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Feminism is for everybody!
This is the title of bell hooks‘s amazing book, which she wrote as an easy guide for anyone interested in feminism and equality – for newcomers as well as for friends who have long fought against inequalities and oppressions. Here and elsewhere, hooks defends the idea that everyone in a society needs to be involved in the fight for equality. She also clearly shows that feminist struggles must include fighting all kinds of oppressions; our aim for equality must involve not only questions of gender but also of race, class, disability, sexuality and sexual orientation. hooks writes:
‘Imagine living in a world where there is no domination, where females and males are not alike or even always equal, but where a vision of mutuality is the ethos shaping our interaction. Imagine living in a world where we can all be who we are, a world of peace and possibility. Feminist revolution alone will not create such a world; we need to end racism, class elitism, imperialism.’
This week sees the International Transgender Day of Remembrance (20 November), and coming up soon is the International Day of People with Disability (3 December) and UK Disability History Month running from 22 November to 22 December. In the UK, this week is also Anti-Bullying Week (19-23 November), which is being highlighted by organisations such as Stonewall to raise awareness of homophobic and transphobic bullying. This November has also been named Islamophobia Awareness Month, to challenge racism and to deconstruct some of the stereotypes about Islam and Muslims. These are all feminist issues – if we want to end sexist oppression, we must likewise be devoted to ending homophobic, transphobic, and racist oppressions. Furthermore, feminism must not only address all these issues, but it must also include all sorts of people in the struggle.
This is how bell hooks ends her book: ‘Feminist politics aims to end domination to free us to be who we are – to live lives where we love justice, where we can live in peace. Feminism is for everybody.’
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