bell hooks – all about love

bell hooks, an activist, feminist, and author. Her writing has focused on the interconnectivity of race, class, and gender and their ability to produce and perpetuate systems of oppression and domination.

I recently started All About Love by bell hooks. The book pushed me to understand that our model of love starts at childhood. Most of us are searching for the love our parents failed to give us. bell continues to challenge our model of ideal love that’s fused in sex and desire. Here are my favorite quotes so far:

“All the years of my life I thought I was searching for love I found, retrospectively, to be years where I was simply trying to recover what had been lost, to return to the first home, to get back the rapture of first love.”

“Yet whenever a single woman over forty brings up the topic of love, again and again the assumption, rooted in sexist thinking, is she is “desperate” for a man. No one thinks she is simply passionately intellectually interested in the subject matter.”

“Love is an act of will-namely both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.”

“Affection is only one ingredient of love. To truly love we must learn to mix various ingredients — care, affection, recognition, respect, commitment, and trust, as well as honest and open communication.”

“For most folks it is just too threatening to embrace a definition of love that would no longer enable us to see Love as present in our families.”

“From the moment little boys are taught they should not cry or express hurt, feelings of loneliness, or pain, that they must be tough, they are learning how to mask true feelings.”

“When we learn to use language as boys, we very quickly learn how to conceal ourselves through language. We learn to master language so that we can control the world around us…”

“When men and women are loyal to ourselves and others, when we love justice, we understand fully the myriad ways in which lying diminishes and erodes the possibility of meaningful, caring connection, that it stands in the way of love.”

“In our culture privacy is often confused with secrecy. Open, honest, truth-telling individuals value privacy.”

“In today’s world we are taught to fear the truth, to believe it always hurt.”

“the wounded child inside many males is a boy who, when he first spoke his truths, was silenced by paternal sadism, by a patriarchal world that did not want him to claim his true feelings. The wounded child inside many females is a girl who was taught from early childhood that she must become something other than herself, deny her true feelings, in order to attract and please others.”

“The truth is, far too many people in our culture do not know what love is. And this not knowing feels like a terrible secret, a lack that we have to cover up.”

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