Many people misconceive the meaning of feminism and create false assumptions of what a feminist is. Jessica Valenti and Bell Hooks both share the same opinion on what a feminist is; the belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. They both have faith in the fact that feminists don’t need to have a specific appearance nor age restriction to fight for civil rights and fairness between men and women. People often associate being a feminist by fighting for anti-male which is the wrong message that both Hooks and Valenti and trying to shift in direction. While Valenti focuses mostly on her personal opinion and open-minded thoughts, Hooks keeps her message on a professional level and stays more on topic.
After reading both eye-opening stories, I consider a feminist to be anything that makes you speak up for your right of equality. No matter if you are defending yourself in front of a large audience, a small group or even just one individual, if you are speaking up in regards to gender equality and equal rights, you are considered a feminist. Before informing myself with the data given in the stories, I thought a feminist couldn’t just be anyone and that they had to have some sort of importance (apart of feminist clubs, organizations etc…). After reading, I now know that a feminist is not directly placed in one category but can be anyone with a strong-minded personality who will voice their opinion on what they agree/disagree with when speaking of sexism.
Something that struck my attention in the story is when Jessica Valenti shared a story of when Wendy Wright claimed that “women are committing crimes because feminism has taught them that ‘women should not be dependent on others’ and that ‘they don’t need to be dependent on a husband’, which inevitably forces them to ‘fend for themselves’”. This is a false accusation and something that should never have been said. Clearly, people do not fully understand the definition of what a feminist is and assume the worst since it is naturally easy to speak badly of things.
After taking an extra step to learn about the authors, it makes me appreciate the texts more knowing the back story of Valenti and Hooks’ personal experiences. It makes me feel as if I can connect to them more because of what they went through which makes the meaning of the stories more important and close to heart.