Bell Hooks has to founding thoughts that were the catalyst for her writing of the ground breaking FEMINIST THEORY. The first, “…initially feminist theory was the site for the criical interrogation and re-imagining of sexist gender roles.” met the second, “Looking at the interlocking nature of gender, race, and class was the perspective that changed the direction of feminist thought.” and a movement for women too poor and marginalized to be included Betty Friedan’s THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE.MYSTIQUE was also a ground breaking work, exposing the emptiness of the middle aged house wife with aspirations beyond “…my husband and my children and my home.” FEMINIST THEORY looks at the women who fill in for the privileged women once they went on to their careers. Lower class colored and white women who had and have to take care of their husband’s, children and homes. If you are book lover, you should follow this link and find more about A circle around her.
While the focus of the book is feminism for women of color, hooks does a marvelous job of pointing out what is missing in the feminist agenda in general and why the revolution has gone by the wayside. Namely that feminism has become so focused on the minutiae of gaining benefits equal to those of men, that it has lost sight of the inherent patriarchal nature of society and the need to make changes at the core of our world. The result of this lost insight is that while equal rights may be gained, the basic sexist nature of society does not change; hence the constant need to defend the rights won from the status quo. I would say this is a must read for anyone who has relied on sound bytes and Women’s History classes in college to tell them what’s up. No offense to bytes and bits, but this is the stuff that builds strong bones.