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bell hooks: Racism in America

            Bell hooks, in her essay "Black Women Shaping Feminist Theory" makes numerous points to support the idea that "American Society has been shaped by the politic of white supremacy." (hooks, p.) Although she notes improvements have been made, hooks further suggests that America is continuing as a racist, sexist and capitalistic country. However, hooks wrote this essay in the eighties, during a period in which many changes we have today were still emerging or simply did not exist. Further, hooks views are based on her own experience as a black woman in America. Not to suggest this lessens hooks" position in anyway, but, as pointed out by hooks herself, it does change her experience.
             Hooks validates her views, which regard America as a racist, sexist, capitalistic society throughout her essay. For instance, in referencing The Feminist Mystique by Betty Friedan, hooks points out that even the basis for the feminist movement was initially racist and capitalistic. Hooks infers the plight of feminism was originally centered on the needs of "well-educated white-women" who wanted to set aside their household chores and start careers. Yet, as I previously noted, hooks views are dependant on her perspective, and the same goes for the reader. Depending on the perspective of the reader, hooks views may be viewed as on point, an exaggeration, or simply false. For instance, Carol Gilligan's essay "Women's Place in Man's Life Cycle," through various studies; points out that males and females have very different socialization experiences beginning in early childhood. (Gilligan, p.? ) These differences can enable the continued variations in perspectives in adulthood. Consequently, the probability that men and women on a whole, see eye to eye with regard to the issue of sexism is not likely. Men and women are also expected to have differing views with regard to racism and capitalism according to hooks.

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