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.

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