Sunday, December 26, 2010

Feminism a Movement to End Sexist Oppression - bell hooks

Feminism a Movement to End Sexist Oppression - bell hooks

bell hooks - Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center.
"hooks argues that feminism should be a political commitment, a revolutionary movement to end sexist oppression; it should not be about achieving social equality with men, creating a new lifestyle or identity. Feminism must aim at changing society and start with challenging the cultural basis of group oppression. In her opinion, no oppression is privileged - sex, race and class oppression are all interrelated - but sexist oppression is what most of us experience on a daily basis. Hooks stresses the importance for women to know what feminism is about so that they can connect with one another; she points out the collective good of feminism as opposed to privileging individual groups of women. As a strategy to bring all women together, hooks suggests a shift in expressing one's involvement in the movement from "I am a feminist" to "I advocate feminism," which, as she hopes, would eradicate women's fear of being "labeled"."

"bell hooks helps to define feminism and takes a critical look at how different branches of feminism have strayed from what she considers its ultimate goal–the struggle to end sexist oppression. Liberal feminists have focused on achieving equality with men and have not pushed for social change that will end domination. Radical feminists struggle for the deconstruction of the politics of domination but have only focused on sexism, ignoring its connections to racism and classism. hook's definition of feminism requires the understanding of domination, addresses the need for women to find their own voice and stresses that these two ideas come together to relate to women's political reality. She also argues that race and class oppression are feminist issues in that they all depend on domination and one form of domination cannot be eliminated while the others remain. Sexism can be considered the primary opression because it is the most widely felt both by the exploiter and by the exploited. She also attempts to explain the reluctance of women to identify with the feminist movement and how her definition may remedy this. "

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