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41 pages 1 hour read

bell hooks

Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics

Nonfiction | Essay Collection | Adult | Published in 2000

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Index of Terms

Feminism

According to hooks’s definition, feminism is “a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression” (1). She is careful to avoid definitions that cast men as “the enemy” (1). The reason so many view feminism as “anti-male,” writes hooks, is that “most folks learn about feminism from patriarchal mass media” (1).

hooks narrows her definition of feminism when discussing what she refers to as “visionary feminism.” Though rooted in reality, visionary feminism imagines “possibilities beyond that reality” (110). It operates in opposition to more reactionary forms of so-called “feminism.” Those reactionary approaches to feminism aim to improve women’s economic position relative to men, without critiquing the capitalistic patriarchal status quo. By contrast, visionary feminism embraces progressive, compassionate policies that run counter to all systems of oppression, including white supremacy.

Sexism

Sexism is prejudice, oppression, and discrimination on the basis of sex, typically against women. When anybody, regardless of sex or gender, behaves as if men are superior to women, that person has engaged in sexist thinking. Importantly, hooks believes that sexism is very damaging to men and boys as well, given that it reinforces patriarchal dynamics that are unhealthy for everyone.

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