Thesis on bell hooks

Another powerful argument hooks discusses is one in which she describes how starting from a very young age, boys and girls are constantly being knocked down and told to fit into the tiny boxes of characteristics that are expected of them. hooks points out that the boy is denied his right to show, or even have, any true feelings. To further explain, she uses men in the American culture as an example, and describes how they have been socialized to mistrust the value and power of love. While the girl is taught that the most important thing she can do is change herself and her own feelings, with the hopes of attracting and pleasing everyone else. These unfair expectations lead boys and girls to grow up into men and women who are convinced that lies are the way to go, and no one should be showing their truest feelings to each other. This leads to the paradox hooks points out because in order to have a functional, and healthy loving relationship, honesty is a natural requirement. In bell hooks's own words, "Lies may make people feel better, but they do not help them to know love" (hooks). Another central argument in hooks's All About Love is the way in which it is almost impossible for women to find happiness in what she sees as a brutal culture where men are taught to worry more about sexual satisfaction and performance than actually loving someone. This reality pointed out by hooks, paired with the fact that women focus so strongly on obtaining themselves a partner, leads to most relationships being completely one sided. In this case, the men are emotionally satisfied, and the women are left without any true happiness. hooks points out that despite these evident problems in modern-day love culture, love can be revived, and this is what she is arguing throughout her book.

As shown by the claim from Harding that appears at the end of the previous section, feminist standpoint theorists argue that the epistemic and political advantages of beginning enquiry from within women’s lived experiences are not limited to providing a truer account of those lives, but of all the lives and socio-political relations within which those lives are enmeshed. Initial enquiry in women’s lived experiences, mediated by the politicized consciousness that emerges within a feminist standpoint, reveals the way in which male-dominated ideologies distort reality. Standpoints make visible aspects of social relations and of the natural world that are unavailable from dominant perspectives, and in so doing they generate the kinds of questions that will lead to a more complete and true account of those relations. Feminist standpoint theorists point out that, in order to survive within social structures in which one is oppressed, one is required to understand practices of oppression, to understand both oppressed and oppressor; but, this epistemic bi-polarity is neither required of, nor available to, the dominant. For example, the colonized have to learn the language of the colonizer—the New Zealand Māori learned English while use of the Māori language was strongly discouraged, for instance—in order to survive colonization, but the colonizer need not learn the language of the colonized in order to survive. The colonized, then, have some means of entry into the world of the colonizer, and the potential for gaining some understanding of how the world works from that perspective, but the colonizer is generally shut out of the world of the colonized and restricted to a mono-visual view of how the world is. The double vision afforded via the social location of women and other marginalized groups can provide the epistemic advantage of insights into social relations that are unavailable to the non-marginalized. An illustration of the way in which the often undervalued, messy caring work (caring for the sick and the elderly, bearing and raising children, unrewarding, unpaid domestic labor, emotional labor) in which women are traditionally engaged offers productive epistemic starting points; Hartsock cites a passage from Marilyn French’s novel The Women’s Room:

Thesis on bell hooks

thesis on bell hooks

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