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Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics by bell hooks
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“If any female feels she need anything beyond herself to legitimate and validate her existence, she is already giving away her power to be self-defining, her agency.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“In a culture which holds the two-parent patriarchal family in higher esteem than any other arrangement, all children feel emotionally insecure when their family does not measure up to the standard. A utopian vision of the patriarchal family remains intact despite all the evidence which proves that the well-being of children is no more secure in the dysfunctional male-headed household than in the dysfunctional female-headed household. Children need to be raised in loving environments. Whenever domination is present love is lacking. Loving parents, be they single or coupled, gay or straight, headed by females or males, are more likely to raise healthy, happy children with sound self-esteem. In future feminist movement we need to work harder to show parents the ways ending sexism positively changes family life. Feminist movement is pro-family. Ending patriarchal domination of children, by men or women, is the only way to make the family a place where children can be safe, where they can be free, where they can know love”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“Simply put, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression. This was a definition of feminism I offered in Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center more than 10 years ago. It was my hope at the time that it would become a common definition everyone would use. I liked this definition because it did not imply that men were the enemy. By naming sexism as the problem it went directly to the heart of the matter. Practically, it is a definition which implies that all sexist thinking and action is the problem, whether those who perpetuate it are female or male, child or adult. It is also broad enough to include an understanding of systemic institutionalized sexism. As a definition it is open-ended. To understand feminism it implies one has to necessarily understand sexism.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“A huge majority of parents use some form of physical or verbal aggression against children. Since women remain the primary caretakers of children, the facts confirm the reality that given a hierarchal system in a culture of domination which empowers females (like the parent-child relationship) all too often they use coercive force to maintain dominance. In a culture of domination everyone is socialized to see violence as an acceptable means of social control. Dominant parties maintain power by the threat (acted upon or not) that abusive punishment, physical or psychological, will be used whenever the hierarchal structures in place are threatened, whether that be in male-female relationships, or parent and child bonds.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“Feminist thinking teaches us all, especially, how to love justice and freedom in ways that foster and affirm life.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“The soul of our politics is the commitment to ending domination.”
bell hooks, Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“As long as women are using class or race power to dominate other women, feminist sisterhood cannot be fully realized.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“Imagine living in a world where there is no domination, where females and males are not alike or even always equal, but where a vision of mutuality is the ethos shaping our interaction.”
bell hooks, Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“Cultures of domination attack self-esteem, replacing it with a notion that we derive our sense of being from dominion over another. Patriarchal masculinity teaches men that their sense of self and identity, their reason for being, resides in their capacity to dominate others.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“We knew that there could be no real sisterhood between white women and women of color if white women were not able to divest of white supremacy, if feminist movement were not fundamentally anti-racist.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“to not understand neocolonialism is to not fully live in the present.”
bell hooks, Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“Simply put, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression. I liked this definition because it does not imply that men were the enemy.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“Masses of the people think that feminism is always the only about women seeking to be equal to men. Their misunderstanding of feminist politics reflects the reality that most folks learn about feminism from patriarchal mass media.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“To understand feminism it implies one has to necessarily understand sexism.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“Radical feminist work around the world daily strengthens political solidarity between women beyond the boundaries of race/ethnicity and nationality. Mainstream mass media rarely calls attention to these positive interventions. In Hatreds: Radicalized and Sexualized Conflicts in the 21st Century, Zillah Eisenstein shares the insight:
Feminism(s) as transnational - imagined as the rejection of false race/gender borders and falsely constructed 'other' - is a major challenge to masculinist nationalism, the distortions of statist communism and 'free'-market globalism. It is a feminism that recognizes individual diversity, and freedom, and equality, defined through and beyond north/west and south/east dialogues.
