedoms, how raised consciousness can give women more personal power, and the importance of self-esteem. Often, she tries to contextualize the rhetoric and theory with her own experiences in feminism and history of the movement as a whole. Some of this helps put feminism into perspective and understand its imperfections, that all these things are a work in progress, and there's still lots of work to be done. Clearly, many feminists (or those cautiously flirting with feminism) will find much of the book inspiring. Where Hooks often falters, however, is when she goes beyond simply rhetoric or calls to action and gets into the building of her case. A few other reviews have noted most of these flaws, and I can only reiterate what they've said. While she had most facts straight, she recites some offhandedly with no effort to present facts or add much needed nuance. The remark on "all medical facts" suggesting that all children suffer violence is given no qualification whatsoever and is just...befuddling. The portion on reproductive rights is rife with misinformation, which even in the late 90s was just wrong. Also, while I appreciate the personal and historical context, one has the feeling she is often airing personal complaints against the wrong version of feminism taking over. Her complaints about feminism are kinda hard to cover in a brief review. She makes some interesting points, but still seems to harbor a lot of resentment toward those feminists who have it all wrong (according to her). This would be the substance of an interesting essay, and her personal experiences within feminism would make for an interesting memoir. But then that brings us to the issue of, is this really the right context? In the introduction, she presents this book ostensibly as a primer, as a means for those who know less about feminism, who are interested but full of misconceptions, can understand what it's all about and develop some understanding of theory without all the academic jargon. The case she makes for this is compelling, and I definitely see the need for that book. Even though the internet has made this information widely available, there's still need to put it in a contained, succinct format like a short book. The problem is, I'm not sure an absolute beginner or someone harboring negative assumptions about feminism is going to get this book. For one thing, they're not going to be interested in the in-fighting that goes on in pretty much every political/social movement. That's an interesting subject on its own, but it goes against the stated goals of the book and distracts from the main points. Beyond this, Hooks can't really escape the prison of jargon and still falls back on terms like "patriarchy," which automatically causes lots of folks to recoil into defense mode. "What patriarchy? There is no patriarchy. Women can vote, they can work, they can run for public office. I'm a man, and I don't get any special benefits for that, I keep struggling, etc etc." If you've gotten into internet arguments on this subject, you know how it goes. Now, her particular broad term for this network of power hierarchies is meant to combat some of these issues, but it's still too jargon-y for most of your casual, less academic or politically conscious readers. A true primer on feminism would realistically start with the long history of the movement, nothing too detailed, but enough to give a basis for how things developed to the point of the 60s-70s women's liberation movement. A true primer would outline in plain terms what patriarchy means in a feminist context. It would try to counter common assumptions about sex/gender with facts, rather than simply rhetoric. Of course, this is a political theory book in plain language, meant to rally and inspire, but if we're talking about handing books out to someone parroting the same assumptions, it's important to address those assumptions head-on. Hooks is able to understand that a simple, conversational, even quasi-folksy tone is important here, but she's never able to truly work at the level of her intended reader and as such I'm not sure I could recommend this as a basic primer. Only if the intended reader were comfortable with and understood some of the terminology and weren't automatically in defense/attack mode at some of the rhetoric. The fact that she does rely too much on her own previous works and very little other feminist books (there were/are plenty of popular examples she ignores) isn't going to endear some readers. And the lack of evidence and reliance on personal slant on issues is going to annoy a bunch of other readers too. As I said, I think the ideal audience here is going to be those already sympathetic and familiar with the language, who already understand and agree with the basic points and want to better consider and articulate them to others. That's a bit of a problem, I think, as it's more going to confirm one's views than challenge or deeply inform, but this kind of text does serve a valuable political function. However noble the aims of this book, however many good point Hooks make, it doesn't quite measure up to its goals and ultimately disappoints.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sean Chick

