Feminists Hooks and Beauvoir
“Feminists Hooks and Beauvoir had similar views but approached the topic in different ways. Hooks says “”To understand feminism it implies one has to necessarily understand sexism”. We define feminism as the advocacy of women ‘s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. Where she simply defines and shows that being feminism does not mean women have to become mean or they are better than men, she simply saying that men and women need to be equal like the civil right movements. Hooks argues that every aspect of life can have a feminist point of view, from fashion and makeup to literature and education, race and gender to religion and parenting. And it’s up to feminists to cross gender and socio-economic boundaries to learn what’s best for everyone, not just our own individual groups.
On the other hand, Beauvoir discusses the struggles that she has to go through as a woman and her criticism about the divided gender in society. She talks about the facts, myths, and thoughts on those matters. The world has always belonged to men since the beginning of time. She argues that feminity is not inherent- it is rather a construct that has been learned through socialization to keep men dominant. She also argued that women have historically been treated as inferior, and secondary to men for three reasons. She explained that society teaches women to fulfill a male’s needs and therefore exist in relation to men, to follow external cues to seek validation of their worth, and her third point was that females have historically had far fewer legal rights, and therefore less public influence. Beauvoir uses a comparison, saying that a girl is ‘treated like a live doll’. It made me think to myself what she meant by this comparison. A doll is a powerful means of identification. Through it, the girl learns to identify with being dressed up, made pretty and preened over, while not having any agency of her own. She learns to objectify herself-just as men objectify women. Beauvoir just as Hooks talk about how even if women did not marry, she would still be held to male standards through external pressures such as the beauty, diet, and fashion industries which are all complicit in perpetuating the objectification of women.
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Beauvoir did have some good, strong arguments, however, they are not as strong as Hooks. This is because she argues in strong opposition to the anti-feminist public voice in contemporary culture. Not only that, but she also argues for the notion of inclusion in feminism and offers a critique of power struggles within the women’s movement, as well as the struggles among highly literate, well-educated, and materially privileged white women and materially disadvantaged women who do not have access to class power.