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.