    Bell Hooks (I will not entertain her nor E. E. Cummings) attempted to make feminism a broader idea than simple female empowerment. To this end, issues of race and class (in that order too) were brought in to what might not be the foundational text of intersectionality, but certainly one of the seminal ones. Although jargon heavy, Hooks is accessible compared to other books and the brevity of this book suits its purpose well. Where I stand unconvinced is the idea that feminism is for "everybody." Bell Hooks (I will not entertain her nor E. E. Cummings) attempted to make feminism a broader idea than simple female empowerment. To this end, issues of race and class (in that order too) were brought in to what might not be the foundational text of intersectionality, but certainly one of the seminal ones. Although jargon heavy, Hooks is accessible compared to other books and the brevity of this book suits its purpose well. Where I stand unconvinced is the idea that feminism is for "everybody." No ideology has every answer and the attempt to apply it everywhere always fails. Where said ideology is weak is where its downfall occurs. In this case it is the inability of feminism to be resolved with class, likely because class politics is often the central concern of men. This in turn limits what intersectionality can do politically. At the same time, there is no accounting for feminism's weak points. The feminism of the variety championed by Hooks, which has since become ascendant, will have unintended negative consequences. The persistent failure of thinkers, be they communists, Randians, or feminists to accept limitations on their ideology or account for possible future failure is depressing, but it seems inevitable. That said, Hooks is a good writer, and more honest and broad minded than many in her camp. I am impressed that her thoughts gained more widespread appeal than other thinkers, and we certainly are in a time of ascendance for feminism, Trump notwithstanding. For that reason I give Feminism is for Everybody a good rating, but so far my favorite feminist book remains the SCUM Manifesto.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Meonicorn (The Bookish Land)

    4.5 round up to 5 stars. Now you can check out my Video Review Here . I gained so much from this book, two things I noticed tho: 1) I want to see how Bell Hooks came to her conclusions, what books did she read, and what analysis did she do. I guess I will need to read her other books to find out. 2) I would love to see more about Global Feminism, but it was one of the shortest chapters, which make sense since she's American. But I do like her thoughts on people should discuss other countries' iss 4.5 round up to 5 stars. Now you can check out my Video Review Here . I gained so much from this book, two things I noticed tho: 1) I want to see how Bell Hooks came to her conclusions, what books did she read, and what analysis did she do. I guess I will need to read her other books to find out. 2) I would love to see more about Global Feminism, but it was one of the shortest chapters, which make sense since she's American. But I do like her thoughts on people should discuss other countries' issues "in a manner that does not reinscribe Western imperialism".

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I love this book and think the message is incredibly important. However, not a massive fan of the lady that read hook’s writing as I thought she sounded too robotic. Too uninterested in the topic. Would highly recommend, just a different narrator, possibly even just go old school and pick up the paper edition

  14. 5 out of 5

    May 舞

    '"Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression." I love this definition...I love it because it so clearly states that the movement is not about being anti-male. It makes it clear that the problem is sexism. And that clarity helps us remember that all of us, female and male, have been socialized from birth on to accept sexist thought and action. As a consequence, females can be just as sexist as men. And while that does not excuse or justify male domination, it does m '"Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression." I love this definition...I love it because it so clearly states that the movement is not about being anti-male. It makes it clear that the problem is sexism. And that clarity helps us remember that all of us, female and male, have been socialized from birth on to accept sexist thought and action. As a consequence, females can be just as sexist as men. And while that does not excuse or justify male domination, it does mean that it would be naive and wrong-minded for feminist thinkers to see the movement as simplistically being for women against men. To end patriarchy (another way of naming the institutionalized sexism) we need to be clear that we are all participants in perpetuating sexism until we change our minds and hearts, until we let go of sexist thought and action and replace it with feminist thought and action." "Feminist politics aims to end domination to free us to be who we are - to live lives where we love justice, where we can live in peace. Feminism is for everybody." A great book which discusses what feminism is and what the common misunderstandings people have about it are. It is passionate, eye-opening, and to the point. Highly recommended for everyone.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jesse Richards

