"The women of Bikini Kill let guitarist Billy Karren be in their feminist punk band, but only if he's willing to just "do some shit." Being a feminist dude is like that. We may ask you to "do some shit" for the band, but you don't get to be Kathleen Hannah."--@heatherurehere

Monday, October 22, 2007

bell hooks Monday: Blueprints for Change

bell says:
The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity and Love is about our need to live in a world where women and men can belong together. Looking at the reasons patriarchy has maintained its power over men and their lives, I urge us to reclaim feminism for men, showing why feminist thinking and practice are the only way we can truly address the crisis of masculinity today. In these chapters I repeat many points so that each chapter alone will convey the most significant ideas of the whole. Men cannot change if there are no blueprints for change. Men cannot love if they re not taught the art of loving.

It is not true that men are unwilling to change. It is true that many men are afraid to change. It is true that masses of men have not even begun to look at the ways that patriarchy keeps them from knowing themselves, from being in touch with their feelings, from loving. To know love, men must be able to let go the will to dominate. They must be able to choose life over death. They must be willing to change.

--pp 17, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity and Love.

I've been thinking a lot about what such blueprints would be like. So far all I've really come up with it a meta-blueprint: I think that people of all genders ought to take part in creating this new blueprint. Also, we ought to keep in mind that cultural blueprints, while not made out of nothing, are created--not found--by us: We don't have to live the lives we've lived in the past, to whatever degree we can change the blueprint.

How should men's blueprint be modified? And how ought we go about it. Well, the answers to those questions are works-in-progress, and part of what this blog is (or should be?) all about...
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