Blog 1 : Feminism

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.

Blog 1: Defining Feminism

People define feminism in many different ways and there are also a lot of different perceptions of feminism but Valenti and hook’s definitions are similar in the way that they refer back to the dictionary definition of feminism. They define feminism as simply the equality of the sexes. They acknowledge the different versions and interpretations of feminism but they emphasize how feminism is not anti-male, the only goal is equality and getting rid of the ways in which men and women are negatively affected by toxic stereotypes about gender and the patriarchy. Valenti’s feminism is rooted in women’s empowerment and how sexism and the degradation of women has the goal of making women feel like they are not good enough the way that way are. Feminism to hook is rooted in intersectionality and she emphasizes how feminism is for every single person of every gender, not just for middle-class white women. These two women also dismantle the misconceptions about what the feminist movement actually is. 

I would personally define feminist in the same way as Valenti and hooks did. Feminists want equality of everyone regardless of gender but also regardless of race, class, sexuality, disability and any identity that has intersects with gender that has often been overlooked in conversation in regards to feminism.

I really like how Valenti mentions how a lot of insults towards both men and women have undertones that express how being a woman or being feminine is considered an insult. This is one of the ways that sexism is ingrained so deep into little things and it is hard to notice. I also like how she mentioned that feminists have often been associated with masculinity as an insult. She is showing how women are constructed and insulted for the way they express their gender no matter what. This is also applicable to men but the mention of women being confined into a box where they can’t be too feminine or masculine is also another way that gender stereotypes and sexism affects women. Valenti is vocal on social media and as a journalist and hooks has written many books and I really appreciate how they are using their voices and platforms to educate people and spread awareness about issues that matter to them because it will inspire others to be passionate and speak out as well.

Blog 1: Feminism

First off, from their point of view, both Jessica Valenti and Bell Hooks agree that feminism is a movement which tends to be seen has anti-men and promote hating men. From Bell Hooks point of view, she promotes her ideas in a more passive way when taking about how feminists are viewed and portrayed by the media. While Jessica Valenti show a more antagonistic approach of how the media sees feminist as evil ugly women. From her point of view the media try to take the light of the issue and divert the attention to how feminist look. Saying that, both authors do agree that men don’t necessarily see feminism for what it is, they rather have taken their opinion from a “third party source” like the media who constantly make fun of the idea. For both these authors, feminism is the future, it’s an idea which should have come to fruition a long time ago. But due to mens fear of losing power, the subject as become a topic which isn’t being taken seriously anymore.  For them becoming a feminist would mean to end the current structure which only allows one ground of individual to profit off the other.

Secondly, from my perspective, a feminist is somebody who believes that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It’s essentially the theory of having political and economic equal no matter the gender. But lately feminism has become a unpopular word due to the negative connotations attack to it. For example, being anti-men. Therefore, most people see being a feminist as being a negative person. The definition I had of what is a feminist hasn’t change after reading the essays because although the reading provides more details about the subject, the core message didn’t change. Which is why I think that idea of feminism needs the be revamped and give a new look to what feminism is without the old negative stereotypes.   

In Bell Hooks essay, the section where she speaks about male privilege mainly due to patriarchy really made me think about how evident her point is. It very true that most men benefit from the established regime and do have what she called a passive role when it comes to supporting patriarchy. Finally, the research I did for both authors didn’t change my perspective on their article because from Bell hooks point, we can see that the tries spread her message with a more educative tone and Jessica Valensti tries to showcase her opinions with a more antagonistic approach.

Blog 1: Men Trying to Define Feminism


Even though these two writers have different writing styles, they share similar ideas on what feminism means. The definition of feminism Valenti gave was the one in dictionary: “[belief] in the social, political and economic equality of sexes” (Valenti 6). This broad definition goes with the title of her essay, “You’re a Hardcore Feminist I Swear”, as it tells the reader that he or she is a feminist and does not even know it. Valenti wants women not to be afraid of affirming their feminist views to the world. She takes time to vividly shred the image of stereotypical man-hating, ugly, fat, old feminist in order to show that anybody can be part of this social movement no matter how you look.

