The Will to Change Quotes

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The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love by bell hooks
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The Will to Change Quotes (showing 1-30 of 42)
“To create loving men, we must love males. Loving maleness is different from praising and rewarding males for living up to sexist-defined notions of male identity. Caring about men because of what they do for us is not the same as loving males for simply being. When we love maleness, we extend our love whether males are performing or not. Performance is different from simply being. In patriarchal culture males are not allowed simply to be who they are and to glory in their unique identity. Their value is always determined by what they do. In an anti-patriarchal culture males do not have to prove their value and worth. They know from birth that simply being gives them value, the right to be cherished and loved.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“Most gay men are as sexist in their thinking as are heterosexuals. Their patriarchal thinking leads them to construct paradigms of desirable sexual behaviour that is similar to that of patriarchal straight men.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“This fear of maleness that they inspire estranges men from every female in their lives to greater or lesser degrees, and men feel the loss. Ultimately, one of the emotional costs of allegiance to patriarchy is to be seen as unworthy of trust. If women and girls in patriarchal culture are taught to see every male, including the males with whom we are intimate, as potential rapists and murderers, then we cannot offer them our trust, and without trust there is no love.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“We need to highlight the role women play in perpetuating and sustaining patriarchal culture so that we will recognize patriarchy as a system women and men support equally, even if men receive more rewards from that system. Dismantling and changing patriarchal culture is work that men and women must do together.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“Men do oppress women. People are hurt by rigid sexist role patterns. These two realities coexist. Male oppression of women cannot be excused by the recognition that there are ways men are hurt by rigid sexist roles. Feminist activists should acknowledge that hurt, and work to change it—it exists. It does not erase or lessen male responsibility for supporting and perpetuating their power under patriarchy to exploit and oppress women in a manner far more grievous than the serious psychological stress and emotional pain caused by male conformity to rigid sexist role patterns.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“Patriarchy demands of men that they become and remain emotional cripples. Since it is a system that denies men full access to their freedom of will, it is difficult for any man of any class to rebel against patriarchy, to be disloyal to the patriarchal parent, be that parent female or male.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“This is a patriarchal truism that most people in our society want to deny. Whenever women thinkers, especially advocates of feminism, speak about the widespread problem of male violence, folks are eager to stand up and make the point that most men are not violent. They refuse to acknowledge that masses of boys and men have been programmed from birth on to believe that at some point they must be violent, whether psychologically or physically, to prove that they are men.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“Most folks believe we are hardwired biologically to long for sex but they do not believe we are hardwired to long for love. Almost everyone believes that we can have sex without love; most folks do not believe that a couple can have love in a relationship if there is no sex.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“To indoctrinate boys into the rules of patriarchy, we force them to feel pain and to deny their feelings.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“I did not want to hear the pain of my male partner because hearing it required that I surrender my investment in the patriarchal ideal of the male as protector of the wounded. If he was wounded, then how could he protect me? As”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“Usually adult males who are unable to make emotional connections with the women they chose to be intimate with are frozen in time, unable to allow themselves to love for fear that the loved one will abandon them.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“Learning to wear a mask (that word already embedded in the term “masculinity”) is the first lesson in patriarchal masculinity that a boy learns. He learns that his core feelings cannot be expressed if they do not conform to the acceptable behaviors sexism defines as male. Asked to give up the true self in order to realize the patriarchal ideal, boys learn self-betrayal early and are rewarded for these acts of soul murder.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“When culture is based on a dominator model, not only will it be violent, but it will frame all relationships as power struggles.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“Failure to examine the victimization of men keeps us from understanding maleness, from uncovering the space of connection that might lead more men to seek feminist transformation.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“This fear of maleness that they inspire estranges men from every female in their lives to greater or lesser degrees, and men feel the loss. Ultimately, one of the emotional costs of allegiance to patriarchy is to be seen as unworthy of trust.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“Many women cannot hear male pain about love because it sounds like an indictment of female failure.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“Until we are willing to question many of the specifics of the male sex role, including most of the seven norms and stereotypes that psychologist Robert Levant names in a listing of its chief constituents--'avoiding femininity, restrictive emotionality, seeking achievement and status, self-reliance, aggression, homophobia, and nonrelational attitudes toward sexuality'--we are going to deny men their full humanity. Feminist masculinity would have as its chief constituents integrity, self-love, emotional awareness, assertiveness, and relational skill, including the capacity to be empathic, autonomous, and connected.