She provided today's society with powerful messages on strong women, inclusion and respect no matter your gender, origin or skin color. Now, her legacy will continue transmitting those thoughts to future generations to achieve the change she wanted to see within people.
Throughout the years, we have had amazing writers that have marked literature´s history with their masterpieces. From Shakespeare and Jane Austen to more contemporary writers like bell hooks.
They have all connected with their audience to a great extent; so much that their books have been read by entire generations without going out of style.
In this case, Gloria Jean Watkins, better known as bell hooks, was a powerful writer, educator, activist, and feminist who focused primarily on raising her perspective about gender roles, patriarchy, feminism and racism.
She used to work at highly recognized universities like Yale and the New York City College and released her first book while she was a professor at the University of South California under the pseudonym of bell hooks.
This name was chosen to honor her great-grandmother and decided to always write it in lowercase letters so that her message was always more important than her “name“. Throughout her career, she participated in various documentaries and wrote more than 20 books, about which we will list a couple of the most important.
Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism
A book from 1981 analyzes sexism towards black women during slavery and how they, unlike white women, were considered as the antithesis of womanhood for any men, causing them to be highly vulnerable towards any sexual, psychological, and physical abuse.
She provides thorough context and analysis about this specific time period in order to advise black women to continue being an active part of the feminist movement so that racial abuses are not left behind and we can actually create a permanent change for that matter.
All about love: New Visions
From self-love, relationships, and social idealizations, this book analyzes the ways in which people deal with love regarding what it is said to be, feel, and perceived since our early childhood. Here, she encourages us to reflect on whether romantic love is actually the most important type of all or it is just a common thought that we have developed from external stimuli.
The will to change: men, masculinity, and love.
The book becomes a great example that highlights the ways in which men are also affected by patriarchy and social norms. This time, she directs her attention to men and how they are pressured to express or suppress their emotions according to social stereotypes. She goes through their concerns regarding their place within a patriarchal society and how they can lose that fear of opening up about that important and emotional part of themselves no matter their social status.
Feminism is for everybody
With this title, the author demonstrated not only that anyone can consider themselves as feminist but also that this complex and highly controversial concept can actually be understood by everyone.
Through these pages, she explains how feminism, instead of being a hate movement towards men, is more about finding an equal, fair and respectful relationship between genders and how it looks to solve so many societal problems like racism, abuse, and the lack of certain rights in some countries. By remaining positive and inspiring with her message, she encourages us not to give up on the movement and keep on fighting against a patriarchal and discriminatory society.
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