    This had some interesting parts, and filled in some gaps of the feminist movement's history for me, but it gets a low rating for one reason: it states its goal at the beginning - to be a primer on feminism accessible to all - and then fails miserably at it. I would never recommend this as a feminism primer to someone. It doesn't talk much about feminism or the need for it but rather dissects the in-fighting within the feminist movement. It's also extremely poorly written - too academic and with This had some interesting parts, and filled in some gaps of the feminist movement's history for me, but it gets a low rating for one reason: it states its goal at the beginning - to be a primer on feminism accessible to all - and then fails miserably at it. I would never recommend this as a feminism primer to someone. It doesn't talk much about feminism or the need for it but rather dissects the in-fighting within the feminist movement. It's also extremely poorly written - too academic and with frequent poor grammar, to boot. It's frustrating to agree with most of the tenets stated in a book and still think it's awful.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Qwo-Li

    One of the things I love about bell hooks is that she writes radical books for widely different audiences. This book is for both for an audience that hasn't thought much about feminism and has misconceptions of what "feminism" is, and also for feminists who aren't coming from movements that include an analysis of race and class at their centers. I've used this book in first year writing classes to teach about feminist politics and it's been really successful. It's a great book for any sort of in One of the things I love about bell hooks is that she writes radical books for widely different audiences. This book is for both for an audience that hasn't thought much about feminism and has misconceptions of what "feminism" is, and also for feminists who aren't coming from movements that include an analysis of race and class at their centers. I've used this book in first year writing classes to teach about feminist politics and it's been really successful. It's a great book for any sort of introduction to feminism. It's really accessible, short, and engaging. I <3 bell.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Suzie

    A while back I was accused of being a feminist, to which my reply was "am not!" After reading bell hooks, I'm going back to that person to say "you're right. I am a feminist, and let me tell you why..." I guess what I learned is that feminism isn't the f-word. Feminists are not man-haters, they aren't all lesbian (not that I thought either of these, but now I have enough material to cite when others make such unwitting remarks), and I think most importantly to my cultural background, they support A while back I was accused of being a feminist, to which my reply was "am not!" After reading bell hooks, I'm going back to that person to say "you're right. I am a feminist, and let me tell you why..." I guess what I learned is that feminism isn't the f-word. Feminists are not man-haters, they aren't all lesbian (not that I thought either of these, but now I have enough material to cite when others make such unwitting remarks), and I think most importantly to my cultural background, they support family and marriage. Feminists strive for families and marriages that are not sexist, patriarchal or oppressive. bell hooks addresses issues of reproductive rights, body image, education, class struggle, race, violence, parenting, marriage, politics and spirituality - the last being the most important to me. Coming from the background of two male-headed churches, I was most concerned with questions of the soul when I ventured into feminism. I've had questions about dualism - a belief that categorizes people into good and evil, superior and inferior - in Western religious thought. hooks believes this to be the "ideological foundation of all forms of oppression, sexism, racism, etc," and I quite agree. I have heard and read the thoughts of those fundamentalists who demonize feminism, and I see their tirades as destructive and demeaning to women. hooks puts it beautifully, "Fundamentalism not only encourages folks to believe that inequality is 'natural,' it perpetuates the opinion that control of the female body is necessary." hooks is also constantly calling for feminist literature that is accessible to all classes, races, and educational levels. This is where my critique comes. "Feminism is for Everybody" is meant to be accessible to...everybody. But it is still packed with sophisticated and political jargon, and I don't see anyone but well-educated women picking this up in the bookstore. I know some men have read and really liked this book, but the people who REALLY need to read it are the ones who wouldn't give it a second look. It's all good in theory, but I'd like to see bell hooks and other feminist writers put this into practice.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ana ☾

    Feminist politics aims to end domination to free us to be who we are - to live lives where we love justice, where we can live in peace. Feminism is for everybody. 4.5, though I could change the rating later to a 4 because I'm not quite sure yet of the rating. I really liked this book. It was short and to the point, and though it was very basic (because is supposed to be more like a guide or manual), I really liked it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Irene

