Feminism is a term that, once you have heard, might sound simple as first. But the stories behind it and the negativity that is associated to that word are what many people are trying to fight against.
Both Valenti and Hook describe feminism as a movement that many perceive as being led by crazy lesbians, considered as beings from a totally different planet here to take over the world. They both debunk this ‘’myth’’ by explaining that society has made it so that everything is harder for women to reach since barriers are continuously blocking their path, and superficial standards are expected from them at all times. What differs between the two authors is the fact that Hook uses more of a political perspective to analyze feminism, appealing to an older and more intellectual public. In contrast, Valenti uses her anger, her personal opinions and recent events to do the same and to reach anyone ready to be shaken up by her choice of language, no matter the age. Feminism is important to both of them in the sense that they both believe that we are all born equal and should thus also live as equals.
Based on what I have read, the definition of a feminist is one where someone believes in human rights and equality. It is also the idea that one does not have to proclaim oneself a feminist to truly be one; one can simply feel for others and understand their struggles. However, this definition is not one that many WANT to understand, and it is fine, as long as all the good they have been unconsciously doing – because not everyone is all evil – keeps on getting done. This description of the term is not entirely different than the initial idea I held of it in terms of meaning, but I have to admit that my reading of the texts has given me a much stronger sense of belonging to it, and to the ideologies and the ways of life attached to it.
A section from Valenti’s essay that really caught me off guards and made me stop to think for a moment is when she mentioned that we are all brought up to believe that something is wrong with us because this is what society wants us to believe. It has made me realize that this mentality is one that has been purposely indoctrinated on society, and that does not exist only because of historical events. The powerful men of the world are ready to do anything to stay in a position of dominance, and they know how to do it perfectly. It is by perpetuating these false beliefs on feminism and womanhood in general, that they do so, which also explains why feminism is a fight that still needs to be fought for today. It is after some research on both authors that I have confirmed this thought and that I have realized that feminism has a bright future ahead. If it is possible for one to be as successful as these two women, and to be followed by millions of individuals for works on an issue that is said to be ‘’resolved’’, it is that work still is to be done and that more people are interested in the matter than initially alleged.