1. Feminism

How are Valenti and hook’s definitions similar? How are they different? Highlight a few similarities and differences. Why is feminism important to these authors?

Valenti’s definition of feminism is “the belief in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes” as well as the movement organized around that belief of the sexes meanwhile Hook’s sees feminism as “a movement to end sexism, sex exploitation and oppression.” The definitions are similar in the sense that each of them don’t promote hate towards men. Although, Valenti’s view of feminism is more geared towards fighting for equality rather than fighting against sexism and female oppression. In Valenti’s case, feminism is important to her because it gives her clarity of view. Feminism empowers her and allows her to look past negative criticism and to feel good about herself. On the other hand, feminism seems to be important to Hook’s because it gave her a foundation of equality and justice to stand on when she was in a dark place. It offered her moral support and the strength to stand up to male domination and our patriarchal society.

Based on what you have read, how would you define a feminist? Is this definition different than the idea you held before reading these essays? 

In my opinion, a feminist is an individual who regognizes that all sexes are equal and who try to enforce that belief in any way possible small or big. Prior to reading these articles, I didn’t really know what a feminist was. Now that I have read these documents, I can say that I have a better idea of what a feminist is. Rather than seeing  feminists as people who simply fight for equal rights, I can see that they have fought for much more;sexism, female oppression, freedom from patriarchal societies, etc. Also, rather than assuming that feminists are “anti-male” and “angry”, I can now see that they are just empowered individuals who feel good about themselves and who support each other and their goal to nullify the preformative roles and thoughts society has engraved into our brains that males are superior to women.

Describe a section from one of the essays that really made you stop and think. Try to describe why this section really struck you. 

In the text This is What a Feminist Looks Like by Jessica Valenti, Jessica says “ You’re not too fat. You’re not too loud. You’re not too smart. You’re not too unladylike. There is nothing wrong with you.” I just thought it was an empowering message as a person who’s felt box in by people’s opinions, that excerpt from the text stuck with me because it reminded me that I shouldn’t have to constantly think about how others perceive me and that instead, I should attempt to look past the negatives and simply just feel good in my own skin. 

Finally, do a bit of research about these writers. Did this research change in any way your appreciation of their article?

After reading about Valenti and Hook’s my perspective remains the same. I can still firmly state that these two individuals have done a lot to encourage feminism despite being criticized and in the case of Valenti, even  harassed for her beliefs. I respect how they both put on a strong front against adversity and how they try to promote and encourage feminism by attempting to shine some light on the subject and to educate others on what it truly means to be a feminist.


Bell Hook and Jessica Valenti describe feminism as being a movement that advocates equality, and justice between sexes. They also mention that the goal is to end sexism and oppression.

Bell Hook and Jessica Valenti agree that the feminism movement is often associated with negative stereotypes. Most people perceive feminists as anti-men which leads to the use of this word as an insult. They both agree that the feminism movement is misinterpreted and needs to be clarified. They think that feminism should be something that we benefit from. Hook defines feminism with a more passive approach, and she is targeting a more intellectual audience. Hook also mentions the background of this movement compared to Valenti who focuses more on the benefits of feminism, and how it can positively affect women. Valenti uses more her own opinion to describe this movement, and she expresses her anger on the negative stereotypes associated with feminists. Their definitions are also different in the sense that Hook thinks that feminism is for everybody compared to Valenti that thinks the opposite. The authors think that the main aim of feminism is to end sexism and oppression. They think that people should focus less on negative aspects because feminism is mostly about gaining equally and ending sexist exploitation. It is not a movement that is agaisnt men. Feminism is important for these authors because it will make our lives easier and better. Valenti expresses that feminism is a tool to help people achieved self-respect, and self-acceptance which leads to a better quality of life.

My perception of a feminist did not change after reading these essay because I already had a strong base of knowledge of this topic. I would define a feminist as a person who advocates for equal rights, and the end of sexism. I also think that it is a person who treats everyone equally regardless of their sexes. A feminist promotes justice and the end of oppression. 

The section “Top 10 Feminist Stereotype” in Valenti’s essay made me think. Especially, this passage, “The problem is that sometimes people are so focused on their narrow views that they fail to realize that one size does not fit all.” I think it is very interesting because people are often not willing to search for other views and compare other ideas together. They usually have a fixed opinion about topics and close the door for any other perceptions on their views which I think limits their knowledge.

My appreciation of these writers remains the same because they are well educated, and I agree with a lot of their views on society such as Bell Hook’s view on love. Her book “All About Love” made me learned a lot about the right way to love and to be loved. I compared her view with other books such as “A General Theory of love”, and “The Mathematics of love”. However, her book was the one that has the most relatable views and the most accurate ideas according to me. 

BLOG #1 – Defining Feminism

The feminist movement is essential to our liberation as a society and as individuals, and both hooks and Valenti make this point. We can feel the anger and marvel at the rawness of Valenti’s piece, where she focuses on the current issues surrounding the movement, such as a lack of sisterhood and a lack of general consciousness about the true nature of feminism. hooks’ piece, some truly eloquent work, exposes the need for intersectionality in our analysis of society and what action we need to take in order to achieve our goals. The differences in their approaches are palpable, but the message of these authors, to whom feminism is important as women, as women of color (in hooks’ case) and simply as members of society, remains the same. Feminism is for everyone, and what sets us back is how misunderstood it really is.

My personal definition of feminism remains largely the same now that I have read these authors’ pieces. Feminism is about liberation. Liberation from the white supremacist, capitalist and ultimately toxic patriarchy that keeps us all under figurative (or literal) slavery. Women’s liberation, certainly, but the liberation of everyone in society from systems that affect us all.

A section of hooks’ work that made me stop and think was firstly, the Reformist vs. Revolutionary approaches. I have always considered myself on the revolutionary side, for I thought that was the only side there was, perhaps naively on my part. I was surprised to see that reformists are a genuine force. Secondly, hooks’ call out of the patriarchy as a white supremacist and capitalist force was pleasantly surprising, for the race and class struggles are often overshadowed or willfully ignored.

My research on these authors brought me newfound appreciation for their work. I admire the accessibility of Valenti’s platform and the deeply intersectional approach hooks’ takes.