    Bell Hooks wrote this book as an introduction to feminism. The purpose of it was to be "easy to read without being simplistic. " Bell Hooks has accomplished what she has set out to achieve. Her writing style leans academic but it doesn't make it inaccessible. You just have to pay attention. What I love about Feminism Is For Everybody is that it distills academic theory about feminism from an insider perspective. As it is an introduction, some of the chapters are not new to someone who reads femi Bell Hooks wrote this book as an introduction to feminism. The purpose of it was to be "easy to read without being simplistic. " Bell Hooks has accomplished what she has set out to achieve. Her writing style leans academic but it doesn't make it inaccessible. You just have to pay attention. What I love about Feminism Is For Everybody is that it distills academic theory about feminism from an insider perspective. As it is an introduction, some of the chapters are not new to someone who reads feminist media, but there will be chapters that will fill in gaps to your feminist knowledge. If you never took a feminist course but picked up all your feminist knowledge through people and media this will be a good read for you. I was particularly interested in feminist ideas on sex, lesbianism, and heterosexual relationships as these were areas that I had not read about too much. The chapters on violence, race and gender, women at work were more familiar to what I already learned and felt. It was insightful to read Bell Hooks' narrative on how the beliefs the different feminist factions have shaped some of the things we see today in the movement. The example I am thinking about is feminists who want to get more rights and privileges for themselves and keep things status quo versus feminists who want a radical change. Bell Hooks makes a lot of arguments that I cheered for seeing in print and I wish I would see more of but I think this is an important one early on: "feminist politics is losing momentum because feminism movement has lost clear definitions. We have those definitions. We can share the simple yet powerful message that feminism is a movement to end sexist oppression."

  20. 4 out of 5

    James

    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 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.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Right at the beginning the author states that the book's goal is to provide an accessible "guide" to feminism for all. It is neither particularly accessible, nor does it really help as a guide. Thankfully, I know history fairly well, particularly the history of feminism, so I knew what the author was talking about in most cases, but for a person who does not know much history this book will be a torture. It is jumbled, inconsistent and badly written, but let me start at the beginning. I have one Right at the beginning the author states that the book's goal is to provide an accessible "guide" to feminism for all. It is neither particularly accessible, nor does it really help as a guide. Thankfully, I know history fairly well, particularly the history of feminism, so I knew what the author was talking about in most cases, but for a person who does not know much history this book will be a torture. It is jumbled, inconsistent and badly written, but let me start at the beginning. I have one major issue with this book - the complete lack of any sources. You'll find no footnotes, no citations in this book, nothing that would back up the claims that the author makes. Instead, the author uses horrible generalisations when it comes to women, to men, to society, just about anything. After the first two chapters I grew tired of marking the "many" and "most" that she used whenever she referred to men or women and what they feel/think. When given a non-fictional text/book that does not provide the reader with data and secondary sources to back up it's claims I do not feel particularly tempted to believe anything that is written in the according text. As a consequence, by not providing any material that would support her statements the author can (and does) disguise her personal opinions as facts a bit too often for my liking. She builds questionable arguments and throughout the book develops the problem of stating things that are historically inaccurate. As a scholar I find it unacceptable. Let me give you an example from my life. From day 1 in university my peers and I heard one phrase over and over and over again - "If you make a general statement, a statement that refers to something historical, involves someone's opinion, etc. back it up with footnotes and citations." In my last paper I had exactly 117 footnotes and my paper was just 15 pages long. Furthermore, the chapters are much too shallow, some are merely 4 pages long and do not explain anything. Instead, they dissects the issues within feminism, particularly the second-wave feminism at times creating the impression that there was no feminism and no feminist works of literature or movements before the 20th century. I assure you, there were. One of the oldest examples is perhaps A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. If you take into account that the author wanted this book to be somewhat like 'A handbook to feminism' you'll notice that something is definitely missing in this book. Like, the historical background as well as at least a bit of information on feminism in other countries apart from the US. The book makes no claims that it is just limited to feminism in America but still limits all the statements to America which I find far from ideal because of the historical background/accuracy. So there should have either been a statement right at the beginning that it would deal just with the feminism movement in the 20th century in the US or the author should have included a chapter on history and feminism in other countries. That being said, the author rarely mentions important feminists or other texts in general. She does something else instead. Can you guess what? She subtly brags by quoting her own books. The quotes aren't exactly good either, but the fact that the only texts she referred to were her own annoyed me. If I had been a newcomer the aforementioned issues would have immediately turned me off and I'd have abandoned this book. As someone who is more familiar with feminism I finished it out of spite. And I am not done yet. The write style is awful. The sentences are sometimes pretty confusing because the author, apparently, was tempted to throw in as many pseudo-intellectual terms as she could. But even worse is the poor grammar and the problems with punctuation and believe me, if I notice poor punctuation and grammar it means something because I am not very good when it comes to punctuation myself. The chapters that address (or rather should address) certain topics don't do it at all, instead the author complains about patriarchy, white privilege, classicism and how everyone criticises without providing solutions or seeing the whole picture...Well, dear author, you did exactly the same thing here. Honestly, I could go on for quite a while here pointing out the inaccurate, offensive and nonsensical bits, but I won't. All in all, I do not believe that the appropriate amount of research was done when the author wrote this book, the execution of it is horrendous and so is the writing. It is jumbled, generalising and self-promoting and I would not recommend it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tanya