On her side, bell hooks defines feminism as a “movement to end sexism, sexual exploitation, and oppression” (hooks 12). She states that not only women can be the victim of sexism, but also men. She also touches the stereotype that feminists angry anti-male women and explains that it is not the case anymore, that there are different types of feminists, a bit like Valenti did. Even though the definitions of both authors are different, they express the same desire of living in a world where men and women can flourish hand in hand. However, as Valenti agrees that feminism is everywhere and people are starting to notice its presence; hooks believes that the feminist movement should reinvent itself because she thinks it has lost its meaning. She wants to reinvigorate the lost meaning of feminism in order to end gender inequality for good.

Feminism is important for these women because for them it is about justice. They feel that something is off, that there is a certain unfairness between the two sexes; they think the way men and women interact is not correct and that it needs to change. Both authors were touched by problems that feminism tries to solve. Valenti had experiences as a child, when her crush told her she had an ugly nose, an experience that made her see that there is an unfairness in the way women’s appearance is a thing that drives a lot of their life. hooks had personal problems in her teenage years as she was depressed and even suicidal. Feminism is what gave her hope for a better world; it gave meaning to her life. She saw the occasion to fight for equality and justice in her community as it was also victim of racism. She desires to see everyone no matter their race and their gender to live equally.


Feminists have themselves different definitions of what is feminism; however, what they all desire is a certain justice between both sexes. They essentially demand that every individual is treated fairly no matter how they look like. I would say that my definition sounds like the one you find in Valenti’s dictionary: “[belief] in the social, political and economic equality of sexes” (Valenti 6). However, like hooks, I think feminist movement should change its approach. The feminism that we knew is less relevant today, because the differences between men and women are, at least in the Occident, harder to see. Men and women are equal, legally speaking; it is stated in the law that no one should suffer discrimination depending on its gender. Especially for men, it is harder to see were the inequalities are. Women have a different perspective and they could easily see what men have to look harder for. For a movement that proclaims to be about solve injustices between men and women, I don’t see a lot of men that call themselves feminists. For a movement that is meant to make the dynamics between men and women more just, I do not see a lot of men that call themselves feminists. Why is that? Feminism is indeed about everybody’s life better, so why don’t call themselves feminists. Is it because these men fear not being able to oppress the woman anymore? That is absurd. Perhaps, it could be that feminism should be portrayed differently to men. The major explanation of why men are not feminists yet is that most men are having a hard time understanding what is feminism really about. We should encourage sexes to often have discussions about what they think gender issues are, so that everybody can have a global perspective about social and gender inequality. Because in order to achieve equality between both sexes, we equally need men and women.

What made me stop in my reading was bell hooks closing statement is the closing statement of bell hooks, because she exactly pulled the words out of my mouth. I think, like her, that feminism is at a point where it should redefine itself in order to end gender inequality once and for all. Essential feminism possesses fundamental values that any individual with a minimal sense of morality also has, such as justice and equity. Like hooks, said we have the definitions, we just have to use them. As I mentioned previously, men have to be engaged in the fight for social equity as much as women do.

Blog 1: Trying to define Feminism

More and more people are identifying as feminists today. But what exactly is a feminist? 

Jessica Valenti’s definition of feminism in her work “This Is What a Feminist Looks Like” and Bell Hooks’ definition of feminism in her work “Feminism Is for Everybody” are similar as both authors talk about the common misconception of feminism, that it is about being anti-men and that feminists are frustrated women wanting to be like men. In their definitions, both authors agree that feminism is not about hatred or having “antis”, but about women wanting to have a better life and not being disadvantaged just because of their sex. However, Valenti and Hooks’s definitions are also different as Hooks states that it is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression and Valenti states that it is about feeling good about yourself as a woman and about being progressive. Hooks thinks of it as a movement as opposed to Valenti. In addition, Hooks uses a more formal language than Valenti, which is another difference in their definitions. Feminism is important to these authors as they have both experienced sexism in their personal lives and they have both noticed it in the lives of other women. Valenti and Hooks realize the progress women have made over the past years. However, there are still inequalities between the sexes today, which is why it is important for them to continue to fight for equal rights to end sexism as a whole. 

