I Wanna Be Literated! 094

I Wanna Be Literated! 094

Sunday, 17 January 2016

A critical evaluation of Feminist Theory from Margin to Center by Bell Hooks.

Without knowing the context in which Feminist Theory was written, it’s hard to distinguish whether it was written as a response to feminism today or thirty years ago – but that doesn’t matter, really. What does matter is that there are many things we (feminists or not) can learn today from this book.

Now I’m going to avoid writing Bell Hooks’ name after this sentence because I don’t want to fight with Microsoft Word about this, so I’ll stick to referring to her as “the author.” Feminist Theory from Margin to Center has a lot going for it in its aim to try and push feminism to being more progressive, because its ideas are so fundamentally essential. Even though the author peppers her points with angry ranting, her argument that feminism has essentially taken on a bourgeois white characteristic are unfortunately as valid today as they were in the Eighties and failure to recognize that this puts lower class non-white women at a more difficult position when they are told they don’t need their male (and more privileged) companion in their life. Also interesting are her arguments that one cannot be a real supporter of feminism and be for patriarchy, capitalism, and racism, and that includes being in positions of power at work (think modern-day CEOs), or supporting attempts at making women dominant over any other groups instead of being equals. It’s as if this book came out this year!

Although some aspects of this book like her portrayal of black women already being a perfect feminist progressive being and not needing any teaching or coaching (especially not from anyone who is white) seem contradictory and unclear, there are nevertheless too many ideas here that are still relevant today, which makes the author far ahead of her time and Feminist Theory still a very worthwhile read.

Of course, when one steps back and realizes that all of this basically means that feminism needs to be more like communist or anarchist movements to be relevant makes one wonder why we need the feminist movement in the first place if they’re just playing catch-up. [Ollie Ottoman]

Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center is available now. Buy it here on Amazon

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