    I enjoyed this little introduction to (intersectional!) feminism. The chapters are short enough that I could read one on the commute to and from work, and each touched, albeit sometimes rather shallowly, on most of the issues the movement is concerned with, from a brief historical overview to the current state of affairs, education, reproductive rights, beauty standards, domestic violence, class, race, women in the workforce, masculinity, love, sex, and spirituality. Basically, it covers what fe I enjoyed this little introduction to (intersectional!) feminism. The chapters are short enough that I could read one on the commute to and from work, and each touched, albeit sometimes rather shallowly, on most of the issues the movement is concerned with, from a brief historical overview to the current state of affairs, education, reproductive rights, beauty standards, domestic violence, class, race, women in the workforce, masculinity, love, sex, and spirituality. Basically, it covers what feminism is, where it came from, and why it still matters. For being so brief, it could have very much used sources or at least a recommended further reading list for each topic, but Hooks provides neither. Whenever she does quote a different work, it is usually her own From Margin to Center (in, like, every second chapter), which begs the question, if she said it best herself all those years ago, why bother writing this book at all? Authors quoting themselves is a huge turn-off for me, and when those quotes are the sole other sources provided, it makes it even more irksome. My other qualm with this book is that, again, because it is so brief, personal anecdotes and opinions shouldn't be included, especially when it's being sold as an unbiased introduction for feminist theory newbies—opinions are not facts, and I get the feeling that Hooks often presented her personal beliefs on each matter as the sole truth and way to go. Our views align rather perfectly, so I wasn't overly bothered by this while reading, but upon reflecting on it, this is a no-go in any case. I will still check out some of her other works because this definitely has a lot of value, and I can heartily recommend it to anyone who has an already kindled interest in learning about the feminist movement (I don't believe this is suited for total newbies; it definitely requires at least some basic prior knowledge). ————— All my book reviews can be found here · Buy on BookDepository

