According to Hooks, “Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, an oppression.” She believes that feminism isn’t about being anti-male, instead it is about sexism. In the same way, Valenti brings forth the same opinion as Hooks and she also believes that it isn’t about being anti-male, however it is about speaking up against basic issues concerning women and the inequality that they are faced with on a daily basis. Hooks took more of a subtle and professional approach in order to explain the issues concerning the stigma around feminism, whereas Valenti was very blunt and direct in her way of approaching the subject. She emphasized more on the myths around feminism such as feminists are usually lesbians.
Based on both readings, I believe that a feminist can be either a man or woman that is willing to speak up about gender inequality concerning both sexes. They live their life based on the ideologies of feminism such as equal gender pay, equal household chores, equal rights,etc. Before this reading, I always thought a feminist was always a courageous woman that is able to stand up and question the gender stereotypes that she is faced with by her family, friends and coworkers.
At the very beginning of Valenti’s essay, she puts a very common ideology that I’ve never thought my whole life but when I read it, the passage shocked me and put things into perspective. She first asks what’s the worst possible thing you can call a woman? Then, she asked what’s the worst possible thing you can call a guy? Both answers indicated that being a woman was considered as an insult. This section struck to me because it is something that occurs on a daily basis, however it taken lightly because it is normalized. Before the readings, I thought that a feminist was an individual that strictly followed all the ideologies that I have mentioned in the previous sentence, however after Valenti’s reading, I found out that a feminist is someone that feels strongly about gender inequalities towards women and it was that simple as that.
Both authors have been faced with lots of criticism, however I really respect their ability to stay strong amidst it all. I find it really brave to put their views out there and continue to do what they love, despite getting criticized by strangers.