Bell Hooks - Feminist Theory

Feminist Theory

Bell Hooks published the work in 1984 after noting a lack of diverse voices in popular feminist theory. In Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center she explains that those voices have been marginalized. “To be in the margin is to be part of the whole but outside the main body.” . She used the work as a platform to offer a new more inclusive feminist theory. Her theory encouraged the long-standing idea of sisterhood but advocated for women to acknowledge their differences while still accepting each other. bell hooks challenged feminists to consider gender’s relation to race, class, and sex, a concept coined as intersectionality. Hooks covers the importance of male involvement in the equality movement, that in order to make change men must do their part. Hooks also calls for a restructuring of the cultural framework of power, one that does not find oppression of others necessary..

Part of this restructuring involves allowing men into the feminist movement, so that there is not a separationist ideology, so much as an incorporating camaraderie. Additionally, she shows great appreciation for the movement away from feminist thought as led by bourgeois white women, and towards a multidimensional gathering of both genders to fight for the raising up of women. This shifts the original focus of feminism away from victimization, and towards harboring understanding, appreciation, and tolerance for all genders and sexes so that all are in control of their own destinies, uncontrolled by patriarchal, capitalist tyrants .

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