Based on what I have read, I would define a feminist as a human being of any background with any physical trait that has the belief that men and women are equals and should be treated the same way in life with the same rights and freedoms, the same opportunities, etc. It is a person that wants to end sexist oppression and exploitation. After the reading, my definition of a feminist changed as feminism is also about ending sexist exploitation and oppression, which I did not know before. 

The section titled “Feel-Good Feminism” by Jessica Valenti really struck me and made me think as it shows that women are constantly brought down with negative comments about their intellect, their physical appearance, their habits, etc. This part of Valenti’s essay really made me stop and think about these comments and how they make women feel like they’re not normal. These remarks can truly dictate how a woman acts and perceives herself from a very young age. This struck me as it made me think that women are never really safe from other people’s judgment and they have to learn to be strong and deal with all these remarks and expectations that society puts on them. From this section, I learned that feminism gives women a safe space to make them feel good about themselves.

After doing some research about the authors, I found it very interesting having read about authors of different ages with different cultural backgrounds. The information I encountered made sense to me as I expected that it was a younger author that wrote “This Is What a Feminist Looks Like” as it contains many swear words and a very familiar type of language, which is easier to read and relate to if you are young. On the other hand, Bell Hooks, an African-American woman that lived through racism and sexism in her life, took a more composed approach stating her points clearly to support feminism using a more formal type of language. My research did not change my appreciation for their articles. It gave me a background on the women that wrote them, which makes me understand more the texts. 

Written by William Romero-Muskus

Blog 1: The definition of feminism can differ from someone to another.

Feminism is a strong word, that could mean a lot of different things. People often use it without knowing exactly what it’s supposed to mean. Here, Jessica Valenti and Bell Hooks gave us some definitions from their own point of view and how they see feminism. Their definitions could be seen similar in a certain way, which is how they agree that a woman should be treated better and with respect no matter what gender or race she is. What might seem different in their definitions is that Valenti sees feminism as a person movement and she talks more about what a woman can do to make a movement towards her goal. On the other hand, for Hooks, she sees feminism more as a group movement, we are all in this together, and if we want to see a difference we should all act on it together.

Feminism is important to these authors because it’s all what they believe in and hold into. They made it clear that it is feminism that gave their lives a purpose. So they had to let everyone sees what they see in feminism and how it effected them.

My idea of feminism didn’t change that much after reading the essays. Their explanations of it, assured me that I was on the right track. And for me, feminism is what should women learn from day one, they should learn how to self-respect, self-love and self-care. Because in the end, no one would help you more than you.

Although I know it’s true, it still shocked me how one word can have a big influence on someone’s life. Ugly. As Valenti said: “ugly stays with you. It’s powerful, and that’s why stereotype is so perfect”, using one word, women can be brought down and start thinking that there’s something wrong with them. Unfortunately, this word blinds them and doesn’t let them see how perfect they are without doing anything. We all know how words can effect and hurt people yet we still use them to shut people down. Every women is perfect in her own way, she just has to see it herself.

After doing a bit of research about the authors, I can tell that each one of them is writing the definition from the time she is living in. Since there’s a big difference in their age, each one is expressing feminism the way she thinks it’s right in her own time with her own knowledge and experiences. In the end, both of them did a great job explaining feminism.

~ Carol Soliman.

Blog 1: Defining Feminism

Jessica Valenti and bell hooks think it is necessary to promote their definition of feminism so that it would end all the stereotypes surrounding the goals and beliefs of feminism. For example, some people say that feminism is anti-male. By giving their definition, the reader can see that it is far from it. Personally, I understood better the word feminism because of the definitions that the authors. Both of their explanations are identical in a way, but they are very different. The definition of feminism by Valenti is straight out of the dictionary. On the other hand, Hooks said her definition in her own words. Another aspect that distinguishes their definitions is that Valenti definition tells only about the “equality of the sexes” whereas Hooks talks more about the purpose of feminism “end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression”, but Valenti tells more about the mind of a feminist or as she says the “belief”. Moreover, the similarities of their explanations of feminism are that they both have the word “movement” meaning it is a group that wants change. Also, it explains that they do not want unjust discrimination based on a person’s sexe.