No one who has studied the growth of global feminism can deny the important work women are doing to ensure our freedom. No one can deny that Western women, particularly women in the United States, have contributed much that is needed to this struggle and need to contribute more. The goal of global feminism is to reach out and join global struggles to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“For too long the term domestic violence has been used as a
"soft" term which suggests it emerges in an intimate context that is
private and somehow less threatening, less brutal, than the violence
that takes place outside the home. This is not so, since more women
are beaten and murdered in the home than on the outside.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“Boys need healthy self-esteem. They need love. And a wise and loving feminist politics can provide the only foundation to save the lives of male children. Patriarchy will not heal them. If that were so they would all be well.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“Before contemporary feminist movement was less than 10 years old, feminist thinkers began to talk about the way in which patriarchy was harmful to men. Without changing our fierce critique of male domination feminist politics expanded to include the recognition that patriarchy stripped men of certain rights, imposing on them a sexist masculine identity.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“Most people have no understanding of the myriad ways feminism has positively changed all our lives. Sharing feminist thought and practice sustains feminist movement. Feminist knowledge is for everybody.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“Women will only be truly sexually liberated when we arrive at a place where we can see ourselves as having sexual value and agency irrespective of whether of not we are the objects of male desire.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“As long as females take up the banner of feminist politics
without addressing and transforming their own sexism, ultimately
the movement will be undermined.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“A genuine feminist politics always brings us from bondage to freedom, from lovelessness to loving... There can be no love without justice.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“By naming sexism as the problem it went directly to the heart of the matter. Practically, it is a definition which implies that all sexist thinking and action is the problem, whether those who perpetuate it are female or male, child or adult.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“Overall women in our society are forgetting the value and power of sisterhood. Renewed feminist movement must once again raise the banner high to proclaim anew "Sistehood is powerful.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“We are told again and again by patriarchal mass media, by sexist leaders, that feminism is dead, that it no longer has meaning. In actuality, females and males of all ages, everywhere, continue to grapple with the issue of gender equality, continue to seek roles for themselves that will liberate rather than restrict and confine; and they continue to turn towards feminism for answers. Visionary feminism offers us hope for the future. By emphasizing an ethics of mutuality and interdependency feminist thinking offers us a way to end domination while simultaneously changing the impact of inequality. In a universe where mutuality is the norm, there may be times when all is not equal, but the consequence of that inequality will not be subordination, colonization, and dehumanization. Feminism”
bell hooks, Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“Romantic love as most people understand it in patriarchal culture makes one unaware, renders one powerless and out of control. Feminist thinkers called attention to the way this notion of love served the interests of patriarchal men and women. It supported the notion that one could do anything in the name of love: beat people, restrict their movements, even kill them and call it a "crime of passion," plead, "I love her so much i had to kill her.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“Imagine living in a world where there is no domination, where females and males are not alike or even always equal, but where a vision of mutuality is the ethos shaping our interaction. Imagine living in a world where we can all be who we are, a world of peace and possibility. Feminist revolution alone will not create such a world; we need to end racism, class elitism, imperialism. But it will make it possible for us to be fully self-actualized females and males able to create beloved community, to live together, realizing our dreams of freedom and justice, living the truth that we are all “created equal.” Come closer. See how feminism can touch and change your life and all our lives. Come closer and know firsthand what feminist movement is all about. Come closer and you will see: feminism is for everybody.”
bell hooks, Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“Advancing the notion that there can be many "feminisms" has served the conservative and liberal political interests of women seeking status and privileged class power who were among the first group to use the term "power feminists." They also were the group that began to suggest that one could be feminist and anti-abortion. This another misguided notion. Granting women the civil right to have control over our bodies is a basic feminist principle. Whether an individual female should have an abortion is purely a matter of choice. It is not anti-feminist for us to choose not to have abortions. But it is a feminist principle that women should have the right to choose.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“That foundation rested on our critique of what we then called 'the enemy within,' referring to our internalized sexism. We all knew firsthand that we had been socialized as females by patriarchal thinking to see ourselves as inferior to men, to see ourselves as always and only in competition with one another for patriarchal approval, to look upon each other with jealousy, fear, and hatred. Sexist thinking made us judge each other without compassion and punish one another harshly. Feminist thinking helped us unlearn female self-hatred. It enabled us to break free of the hold patriarchal thinking had on our consciousness.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“In our nation masses of people are concerned about violence but resolutely refuse to link that violence to patriarchal thinking or male domination. Feminist thinking offers a solution. And it is up to us to make that solution available to everyone.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics

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