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.