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Bell Hooks All About Love Assessment

Bell Hooks All About Love Assessment

Once upon a time, the philosophy of love was a fine subject for the man of ideas, like Erich Fromm or C. S. Lewis. In recent times, the subject has been relegated to self-help, a genre that many distrust for its propensity to propose simple solutions the place there are none. Self-help has its makes use of, nevertheless: it neatly undoes the facile ideas of left (we are powerless victims) and right (now we have total agency in our lives) alike, and it offers the calming reassurance that others on the market are as tousled as you are.

Now comes the feminist cultural critic Bell Hooks along with her new book of essays, ''all about love bell hooks ebook About Love,'' written in a didactic fashion that will merge moral philosophy with self-help. It's a warm affirmation that love is possible and an assault on the culture of narcissism and selfishness. ''We yearn to finish the lovelessness that's so pervasive in our society,'' she writes. ''This book tells us the best way to return to love.''

Her best factors are simple ones. Community -- prolonged family, inventive or political collaboration, friendship -- is as essential as the couple or the nuclear household; love is an art that involves work, not just the fun of attraction; want could rely on illusion, but love comes solely by painful truth-telling; work and cash have changed the values of love and group, and this must be reversed.

In Hooks's view, ladies have little hope of happiness in a brutal culture in which they are blindsided because ''most males use psychological terrorism as a method to subordinate girls,'' whom they maintain round ''to deal with all their needs.'' Men are raised to be ''more involved about sexual efficiency and sexual satisfaction than whether they're capable of giving and receiving love.'' Many males ''will, at instances, select to silence a partner with violence slightly than witness emotional vulnerability'' and ''usually flip away from real love and choose relationships in which they are often emotionally withholding once they really feel like it however nonetheless obtain love from someone else.'' Girls are also afraid of intimacy however ''focus more on finding a companion,'' regardless of quality. The result is ''a gendered arrangement in which males are more likely to get their emotional needs met while ladies will be deprived. . . . Males are given an advantage that neatly coincides with the patriarchal insistence that they're superior and subsequently higher suited to rule others.'' Men need to be taught generosity and ''the joy that comes from service.''

Hooks contends that she and her two long-term boyfriends had been foiled by ''patriarchal thinking'' and sexist gender roles and never had a chance. She is correct that many men and women, homosexual and straight, still fall into traditional traps, but she does not spend a lot time on why some dive into them, nor does she consider that such is just not everyone's fate. She takes her expertise, neatly elides her personal function in shaping it, universalizes and transliterates her frustrations into pop sociology.

Hooks's ideals for love, her ''new visions,'' sound good, but there's something sterile and abstract about them. The ingenious methods the thoughts has to console itself, the truth that relationships don't grant bliss and perfection, the important impossibility of satisfaction, how want can conquer the will -- to Hooks, these are however cynical delusions that might be thrust aside in a brave new world ready ''to affirm mutual love between free women and free men.''

Her invocation of master rhetoricians like Martin Luther King Jr. and Thomas Merton throws into painful reduction the strange Pollyanna high quality of her prose; it is difficult to imagine both of them starting a paragraph, as she does, with ''After I first started to talk publicly about my dysfunctional family, my mom was enraged.'' She ends the book as Sleeping Beauty, awaiting ''the love that's promised'' and speaking to angels slightly than real people. Her book confirms fears about why jargon and prefabricated ideas, together with id politics and self-help, so typically flatten expertise into cliché. Emotional waters run deep and wide. When one cannot navigate them, it is potential to take refuge in a shallow, sentimental idealism.

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