Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Communion: The Female Search for Love

i'm about 30 pages to the end of a book i HAVE to do a post about- Communion:The Female Search for Love by bell hooks. this is one of the best books i've read and one my favorite by bell hooks. this books is almost like a self-help book coupled with a political edge.
as usual, bell is speaking the TRUTH. she discusses, analyzes and gives solutions for many issues women, particularly women of color face in dealing with personal relationships, but also in the area of personal love; personal acceptance. she also tackles gender roles (even some supposed positive ones), feminists' romantic relationships with men and ways in which feminism has failed (and ways in which it has been victorious), and life as a young feminist in the heart of the movement. she also points out that feminism has made strides in the arena outside the home, but has yet to truly make a dent inside the home; in personal relationships with men; in the bedroom. here are some quotes from the book that i believe are crucial.

"Contrary to mass media's insistence that we were learning how to be man-hating, in fact we were taught to understand the ways male identity and self-actualization were usurped by patriarchal socialization. Men who oppressed women did not do so because they acted simply from the space of free will; they were in their own way agents of a system they has not put into place".

"I believe that feminist debate about love and sexuality ended precisely because straight women did not want to face the reality that it was highly unlikely in patriarchal society that a majority of men would wholeheartedly embrace women's right to say not in the bedroom. "

"Complete feminist culture transformation could happen without male allies only if women were willing to sacrifice their desire to have primary relationships with men.... We did not want to acknowledge out loud that feminist demands had been compromised, that many of us were settling for equality and power in the public arena while continuing to conform to sexist gender roles at home or, most important, in the bedroom."

"Men who were willing to be househusbands, to take care of the kids, to be advocated for equal pay for equal work, to do their share or even all the housekeeping, were not willing to change in any way their sexual habits.... what if the real discovery that feminists could not speak was the fact that men did not care if we were equals everywhere, including the battlefield, as long as they remained our superiors-the ones in charge, the ones on top-in the bedroom?"

"Male domination of females in the sexual arena (whether they maintain control by wanting too much sex or none at all) is a constant reminder that females are not free, that we have not attained full equal rights or equity."

"...patriarchy, like any colonizing system, does not create the context for women and men to love one another."

"Until our culture can break through myth and accept that women are not innately capable of nurturing others, the assumption that women are better able to love than men will prevail. ...nurturance-the ability to care for another in a manner that enhances well-being-in a learned behavior. men learn it as well as women. patriarchal culture is reinforced when males are not taught ways to nurture and care for others."

"Until we are able to acknowledge that women fail at loving because we are no more schooled in the art of loving than are our male counterparts, we will not find love. ...As long as being loved is seen as a gesture of weakness, one that disempowers, women will remain afraid to love fully, deeply, completely... women who learn how to love represent the greatest threat to the patriarchal status quo."

"The intensity of their hold on mass culture's imagination is so strong that many young women seeking to be independent, powerful, and successful have simply embraced the idea that they are "bitches". their uncritical acceptance of this image is problematic. it helps perpetuate sexist stereotypes about powerful women. young women want to embrace the "hard bitch" image because it keeps them from having to confront the pain that comes when females are punished for choosing to be self-actualized and successful."

"we demand that men change, and when they do, we are often not ready to affirm and embrace the liberation we claimed to desire."

"Patriarchal culture was not disturbed when feminism appeared to be a woman-only thing. however, as more males became involved, feminist cultural revolution threatened to bring an end to patriarchy."

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