For the authors, feminism is important because they want to end the division between men and women. They both want equality of sexes. More precisely for Valenti it is important because that would enable to end the pressure many women face about their physical appearance, psychological performance and social behaviors. In other words, she wants all women to feel good about themselves and to have the same rights as men. For Hooks it is important because she wants the world to know that everyone is created equally. It would also end the idea of patriarchy and all other ways of life where one sexe dominates another sexe. Hooks say she wants more advertisements to eliminate sexism. In my opinion, feminism is important because it gives provides fair rights to everyone. For example, women could have the same salary as men for the same amount of work hours. My definition of a feminist is a person who wants to eliminate the inequality of sexes in society. This definition is not a lot different from the idea that I held before reading the essay of Valenti and Hooks because our education system teached me a lot more about equal rights for every human no matter what their background, gender, orientation and sexe. The only aspect of my definition that is different is that before I thought that feminist can only be a woman, but I learned that anybody can be one and that’s the reason why I wrote a “person” and not a “woman”.

What struck me the most in the essay of Jessica Valenti it’s how a girl is the worst thing that you can say to someone. In other words, if you want to emotionally hurt a person feeling you can say anything bad that is related to the word women. As Valenti says “the worst you can call a girl is a girl”. I just realized that to some degree it is true, however, it is very disappointing to hear that women can be an insult even I a western society.

In conclusion, Jessica Valenti did a lot of things in social media to make more awareness about the feminist movement so that younger generations do not grow in an unequal and sexist society. In addition, she wrote many books that explain more in-depth the feminist movement. Furthermore, bell hooks did a lot of talks wrote books to make some awareness about the goals of feminism by giving public talks in universities and writing numerous articles and books. I appreciate both writers for all the hard work that they have done by talking about the subject that many people around the world are against. They are solving a big problem in our world and that’s why they are role models for our current and future generations.

Written by Hassan Waheed

Title : The true definition of feminism

  Feminism was defined by a lot of persons in very different ways. It’s often seen like something negative and can even be perceived as an anti-men movement. Jessica Valentini and Bell Hooks explain that feminism is not something made to suppress men, but rather a movement to support women’s rights and give them the same treatment and opportunities that men have. Feminism is something that should be supported by everybody, because it’s all about making our society a better place for everybody, no matter what gender they are. But, these two authors have some differences in their definitions. The main difference is that Jessica Valentini doesn’t have a precise definition of feminism and Hooks thinks that it’s really a movement that fights for equal rights for all sexes.

  After reading these articles, my perception of feminism changed a little bit. I think that feminism is made to fight for equality and to simply make our world a better and a more fair place. The one thing that changed is that I finally realized that sexism is more present in our society then what I thought. Sexism against women is not just about making less money then men, but also in little things like insults. As said Jessica Valentini, most of the insults are linked with females, making it seem that being a female is a bad thing. Some people will say that it’s just a detail, but I think that these details make all the difference. I realized that feminism is not only fighting for basic women rights, but also for the way everybody perceives women and their role in our society. Another thing that made me think, is how Jessica Valentini thinks that everybody should be a feminist, I think that her opinion on this subject is mostly true, because as she says feminism is all about making a fair world for everybody, so feminism should be supported not only by women, but by everybody.

  I also did some research about these two authors and found out how Jessica Valentini got into the whole idea of feminism and how she helps people around the world to understand it, she’s also very passionate about this subject and is a very active member in the society. Bell Hooks is really a special persona, she had some very difficult tasks in her life, but she always fought for what she thought was right and I find her very special.

Blog 1: Similar views of feminists

Fighting for rights has been somethings humans have started doing centuries ago. Today, feminists are keeping this fight alive, not to acquire new or absurd rights, but just enough to be completely considered as equal to men and remove sexism. Jessica Valenti and Bell Hooks have written about feminism and have given their own opinions on it. Achieving rights by standing up for equality has been the source of motivation for many. Jessica believes that having thoughts such as believing that a person will be paid less for the same position as a woman is enough to demonstrate that there is still some form of inequality remaining in the world and that feminism would help eliminate this thought eventually. In Hook’s case, feminism is losing its power and position in the world. Those who seek equality and to end sexism have been oppressed by society, yet it is not a reason to give up. Society has become dominated by men and it will not change if there is no one to fight back and break free from this system.

