To begin, feminism is considered such a powerful movement that has changed the world in countless positive ways for women. It has brought attention to the inequality that has been going on between the two sexes for generations. However, every woman has their own perspective and opinion on this movement that is inspirational for some yet controversial for others.
Firstly, Jessica Valenti and bell hooks have very interesting viewpoints concerning feminism. Valenti believes that it is a way of telling women that they do not need to follow the norms and expectations that society inherently expects them to abide to. She portrays the message that every woman is good enough and that every woman should feel good about themselves and have self-respect. According to Valenti, feminism makes life better, and it is a powerful movement that keeps changing with diversity and uniqueness. In addition, she mentions that the feminist movement comes with many stereotypes and negative biases that were created by people with opposing views to feminism. These stereotypes act as proof that feminism is still present in today’s societies across the globe. To continue, bell hooks gave her share of what feminism is. Her perspective is that it is a movement that drives to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression. She conveys the message that feminism breaks the male domination that has been in place for decades. In her opinion, this movement lets women find their true selves which leads them to become fully self-actualized. Once the women has accepted herself, she will have peace and the presence of possibility and everlasting opportunity. She wants everyone to be who they truly are, no matter their gender, race, religion or class. hooks states that all women have their own way of understanding feminism and that creates different types of the movement.
Secondly, it is important to recognize the similarities and differences of both of their perspectives on feminism. The different thoughts of Valenti and hooks demonstrate the diversity of feminism and how it can change depending on each individual. Valenti describes feminism as a movement that revolves around making one feel good and respected. However, hooks’ focus is on male domination and how feminism fights for the abolition of sexism. On the other hand, these two ladies do have many points in common. They both agree that feminism fights for equality between males and females (politically, socially, economically). Also, they both state that feminism results in self-actualization and self-respect. Feminism is important for these two women because they have grown tired of society’s pressure on women which results in the feeling of being inferior. They know that every girl was brought up with the mentality of something being wrong with them and feminism has the power of eliminating those negative thoughts. They find it very important to bring awareness to people about this situation and hopefully, they will get more people to change their behavior concerning this issue.
Thirdly, I see myself as a feminist, however my definition of feminism may alter from what you have previously read. According to me, feminism is a movement whose main goal is to create equality between men and women in every domain. It is a movement that shows men that women have the capacity of doing anything a man can do. Feminism instills courage and hopes to result in both genders being identical. My definition did not change from before reading these two articles to after analyzing them, however it did open my eye to some things that I did not think about before. The section of Valenti’s article that stuck with me most, was the first paragraph where she spoke about the worst names that you can call a man or a woman. The names called out for the women were very hurtful. However, the words for the men were softer and many of them were calling them girls. “The worst thing you can call a girl is a girl.” is the line that struck me and shocked me because of how truthful it is. After doing some research on both writers, I have grown more respect for them knowing that they have done so much for women. They both have written many books to bring awareness to people on the issues surrounding feminism. They have both contributed to help create the foundation concerning this situation and they inspire me to stand for what I believe is right. I consider these two ladies to be an inspiration based on what they stand for.