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

One thought on “Blog 1: Defining Feminism

  1. I’m glad you learned about what a feminist is and from your text, I think you are one! Very true! The “girl” insult being the harshest insult really makes you wonder about the society we live in today. We should appreciate women more and stop using these insults period.


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