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Speaking Freely: Bell Hooks

Staff Reviews Theorist, educator, and author bell hooks, who made lower case names happen, is one of the US's foremost experts on the politics and philosophy of love, especially between Black men and women. About the Author Bell Hooks is a cultural critic, feminist theorist, and writer. Celebrated as one of our nation's leading public intellectual by The Atlantic Monthly , as well as one of Utne Reader's " Visionaries Who Could Change Your Life," she is a charismatic speaker who divides her time among teaching, writing, and lecturing around the world.

Overall, this book sheds some light on what hooks sees as the modern day abandonment of love and what it means for people of today to experience love. One argument she proposes is that love cannot exist in the middle of a power struggle. Hooks goes as far as to present a number of problems she finds with our modern ideals of love and proposes possible solutions.

She includes the propositions of full reconstruction and transformation of modern-day love based on "affection, respect, recognition, commitment, trust and care" Nonfiction Book Review. Hooks also points out what she sees to be the roots of the problems regarding modern day love: gender stereotypes, domination, control, ego, and aggression Nonfiction Book Review.

all about love: new visions

Hooks also discusses is the way, starting from a very young age, boys and girls are constantly being knocked down and told to fit into the tiny boxes of characteristics that are expected of them. Hooks points out that the boy is denied his right to show, or even have, any true feelings. To further explain, she uses men in the American culture as an example, and describes how they have been socialized to mistrust the value and power of love, while the girl is taught that the most important thing she can do is change herself and her own feelings, with the hopes of attracting and pleasing everyone else.

These unfair expectations lead boys and girls to grow up into men and women who are convinced that lies are the way to go, and no one should be showing their truest feelings to each other. This leads to the paradox hooks points out, because honesty is a natural requirement for a functional and healthy loving relationship. In hooks's own words, "Lies may make people feel better, but they do not help them to know love".


Another central argument is that it is almost impossible for women to find happiness in what she sees as a brutal culture where men are taught to worry more about sexual satisfaction and performance than actually loving someone. Hooks points out that despite these evident problems in modern-day love culture, love can be revived, and this is what she is arguing throughout her book. Hooks wrote this book to inform the world how we can change the way we think about love, our culture, and one another.

She teaches us ways to love in a face of a planet of love-lessness. Her New Visions demonstrate how love is possible, and stress that all love is important— romantic love, friendship, our love of strangers, and community.

All About Love: New Visions, Book by Bell Hooks (Paperback) |

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10 Powerful Quotes from bell hooks’ “All About Love”

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