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Often when arguing about feminism on the internet, I hear from my opponents – well there are just sooo many types of feminism – how can my brain handle all this variation.  Let’s just simplify the notion a touch.  There is the feminism that pleases men and there is the feminism that doesn’t.  The feminism that does not please men has held on to its political character and theoretical basis.

bell hooks describes these two flavours of feminism:

“Lifestyle feminism ushered in the notion that there could be as many versions of feminism as there were women. Suddenly the politics was being slowly removed from feminism. And the assumption prevailed that no matter what a woman’s politics, be she conservative or liberal, she too could fit feminism into her existing lifestyle. Obviously this way of thinking has made feminism more acceptable because its underlying assumption is that women can be feminists without fundamentally challenging and changing themselves or the culture.”

-bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody.

bellhooks

Just started reading Hooks’ treatise on Love.  Only twenty two pages but already word-gold is present:

  One of the most important social myths we must debunk if we are to become a more loving culture is the one that teaches parents that abuse and neglect can coexist with love.  Abuse and neglect negate love.  Care and affirmation, the opposite of abuse and humiliation, are the foundation of love.  no one can rightfully claim to loving when behaving abusively.  Yet parents do this all the time in our culture.  Children are being told that they are loved even though they are being abused.

   It is a testimony to the failure of loving practice that abuse is happening in the first place.

-bell hooks.  All About Love. p.22

Seems like simple stuff right?  Slam it into real life contexts though with raising and living with children and just watch the complexity mushroom.  Discipline and family interactions need to be constantly evaluated and reflected upon to see if this simple sounding maxim is being maintained.

 

“Lifestyle feminism ushered in the notion that there could be as many versions of feminism as there were women. Suddenly the politics was being slowly removed from feminism. And the assumption prevailed that no matter what a woman’s politics, be she conservative or liberal, she too could fit feminism into her existing lifestyle. Obviously this way of thinking has made feminism more acceptable because its underlying assumption is that women can be feminists without fundamentally challenging and changing themselves or the culture.”

-bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody.

Damn women getting all uppity and full of agency, the nerve…

“Men celebrated our sexual liberation — our willingness to freely give and enjoy blow jobs and group sex, our willingness to experiment with anal penetration — but ultimately many males revolted when we stated that our bodies were territories that they could not occupy at will. Men who were ready for female sexual liberation if it meant free pussy, no strings attached, were rarely ready for feminist female sexual agency. This agency gave us the right to say yes to sex, but it also empowered us to say no.”
bell hooks, Communion: The Female Search for Love

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