Everyone seems to have different interpretation of that word. Some use feminism as an insult, others use it to empower not only themselves but also others around them, man or woman. Jessica Valenti and Bell Hooks both point out very quickly the stigma that arises with the use of that word. The stereotypical ideas of feminism are equally as bad with sayings like feminists are all ugly and hairy lesbians. Both authors mention that feminism should not be associated to movements that are consistently negative or radical; the point is not to be anti-man. Hooks even states that this movement should not be confused for a bunch of angry women wanting to be like men; you’ve missed the point if that’s your conclusion of feminism. Jessica Valenti even mentions that feminism is to show you there’s nothing wrong with you as a woman. The empowerment comes from feeling good about yourself and not letting others tell you how to behave and be.
“The worst thing you can call a girl is a girl. The worst thing you can call a guy is a girl. Being a woman is the ultimate insult.” That’s one of my favorite passages from Jessica Valenti’s work because I never realized how much this applies to me and to everyone around me. See, as girls, my best friends and I often call each other insults that only relate to women. The reasoning behind it is simple, we as women took what insults are thrown at us and make them apart of our culture so outsiders simply can’t hurt us with them. But I never realized that certain traits of toxic masculinity can be easily solved if we just stopped treating women like they didn’t deserve respect. This just makes it even more obvious that feminism is not outdated and very much so still relevant to us today. The statement also proves even more that men can also be feminist if they just recognize how much we undermine women so easily. Putting everything I’ve known and read so far, I’d like to define feminism as a movement anyone can partake in that recognizes women as equals to men, moves towards the goal of reaching true quality and fully supports every woman.
To learn more about these two authors, I decided to search them on Google. Just by writing Bell Hooks name, I immediately find an article published about her claiming she paved the way for inter sectional feminism. To see how a colored woman who identifies as “queer-pas-gay” talk about gender politics so passionately truly is empowering. As for Jessica Valenti I found out that she’s a journalist who doesn’t hold back and one of her works Why Have Kids? really has me intrigued, and makes me appreciate her writings about feminism a bit more.