Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

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Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby Cipher » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:29 am

This thread is for discussion of the book Feminism is for Everybody. It is available online as a PDF, so just google the title and you should be able to get access to it. The chapters are less than 10 pages each; what sort of pace do people want to read at?

For easy reference, the chapter titles are:

Introduction: Come Closer to Feminism
1: Feminist Politics: Where We Stand
2: Consciousness-Raising: A Constant Change of Heart
3: Sisterhood is Still Powerful
4: Feminist Education for Critical Consciousness
5: Our Bodies, Ourselves: Reproductive Rights
6: Beauty Within and Without
7: Feminist Class Struggle
8: Global Feminism
9: Women at Work
10: Race and Gender
11: Ending Violence
12: Feminist Masculinity
13: Feminist Parenting
14: Liberating Marriage and Partnership
15: A Feminist Sexual Politic: An Ethics of Mutual Freedom
16: Total Bliss: Lesbianism and Feminism
17: To Love Again: The Heart of Feminism
18: Feminist Spirituality
19: Visionary Feminism
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby Sylvia Sybil » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:52 am

I think I could manage a chapter a day. But I don't know if everybody would have the same amount of disposable time.
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby AlexSeanchai » Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:24 am

I keep meaning to read this one but never find the time. Book club might be the kick in the pants I need. A chapter every day sounds workable. Might not be with longer chapters, but at ten pages each it ought to be fine.
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby ceepolk » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:07 am

when should we make the start date? I have a copy of this book already; anyone else need some time to get hold of it?
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby Categories+Sheaves » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:26 am

Well, I'm starting now (via the handy .pdf google turns up). It's a pleasant read so far.
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby Sylvia Sybil » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:35 am

I have a copy.
There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. ―Elie Wiesel
I'd rather be a rising ape than a falling angel. ―Terry Pratchett
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby piegasm » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:53 am

Well if it's available via PDF, just say the word and I shall scurry off and download.
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby Catherine » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:32 am

There is also an Epub version for those with ereaders
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby literaghost » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:54 pm

Found my copy! :)

I'm so exciiiiiited
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby Xanthë » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:58 pm

It’s a very easy read, but I’m doubtful everyone would be on the same chapter each day and whether any related discussion would fit in before it’s time to move on, so I think the aim for 1 chapter a day is about the right pace but the discussion might fall rather behind. (Which is okay, but may mean several chapters get discussed at the same time.)
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby Xanthë » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:42 pm

As a taster (and as bell hooks’ explicitly granted permission extends to quoting a ‘properly footnoted quotation of up to 500 sequential words’), here are the first few paragraphs from the Introduction:

bell hooks, from the Introduction to Feminism is For Everybody [ Show ]
INTRODUCTION

Come Closer to Feminism

Everywhere I go I proudly tell folks who want to know who I am and what I do that I am a writer, a feminist theorist, a cultural critic. I tell them I write about movies and popular culture, analyzing the message in the medium. Most people find this exciting and want to know more. Everyone goes to movies, watches television, glances through magazines, and everyone has thoughts about the messages they receive, about the images they look at. It is easy for the diverse public I encounter to understand what I do as a cultural critic, to understand my passion for writing (lots of folks want to write, and do). But feminist theory — that’s the place where the questions stop. Instead I tend to hear all about the evil of feminism and the bad feminists: how “they” hate men; how “they” want to go against nature — and god; how “they” are all lesbians; how “they” are taking all the jobs and making the world hard for white men, who do not stand a chance.

When I ask these same folks about the feminist books or magazines they read, when I ask them about the feminist talks they have heard, about the feminist activists they know, they respond by letting me know that everything they know about feminism has come into their lives thirdhand, that they really have not come close enough to feminist movement to know what really happens, what it’s really about. Mostly they think feminism is a bunch of angry women who want to be like men. They do not even think about feminism as being about rights — about women gaining equal rights. When I talk about the feminism I know — up close and personal — they willingly listen, although when our conversations end, they are quick to tell me I am different, not like the “real” feminists who hate men, who are angry. I assure them I am as a real and as radical a feminist as one can be, and if they dare to come closer to feminism they will see it is not how they have imagined it.

Each time I leave one of these encounters, I want to have in my hand a little book so that I can say, read this book, and it will tell you what feminism is, what the movement is about. I want to be holding in my hand a concise, fairly easy to read and understand book; not a long book, not a book thick with hard to understand jargon and academic language, but a straightforward, clear book — easy to read without being simplistic. From the moment feminist thinking, politics, and practice changed my life, I have wanted this book. I have wanted to give it to the folk I love so that they can understand better this cause, this feminist politics I believe in so deeply, that is the foundation of my political life.


