Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ms. Hooks, Telling It How It Is

Some notes from Bell Hooks' handy feminism guide, "Feminism is Everybody:"

- Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression.

-In this country, feminists are made, not born, just as demur, mold-fitting women, are.

-The big problem with combating sexism is the FALSE idea that it is all about men-haters. Rather, the truth is that sexism permeates all of us.

- The "enemy within" is the idea of women being "trained" to hate other women. This is because we are meant to first hate ourselves.

-If a woman is anti-choice she cannot be a feminist because that means a woman does not have control of her own body, which, in turn, eliminates rights in other areas of her life.

-Consumerism/capitalism seems to continue the struggle because they have a product to sell: makeup, certain clothes, hair products, baby products, etc. If a woman does not buy she is stuck...

-Says that feminism is "the commitment to eradicating the ideology of domination that permeates Western culture on various levels: sex, race and class, and so on. It is also a commitment to reorganizing U.S. society so that the self-development of people can take precedence over imperialism, economic expansion and material desires.

-The feminist movement allows women to see that they have a CHOICE to wear heels, skirts, pants, makeup, etc.

-Unfortunately the media highlights feminists, or women who choose to not conform to the socialized form of clothing and identification, as ugly or frumpy. Magazines plaster their pages with before and after photos, with the “made-up” woman being the beautiful one.

-Some white women believe(d) that their liberation will get them out of their homes and in to the workforce, while minorities (race and class alike) strive towards the ability to have the choice to be in the home, as that avenue would be freedom.

-Lesbian feminists were integral in the classism scope, as they never imagined their lives with a husband. Stepping around the hetero-normatively of our society facilitates seeing situations more clearly.

-U.S. women have to be weary about “liberate” women in other countries, as they may not know what is best for other cultures. By ignoring this, women – in this way – are no better off than their Western male counterparts who persist on ruling women, and other countries.

-The media spins the struggle of women in other countries as worse than the ladies in the U.S., for example wearing the hijab. This pushes women, and men, here in the States to be in a state of ignorant bliss.