Talking Back Bell Hooks Analysis

“It’s Not You, It’s Me!”
Despite there seems to be a tradition of oppression towards women found in most- if not all- societies. The oppression of women can be traced back into early civilizations, but why? The patriarchal society that is rooted in most countries is a form of inequality, favoring men over women. Although the issue of women oppressing other women is a topic not discussed enough, but should be. In order to understand why the oppression of women is still taking place, one must identify the groups involved in the oppression and how their actions contribute to the oppression? In the first two chapters of Talking Back bell hooks sheds light on her personal experience of being oppressed both by males and females in her
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Women have a natural subjection to men. Their bodies are made to bear children, and from the hunter-and-gathering societies men have noticed this weakness. Female bodily functions such as the menstrual cycle and the capability to be pregnant are natural limitations for women. Men do not and cannot fully understand what a woman goes through physically, mentally, and emotionally during these moments of life. Women share these occurrences and therefore should be able to come together, yet they don’t. In bell hooks’ experience she saw that dialogue did not exist between the sexes- women spoke with women, and men spoke with men. The women bell hooks saw speaking together in the kitchen had the opportunity to come together and stand up for their right to speak, but they didn’t. Instead, they subjected their daughters to the same mistreatment and oppression (hooks 6). bell hooks goes on to recall the experience she had with her sisters when they read her diary. Her sisters ridiculed her, her “deepest emotions and innermost thoughts dismissed as mere nonsense.” They were the ones seeing and facing the same mistreatments as hooks herself, nevertheless they still made fun of hooks for expressing how she felt (hooks 6,7) If they say that the oppression of women started with men, then it would only be fair to say that women nurture this oppression. “Mothers not only treat their …show more content…
Men’s ‘natural’ expertise as the hunters in societies allowed them to take the lead in decisions. Women were left with the role of gatherers, the lessening role, because of its insignificance compared to the hunter role there was “an increasing pressure on women to breed and be controlled along with the animals by men” (“Basis of Women’s Oppression”). In contrast, the article “Women & the Struggle for Socialism” disagrees with the points above. The author believes that because there was an absence of classes in these “primitive” societies “women were as strong and powerful as men.” The author furthered their point claiming this equal power was due to the fact there civilization was simple in regards to their production, since the only roles women played were gatherers of wild plants and bearers of children (“Women & the Struggle for Socialism”) The author of the latter statement failed to discuss how this “job” of gatherer is a form of oppression towards women. Men’s role in the society was to be the hunter and breed the animals, they have no natural limitations that would prevent them from work; women, on the other hand, had to deal with pregnancies and menstrual problems. The men noticed this drawback for women, ergo giving them the “lessening role of gatherer” (“Basis of Women’s Oppression”). This role women had in societies ultimately is what researchers claim as the origin of women’s

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