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Man Enough: Theory and Practice In and Outside the The Classroom
Early life[ edit ] Hooks was born in Hopkinsville , a small, segregated town in Kentucky , to a working-class family. She had five sisters and one brother. An avid reader, she was educated in racially segregated public schools , and wrote of great adversities when making the transition to an integrated school, where teachers and students were predominantly white. Career[ edit ] Hooks' teaching career began in as an English professor and senior lecturer in Ethnic Studies at the University of Southern California. She adopted her maternal great-grandmother's name as a pen name because her great-grandmother "was known for her snappy and bold tongue, which [she] greatly admired". She put the name in lowercase letters "to distinguish [herself from] her great-grandmother. Black Women and Feminism in , though it was written years earlier, while she was an undergraduate student. Since the publication of Ain't I a Woman? She targets and appeals to a broad audience by presenting her work in a variety of media using various writing and speaking styles. As well as having written books, she has published in numerous scholarly and mainstream magazines, lectures at widely accessible venues, and appears in various documentaries. She asserts an answer to the question "what is feminism? A prevalent theme in her most recent writing is the community and communion, the ability of loving communities to overcome race, class, and gender inequalities. In three conventional books and four children's books, she suggests that communication and literacy the ability to read, write, and think critically are crucial to developing healthy communities and relationships that are not marred by race, class, or gender inequalities. In , hooks gave a commencement speech at Southwestern University. Eschewing the congratulatory mode of traditional commencement speeches, she spoke against what she saw as government-sanctioned violence and oppression, and admonished students who she believed went along with such practices. This was followed by a controversy described in the Austin Chronicle after an "irate Arizonian"  had criticized the speech in a letter to the editor. The Practice of Impartial Love". Her book, belonging: Mostly recently she did one for a week in October Education as the Practice of Freedom, hooks writes about a transgressive approach in education where educators can teach students to "transgress" against racial, sexual, and class boundaries in order to achieve the gift of freedom. To educate as the practice of freedom, bell hooks describes it as "a way of teaching in which anyone can learn. Hooks investigates the classroom as a source of constraint but also a potential source of liberation. She argues that teachers' use of control and power over students dulls the students' enthusiasm and teaches obedience to authority, "confin[ing] each pupil to a rote, assembly-line approach to learning. She describes teaching as a performative act and teachers as catalysts that invite everyone to become more engaged and activated. Performative aspect of learning "offers the space for change, invention, spontaneous shifts, that can serve as a catalyst drawing out the unique elements in each classroom. According to hooks, eros and the erotics do not need to be denied for learning to take place. She argues that one of the central tenets of feminist pedagogy has been to subvert the mind-body dualism and allow oneself as a teacher to be whole in the classroom, and as a consequence wholehearted. A Pedagogy of Hope. In this book, hooks offers advice about how to continue to make the classroom a place that is life-sustaining and mind expanding, a place of liberating mutuality where teacher and student together work in partnership. For hooks educating is always a vocation rooted in hopefulness. New Visions[ edit ] This section has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. Learn how and when to remove these template messages This section of a biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful. February This section relies too much on references to primary sources. Please improve this section by adding secondary or tertiary sources. April Learn how and when to remove this template message After many disputes with ex-boyfriends about the nature of love, bell hooks published All About Love: New Visions in She explains how her past two long-term boyfriends were foiled by "patriarchal thinking" and sexist gender roles, so neither relationship ever really had a chance. She continuously wanted to recommend a book for the men to read, but could not find one that would clearly make her point to support her argument. For this reason, she decided to write her own, which would go into depth about her true feelings towards love. In this book, hooks combines her personal life experiences, along with philosophical and psychological ideas, to shape her thesis and discuss her main concepts. She criticizes the way in which love is used in today's society. To further explain, how we use the word without much meaning, when referring to how much we like or enjoy our favorite ice cream, color, or game. Hooks is very disturbed by the fact that our culture has lost the true meaning of love, and believes it is because we have no shared definition. It is not about what we just feel, but more about what we do. She states, "So many people think that