It goes without saying, that the ‘little book’ bell hooks is referring to is her own, since she was in search of a feminism primer that refused to materialise by itself, so that she felt compelled to write it herself.
Last edited by Xanthë on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby Cipher » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:43 pm

I'm going to start reading today. More news when I've actually done so :)
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby Sylvia Sybil » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:50 am

Is anyone still waiting on a copy or should we start?
There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. ―Elie Wiesel
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby Xanthë » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:14 am

I wouldn’t want anyone to be left behind and feel that they can’t start with the thread if they’re late to begin. Perhaps we should spend at least several days on the Introduction and Chapter 1 to make sure we gather the most people with interest in doing so?

Can I also just mention, this would be a really good thread for some male-identifying people to engage in, because feminism is not a movement against men, and bell hooks wrote this specifically for men to get to be able to get to grips with real feminist ideas, rather than just hearing third-hand straw feminism from the usual anti-feminist backlash.
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby NoGodsNoMasters » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:17 am

I've got my copy ready to go. Maybe we could aim to have a discussion on a chapter every 2 days? I start my studies in 2 days actually, so even though it's an easy read, I don't know if I'll be able to read and discuss once a day.
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby Cipher » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:27 am

I wouldn’t want anyone to be left behind and feel that they can’t start with the thread if they’re late to begin. Perhaps we should spend at least several days on the Introduction and Chapter 1 to make sure we gather the most people with interest in doing so?

Let's do this, yeah. And I'll second your expressed interest in hearing from more male-identifying people on this thread.

NGNM, if you're more comfortable with us discussing at that pace, I personally don't see the harm in us doing that. Better for us to go slower than to leave anybody behind, as far as I'm concerned (and I'm in classes too, so I sympathize with that time issue).
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby Sylvia Sybil » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:15 am

I'm totally comfortable with going two days per chapter and taking longer with the intro and chapter one. Also, more guys. Everybody's welcome!
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby Eowyn Entwife » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:19 am

I have my copy now, and two days per chapter is better for me than one.
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby piegasm » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:33 am

I've got mine as well. I think a couple days per chapter is probably best as it allows a little room for unexpected things to come up that might prevent people from checking in on the thread for a day.

ETA: Also time zone differences. We've got a good 16-17 hour spread going on here.
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby NoGodsNoMasters » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:47 pm

<.<

>.>

So... when are we starting this?
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby Sylvia Sybil » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:55 pm

Now?
There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. ―Elie Wiesel
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby ceepolk » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:14 pm

yeah let's go.
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby Sylvia Sybil » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:12 am

We're starting with the introduction, yesno?

So, I really like her definition of feminism. There are so many words lawyers who think any word root of "feminine" means it has to support a matriarchal men-in-breeding-pens sort of future / all feminists are "feminazis" sort of thing. People who get high centered on word roots aren't going to be swayed by logic anyway, it's just a cover so they can keep on being sexist. But people who listen to the words lawyers can be swayed, and this definition is for them. bell hooks' definition is accessible. Especially once you start getting into "patriarchy hurts men too" situations - this definition covers that.

I also thought it was interesting when she said this was the book she wanted to read and yet could never find, so she had to write it herself.
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby Cipher » Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:02 am

I appreciated that point also, Sylvia. That's something I'm actually working on myself, remembering that when I keep thinking "WHY DOESN'T SOMEONE DO/MAKE/WORK ON THIS THING," and I think it over and over, then I ought to take that as an indication that I should try to do it myself. I used to be part of a physical community wherein this was sort of a constant refrain, which made it easier for me to keep at the front of my mind than it is now; it's funny that although I am much more confident in a lot of ways, I am also more passive in that regard than I was then. So it was a nice thing to see a real effect from that sort of motivation.

I also find that after reading the introduction I am even more anxious to hear from male-identifying people in the book club than I was before :)
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Re: Book Club: Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks

Postby ceepolk » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:11 am

I'm here in chapter one and i'm reading this:

Ironically, revolutionary feminist thinking was most accepted and embraced in academic circles. In those circles the production of revolutionary feminist theory progressed, but more often than not that theory was not made available to the public. It became and remains a privileged discourse available to those among us who are highly literate, well-educated, and usually materially privileged. Works like Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center that offer a liberatory vision of feminist transformation never receive mainstream attention. Masses of people have not heard of this book. They have not rejected its message; they do not know what the message is.


It folds in with white women wandering off once they got what they wanted, a two-fold blow to feminism: first the desertion before the work was done, conveniently leaving a supply of women to do the menial work they'd climbed beyond, and then the rarification of feminism locked behind the moneyed walls of academia. Man-controlled mass media made the rest a caricature, and all neatly accomplished before I hit puberty. the feminism of my childhood was gone before I became old enough to really join it, and i started to hear that there was no need, that the work was done, and the only feminists left were "crazy man hating dykes."

I wonder what things would have been like if revolutionary feminism hadn't been abandoned and if learning about feminism still happened in meeting rooms above the bookstore rather than after you paid thousands for tuition.
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