Friday Womanist – bell hooks (5)

Cross posted

Only when we confront the realities of sex, race, and class, the ways they divide us, make us different, stand us in opposition, and work to reconcile and resolve these issues will we be able to participate in the making of feminist revolution, in the transformation of the world. Feminism, as Charlotte Bunch emphasizes again and again in Passionate Politics, is a transformational politics, a struggle against domination wherein the effort is to change ourselves as well as structures. Speaking about the struggle to confront difference, Bunch asserts:

A crucial point of the process is understanding that reality does not look the same from different people’s perspective. It is not surprising that one way feminists have come to understand about differences has been through the love of a person from another culture or race. It takes persistence and motivation – which love often engenders – to get beyond one’s ethnocentric assumptions and really learn about other perspectives. In this process and while seeking to eliminate oppression, we also discover new possibilities and insights that come from the experience and survival of other peoples.

Embedded in the commitment to feminist revolution is the challenge to love. Love can be and is an important source of empowerment when we struggle to confront issues of sex, race and class. Working together to identify and face our differences – to face the ways we dominate and are dominated – to change our actions, we need a mediating force that can sustain us so that we are not broken in this process, so that we do not despair.

bell hooks, “Feminism: A Transformational Politic” in Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black, Toronto: Between the Lines, 1988

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