  23. 4 out of 5

    Luis Francisco Contreras

    It's one of the few times I've been so harsh with a review here on Goodreads, but this book did not accomplish any of the things outlined in its beginning thesis. I am the perfect target audience for this book, a curious outsider eager to learn more about the movement. I expected a comprehensive primer which gave the overall landscape of feminism and justified its foundational definition; a push to "end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression" . Instead, what I got was an out-of-place rant a It's one of the few times I've been so harsh with a review here on Goodreads, but this book did not accomplish any of the things outlined in its beginning thesis. I am the perfect target audience for this book, a curious outsider eager to learn more about the movement. I expected a comprehensive primer which gave the overall landscape of feminism and justified its foundational definition; a push to "end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression" . Instead, what I got was an out-of-place rant about reformist vs revolutionary feminism, personal anecdotes about feminist parenting, and numerous unjustified and undeveloped ideas. The term "white supremacist capitalist patriarchy" was not only unexplained, but also repeated ad nauseum. Such unjustified terminology is by itself prone to alienate a lot of people (which goes against the author's aim of providing an inclusive introduction to feminism) who would have otherwise been apt to learn. Hooks also takes for granted that the reader agrees of the existence of a "patriarchal mass media" . Again this seems like an absurd assumption for the type of book she is trying to write. Other unexplained terms include: "white-supremacist mass media" "critical consciousness" and "institutionalization of sexist exploitation" . Bell Hooks correctly stated the need for a concise, evidence-based introduction to feminism; but this book is not it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Aysha

    I wouldn’t consider it to be elaborately thorough, at points it seemed abstract and not very elaborate but I guess the book itself was meant to be abstract and was written in a somewhat “informal” style so it could reach a broader audience. Loved it!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hope Martin

    In her book, Hooks states, "...we can work on behalf of feminism right where we are. We can begin to do the work on feminism at home, right where we live, educating ourselves and our loved ones" (116). I love this idea and I believe this book is a step in the right direction I want to take, but it left me just wanting more. Perhaps I'm missing something (I can't wait to discuss it with my book group), but I feel like those strategies to advocate for feminism were not as present as I would have l In her book, Hooks states, "...we can work on behalf of feminism right where we are. We can begin to do the work on feminism at home, right where we live, educating ourselves and our loved ones" (116). I love this idea and I believe this book is a step in the right direction I want to take, but it left me just wanting more. Perhaps I'm missing something (I can't wait to discuss it with my book group), but I feel like those strategies to advocate for feminism were not as present as I would have liked them to be. Instead, this book gives great background on the movement and provided me with minimal new information. My biggest takeaway actually had to do with racism (which I suppose as long as I'm learning that's fantastic). I do intend to read more of Bell Hooks' work.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Elham Adib

    3.5/5 This is a good, easy to read, concise book to get familiar with feminism, how everything started, what were some of the flaws and concerns and what lies ahead. I kind of expected a little more in every area. For the most part, I read ideas of what we need to do but not how we can actually do it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Batool

    I guess i'll start with Bell definition of feminism which is: “Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.” I really like this definition because it doesn't only focus on women or men and neglect everybody in between. And it kinda recognize that there are issues that men suffer from because of sexism as well and i think it's important thing to say. She said in the book a lot of dies or assumption in the world that feminism is anti-men and that has been perpetuate I guess i'll start with Bell definition of feminism which is: “Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.” I really like this definition because it doesn't only focus on women or men and neglect everybody in between. And it kinda recognize that there are issues that men suffer from because of sexism as well and i think it's important thing to say. She said in the book a lot of dies or assumption in the world that feminism is anti-men and that has been perpetuated a little nit by mainstream media. And she talked about how important is it to have men in board to get this movement to better place, a place where no one has to suffer from gender discrimination. Another thing that i like from this book is no one born feminist! We are not feminist just because we had the privilage to be born female, she stated that we are all born in the same system and we got exposed to the same sexist conditions that effect everyone including women. but i really didn't like the way she dragged the subject way too long through out the book, it didn't feel like she emphasis the idea it felt repetitive and boring! I like the chapter "Our bodies, our selves", where she talked about female getting their bodies back and owning it, the sexual education,the contraceptive and the abortion that should be safe and affordable to all, I am pro choice, and unwanted pregnancy should be terminated. So, while this book wasn't difficult for me to read -but a bit boring- but i picked up this book expecting it to be the one feminist book that i would be passing along and urge everybody to read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    A great introduction to feminist theory which I have highlighted the hell out of and filled with post its and sticky flags.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Liz Janet

    Basically, intersectionality is boss!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Foundational and accessible. More anecdotal than I was expecting. A gateway into feminist ideas.

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