it's enough to say what they feel, even if their actions do not correspond to what they are feeling". Bell hooks began her book with a series of spiritual messages, which include biblical verses to support her definition of love. Hooks identifies flaws with relationships nowadays since there is a loose understanding about love. She shares personal experiences about fearing rejection and emotional pain. As a result, she acknowledges lacking full commitment and expressing vulnerability because of the fear of not receiving those things in return, so giving care and affection are the minimal expectations she had in her relationships. However, those love components were not enough. Hooks introduces the necessity of practicing self-love and care to sustain healthy relationship with a concrete understanding of love. One argument she proposes is how love cannot exist in the middle of a power struggle. Hooks goes as far as to present a number of problems she finds with our modern ideals of love and proposes their possible solutions. She includes the propositions of full reconstruction and transformation of modern-day love based on "affection, respect, recognition, commitment, trust and care" Nonfiction Book Review. Hooks also points out what she sees to be the roots of the problems regarding modern day love, those being gender stereotypes, domination, control, ego, and aggression Nonfiction Book Review. Another 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". 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. Bell hooks wrote this book to inform the world how we can change the way we think about love, our culture, and one another. She teaches us ways to love in a face of a planet of love-lessness. Her New Visions demonstrate how love is possible, and stress that all love is important—romantic, friendship, our love of strangers, and community. Feminist Theory[ edit ] Noting a lack of diverse voices in popular feminist theory , bell hooks published the book Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center in In this book, she argues that those voices have been marginalized, and states: She claimed, "Women in lower class and poor groups, particularly those who are non-white, would not have defined women's liberation as women gaining social equality with men since they are continually reminded in their everyday lives that all women do not share a common social status. Her theory encouraged the long-standing idea of sisterhood but advocated for women to acknowledge their differences while still accepting each other. Hooks challenged feminists to consider gender's relation to race, class, and sex, a concept known as intersectionality. She also argues for the importance of male involvement in the equality movement, stating that, in order for change to occur, 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. 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. Poor people do not want to hear from intellectuals because they are different and have different ideas. As bell hooks points out though, this stigma against intellectuals leads to poor people who have risen up to become graduates of post secondary education, to be shunned because they are no longer like the rest of the masses. In order for us to achieve equality, people must be able to learn from those who have been able to smash these stereotypes. This separation leads to further inequality and in order for the feminist movement to succeed, they must be able to bridge the education gap and relate to those in the lower end of the economic sphere. If they are able to do this, then there will be more success and less inequality. In "Rethinking The Nature of Work", bell hooks goes beyond discussing work and raises a pertinent question that feminists may need to ask themselves. She argues that, although we know that movies are not real life, "no matter how sophisticated our strategies of critique and intervention, [we] are usually seduced, at least for a time, by the images we see on the screen. They have power over us, and we have no power over them. Bell hooks has written a number of essays and articles, and in Reel to Real she describes her experiences growing up watching mainstream movies as well as engaging in the media. Hooks believes that to engage in film was to engage in the negation of black female representation in the media. We keep coming back to the question of representation because identity is always about representation". She wondered how much had been absorbed and carried on through the generations to shift not only parenting, but spectatorship as well. Please integrate the section's contents into the article as a whole, or rewrite the material. May Although much of the criticism aimed at hooks is in regard to politics, liberals and conservatives alike have critiqued her informal style of writing. Black Women in Feminism, hooks's writing was criticized as "ahistorical [and] unscholarly"; many[ who? Abraham suggests that, if her rationalization for not providing footnotes and bibliographic information in her writing is that it will help her reach a broader presumably a less academic audience, hooks either assumes the average person has "no real interest or knowledge about who really wrote what ideas and where we can look for more thoughts on similar subjects" or "she mean[s] that we are lazy readers who have not the sophistication to grapple with the complications of an endnote.
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