Jessica believes that every single action taken or thought processed by each one of us that seeks equality between women and men makes us a feminist. Similarly, Hook believes that feminism is a movement to end all sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression. In both beliefs, anyone could be considered a feminist as long as they seek equality and wish to end sexism. However, Jessica has more individual approach to this movement than Hook, she focuses more on an action that every one of us as individuals would take and would ultimately group to form a force to be reckoned with instead of Hook, who seeks to view this situation as a phenomena that affect us all and we should all make decisions as a group to be more effective. Feminism has been something both of the authors heard repeatedly throughout their lives. They both have released that feminism is not something that is considered good by society. It is something strange, unwanted and useless according to some. They believe that this ideology is wrong and that the unfairness in society is real and needs to be addressed.

 After reading the texts, my view of feminists has changed. I now do believe that everyone that would think of just a scenario in which a woman is being treated unfairly due to any reason and that the person would genuinely think that the act is unfair would be considered a feminist.

 The first few paragraphs of You’re a Hardcore Feminist. I Swear. She mentions that most of the insults are directly linked to a girl. I did not notice that most of the swear word people use are actually terms that are associated with girls and that was a remark very clever from the author as I did not notice this myself. This made me stop and realize that the author had been right and that this fact had more significance than it did on the surface.

 After some research, the writing style that was used in the texts was made clearer. Valenti, a person that had been living in a populated area such as New York and is relevantly young did not fear using swear words. On the contrary, the use of such words helped youngsters understand faster. Hook was a person that had seen the cruelty of racism with her very own eyes. In her text, explaining racism and not being emotionally too driven into it and instead, explaining it in a calm way that relied only on facts was the probably the better approach to explaining her point and promoting feminism in her story.

Blog 1: My Blog Trying to Define Feminism

Briana Panaccione

Blog 1

Jessica Valenti and Bell Hooks share a very similar opinion on feminism. Feminism to them is having gender equality. It is a way to find your self and a way to make us women feel more empowered and realize our worth as human beings. Feminism is a way of learning to respect your self and your values. Both authors defend feminism as not being anti men or all of the other negative and degrading stereotypes people portray on them, rather it should be seen as being a movement for equality and female respect and justice. Jessica Valenti argues more on the fact that us women shouldn’t be constantly judged on what people think is the “right way” women should act. She argues that there shouldn’t be any determined way or idea of how a woman should be because we are all different and should all feel free to be who we are. We should feel ashamed or have to be judged by others for not fitting in the false ideal of how women should be because really, there is none and there shouldn’t be any. Bell hooks in the other hand argues for similar women rights but focusses mainly on ending sexism for women as well as men and to defend feminist of different face and groups as well. She believes we all need to work together to not only end sexism, but to end racism, class elitism etc., in order to achieve equality for the sexes. Feminism over all is important to both authors because it helped them find their place in the world and made them become wiser, stronger and more passionate.

In my opinion, a feminist is someone who is tired of women being degraded and put down all the time. A feminist is someone who realizes and understands that women should have all equal rights of men and vise versa. There should not be a gender that is superior to others and there should not be stereotypes on how any of the sexes are expected to act. We are all equal and we should all feel free to act in any way we feel is most natural.  Feminist are strong minded individuals who are creating a stronger and more powerful image of what a woman is supposed to be seen and treated as; and it is also for women to realize that we deserve better and to fight for our worth. My idea of feminism prior to reading these texts would be the same, although I do feel a stronger strive and better understanding of the need to support feminism.

A part in the text that made me reflect was when Bell Hooks talks about other injustices we need to end in order to have a peaceful world. She mentions having a world without racism, sexism, domination and so much more. This struck me because I realized if it weren’t for all these injustices and stereotypes, then people would be much kinder and genuine, we would all have a greater human nature to be kind and respectful and to value all that is different. It would be amazing to live in a world that wasn’t affected by all these unethical issues.

Learning about the authors definitely enhances the meaning of these texts because it relates to them through personal experiences of injustice; especially with Bell hooks, her experience was not only to defend feminism, but she also experienced racial issues as a black woman fighting for her rights with feminism as well.