Bell hooks is a prolific feminist writer and poet who was born as Gloria Jean Watkins. Hooks grew up in rural Kentucky in a small, segregated community with five sisters and one brother. Her father worked as a custodian for the U.S. Postal Service, and her mother worked as a housewife. Hooks has said that growing up in a family of strong women was extremely important to her, and she took her great-grandmother's name as a way of paying homage to the legacy of her female ancestors. She preferred to spell it in all lowercase letters to focus attention on her message rather than herself.
Bell hooks is best known for writing books that deal specifically with feminism, gender inequality, culture, women, and sexism. Some of Hooks books could be classified as self-help books. In 1981, her first major work, “Ain’t I a Woman?: Black Women and Feminism', was published by South End Press. “Aint I a Woman?” goes into the historical impact of sexism and racism on black women, and the disregard for issues of race and class within feminism. In 1999, she began writing children’s books that aimed to encourage self-esteem among African American children. In 2000 she wrote, “All About Love”, which falls into most of her categories, but mostly important, it falls into an issue that causes a huge cultural anxiety, probably because it is excessively ascribed to women. Love is a human affair disguised as a woman’s affair. In 2004, she wrote, “The will to change: men, masculinity, and love”. Which was intended to show men how to express the emotions that are a fundamental part of who they are.
In “All About Love: New Visions” Hooks goes into depth about her true feelings towards love and her childhood struggles. She had felt that love was not nurtured to her and grew up in a dysfunctional family. She shares that although her family cared for her, they never really showed love. As she was growing up she never knew what love was or felt which led her to failed relationships with ex-boyfriends. Hooks proclaimed she was attracted to men who just as her grew up in a home with no love. Her relationships failed not only because of the lack of love but also because they were “patriarchal thinkers” and sexists. Hooks decided to write this book to inform the world how we can change the way we think about love, our culture, and one another. Hooks goes on to teach us different ways to love in a world where we sometimes are love-less. She indicates how love is possible, and stresses that all love is important not only romantically, but also in friendships and even with people who are strangers to us.
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Hooks states that most people struggle to love because we simply don’t have a consolidated definition of the word “love”. In this book hooks believes that the word “love” lacks a proper definition. She first describes several definitions for love and outlines some of the issues that become apparent in love because we don’t have a useful definition. Hooks writes about her own childhood to make the reader know what she feels are illusions about love that many people assume, one of them being that there is no need for a definite definition for love, and that men have a different view and/or definition than what women have. hooks states that many people in our society use the word “love” too lightly. People often don't hold the right meaning of the word “love,” which is what may make this aspect of life so confusing. She states that “our confusion about what we mean when we use the word “love” is the source of our difficulty in loving” (hooks, 3). Defining love has not been an easy task for many writes in giving a clear definition of what love is. Many theorists, including hooks, feel that love would be defined better if we used it as a verb rather than a noun. “The word ‘love’ is most often defined as a noun, yet all the more astute theorists of love acknowledge that we would all love better if we used it as a verb.” (hooks, 5)
Now in this generations everyone doesn’t know the true meaning of Love, and our culture sees love as a thing. In this book Hooks wrote, talks all about that and what Love really is. She says in her book that the best definition for us to understand love is “love is as love does. Love is an act of will namely, both an intention and an action.”. This book discusses what love is, what love isn’t, and how to become a better loving person. Hooks states that the search for love is, in many cases, often so difficult because we don’t have the full knowledge or even had the example in how to truly love or to be truly loved. In this book Hooks considers the role of love in human lives and how the contentious relations between the sexes in modern American culture came to be and how they can be redressed.
As many of us grew up, we were taught that love is something that happens to us, a feeling towards someone else. Love, in reality, is so much more than just a feeling. Hooks helps you acquire the role that love plays in our lives and how our culture has misled us from the true meaning of love. In “All about love”, Hooks gives you a guide, a clear definition and examples towards a better understanding of love. It shows you ways love can transform us both personally and culturally, how with love we have the ability to end conflicts within ourselves.
What is Love? By dictionary, love is an intense feeling of deep affection. For many people, especially in many cases for men, it is something difficult to understand and show. Something mysterious and complicated. Many people, more men than women, don’t like to talk about such topic as Love. In Bell Hook’s book, “All about Love”, she even struggles to find a oncrete description. She says in her book that the best definition for us to understand is “love is as love does. Love is an act of will namely, both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love” (5) I believe Bell Hooks has somewhat of an accurate definition to such a complicated subject. In her book, Bell Hooks tries to make love less of a mystery than it is so that people can understand how to love better. Although she examines love closely, she is cautious about it.
All About Love” is a wonderful book that will change how we think about Love, our culture, and one another. This book changed my perspective on what loving is and has showed me to be a better version of myself.
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