Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics by Bell Hooks

Article excerpt

SOUTH END PRESS 2000

bell hooks, African-American cultural critic and feminist, says that she wrote this book because she had always wanted "a straightforward, clear book, easy to read without being simplistic" that would tell everyone what feminism is and what it is not. Feminism is not "anti-male, anti-white, lesbian or pro-abortion," she writes. "Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression."

In 20 short essays, hooks explains feminism in clear passionate prose. The essays repeat her main definition and convictions as applied to different aspects of life today.

Spanning each aspect in several essays, she traces the history of contemporary feminism, persuasively arguing that feminism can and must be inclusive and global. She is particular about avoiding the plural in both `movement' and `feminism.'

"Advancing the notion that there can be many `feminisms' has served the conservative and liberal political interests of women seeking status and privileged class power," hooks says. This allows women to rationalize about their own brand of feminism, which quite often results in the perpetuation of classism and racism. …