“Critically examining these blind spots, I conclude that many of us are motivated to move against domination solely when we feel our self-interest directly threatened. Often, then, the 1onging is not for a collective transformation of society, an end to politics of dominations, but rather simply for an end to what we feel is hurting us. This is why we desperately need an ethic of love to intervene in our self-centered longing for change. Fundamentally, if we are only committed to an improvement in that politic of domination that we feel leads directly to our individual exploitation or oppression, we not only remain attached to the status quo but act in complicity with it, nurturing and maintaining those very systems of domination. Until we are all able to accept the interlocking,interdependent nature of systems of domination and recognize specific ways each system is maintained, we will continue to act in ways that undermine our individual quest for freedom and collective liberation struggle.”-bell hooks, “Love as the practice of freedom.” Outlaw Culture. New York: Routledge, 2006. pg. 244.
R.I.P. bell hooks. bell hooks was an important thinker in my life. When I was at university, I took a philosophy of feminism class. In retrospect, there was weird dynamics, where as being one of the few males in the class I was called upon to give a male perspective. The professor had a domineering style of evaluating papers, requiring five paragraph essays on the content with a specific form. Some of this may be an adaptation to students arguing they were given lower grades because the teacher did not like their perspective, but it had the unfortunate effect of negative influencing how I viewed feminism. But, bell hooks spoke in ways few other feminists did, and she showed me, through her writing, the bigger picture of domination, alienation, and so forth. Feminism is part of a larger prescription necessary to help heal the world.