The Misunderstandings Between Feminists and Uneducated Men Is a Feminist Issue Beause....

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bell hooks said, in a passage from, "Feminism is for Everybody," "Males as a group have and do benefit the most from patriarchy, from the assumption that they are superior to females and should rule over us. But those benefits have come with a price. In return for all the goodies men receive from patriarchy, they are required to dominate women , to exploit and oppress us, using violence if they must to keep patriarchy intact. Most men find it difficult to be patriarchs. Most men are disturbed by hatred and fear of women, by male violence against women, even the men who perpetuate this violence. But they fear letting go of the benefits. They are not certain what will happen to the world they know most intimately if patriarchy changes. So they find it easier to passively support male domination even when they know in their minds and hearts that it is wrong. Again and again men tell me they have no idea what it is feminists want. I believe them. I believe in their capacity to change and grow. And I believe that if they knew more about feminism they would no longer fear it, for they would find in feminist movement the hope of their own release from the bondage of patriarchy."

Do you agree with this statement?

Is it believable that even men who are a part of domestic violence towards women only take part in the violence because they feel they have a "role" they need to fill? (It is said that violence is learned.)

Are men too afraid to shake the gender roles we are given just because they don't understand what feminists "want," and are too afraid of change?

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For me, this was one of the most intense passages I read from bell hooks. It was so pertinent it was as if she was speaking directly to me.

"Most men are disturbed by hatred and fear of women, by male violence against women, even the men who perpetuate this violence."

This is one of the most important statements that bell hooks makes here, and I'm sure most people would have ample anecdotal evidence to corroborate. I, for one, am very disturbed by rape and other forms of violence towards women. The simple idea of it scares and confuses me. How? For what purpose? Could this happen to someone I know? What would I do? I ask myself these questions now and have before, and while I do not necessarily fear for myself in these circumstances -- I am nevertheless subject to its presence.

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