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“In patriarchal culture males are not allowed simply to be who they are and to glory in their unique identity. Their value is always determined by what they do. In an antipatriarchal culture males do not have to prove their value and worth. They know from birth that simply being gives them value, the right to be cherished and loved. I”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“Anger prevents love and isolates the one who is angry. It is an attempt, often successful, to push away what is most longed for—companionship and understanding. It is a denial of the humanness of others, as well as a denial of your own humanness. Anger is the agony of believing that you are not capable of being understood, and that you are not worthy of being understood. It is a wall that separates you from others as effectively as if it were concrete, thick, and very high. There is no way through it, under it, or over it. Certainly”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“The feeling that I've done something wrong, that I really don't know what it is, that there's something terribly wrong with my very being, leads to a sense of utter hopelessness. This hopelessness is the deepest cut of the mystified state. It means there is no possibility for me as I am; there is no way I can matter or be worthy of anyone's love as long as I remain myself. I must find a way to be someone else--someone who is lovable. Someone who is not me.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“No matter that information abounds that lets the public know that gay males come from two-parent homes and can be macho and women-hating, misguided assumptions about what makes a male gay still flourish. Every day boys who express feelings are psychologically terrorized, and in extreme cases brutally beaten, by parents who fear that a man of feeling must be homosexual. Gay men share with straight men the same notions about acceptable masculinity.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“Whenever women thinkers, especially advocates of feminism, speak about the widespread problem of male violence, folks are eager to stand up and make the point that most men are not violent. They refuse to acknowledge that masses of boys and men have been programmed from birth on to believe that at some point they must be violent, whether psychologically or physically, to prove that they are men.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“Most folks believe we are hardwired biologically to long for sex but they do not believe we are hardwired to long for love. Almost everyone believes that we can have sex without love; mosr folks do not believe that a couple can have love in a relationship if there is no sex.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“Learning to wear a mask (that word already embedded in the term "masculinity") is the first lesson in patriarchal masculinity a boy learns. He learns that his core feelings cannot be expressed if they do not conform to the acceptable behaviors sexism defines as male. Asked to give up the true self in order to realize the patriarchal ideal, boys learn self-betrayal early and are rewarded for these acts of soul murder. Therapist John Bradshaw explains the splitting that takes place when a child learns that the way he organically feels is not acceptable. In response to this lesson that his true self is inappropriate and wrong, the boy learns to don a false self. Bradshaw explains, "The feeling that I have done something wrong, that I really don't know what it is, that there's something terribly wrong with my very being, leads to a sense of utter hopelessness. This hopelessness is the deepest cut of the mystified state. It means there is no possibility for me as I am; there is no way I can matter or be worthy of anyone's love as long as I remain myself. I must find a way to be someone else - someone who is lovable. Someone who is not me.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“Psychological patriarchy is a "dance of contempt," a perverse form of connection that replaces true intimacy with complex, covert layers of dominance and submission, collusion and manipulation. It is the unacknowledged paradigm of relationships that has suffused Western civilization generation after generation, deforming both sexes, and destroying the passionate bond between them.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“When feminist women told the world that patriarchy promotes woman-hating, the response was that feminists were being too extreme, exaggerating the problem. Yet when men who knew nothing about feminism claimed that feminists were man-hating, there was no response from the nonfeminist world saying that they were being too extreme. No feminists have murdered and raped men. Feminists have not been jailed day after day for their violence against men. No feminists have been accused of ongoing sexual abuse of girl children, including creating a world of child pornography featuring little girls. Yet these are some of the acts of men that led some feminist women to identify men as woman-hating.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“No significant body of feminist writing addresses boys directly, letting them know how they can construct an identity that is not rooted in sexism. There is no body of feminist children's literature that can serve as an alternative to patriarchal perspectives, which abound in the world of children's books.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“What the world needs now is liberated men who have the qualities Silverstein cites, men who are 'empathetic and strong, autonomous and connected, responsible to self, to family and friends, to society, and capable of understanding how those responsibilities are, ultimately, inseparable.' Men need feminist thinking. It it the theory that supports their spiritual evolution and their shift away from the patriarchal model. Patriarchy is destroying the well-being of men, taking their lives daily.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“There seems to be a fear that if men are raised to be people of integrity, people who can love, they will be unable to be forceful and act violently if needed.... We see that females that are raised with the traits any person of integrity embodies can act with tenderness, with assertiveness, and with aggression if and when aggression is needed.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
“Men come to sex hoping that it will provide them with all of the emotional satisfaction that would have come from love. Most men think that sex will provide them with a sense of being alive, connected, that sex will offer closeness, intimacy, pleasure. And more often than not sex simply does not deliver the goods. This fact does not lead men to cease obsessing about sex; it intensifies their lust and their longing.”
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love

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