Compare and Contrast the Works and Lives of Bell Hooks and Fatima Mernissi

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“My hope emerges from those places of struggle where I witness individuals positively transforming their lives and the world around them”(hooks 2003 p.xiv). This quote from Gloria Jean Waatkins ( bell hooks) is the epitome of how she views the world and the people around her. Known as one of the most prominent African American intellectuals she captures the minds and hearts of people all across the globe because of her dismissal of academic convention and her inclusion of personal reflection in her scholary work. Hooks, who addresses such subjects as feminism, civil rights and black womanhood, raises important questions about the tension between black women and white woman in the feminist movement and analyses how the media and popular culture portray African Americans. In this essay I hope to examine the life and some of the work of bell hook. In gaining a deeper knowledge of her work I then hope to compare her to Fatima Mernissi across a number of different subject areas. Fatima Mernissi, from an early age established herself as a campaigner for womens rights in Islam. Know as the first Islamic feminist, Mernissi’s classic study of sex roles , sexuality and sexual inequaligty in Islam is very useful in understanding the conflicting trends and values which muslims must navigate.

Gloria Jean Watkins (hooks) was born on the 25th of September 1952. She grew up in a working class family in Hopkinsville Kentucky. She had a large family consisting of five sisters and one brother, her father worked as a janitor and her mother as a maid for white families. Hook’s experience of growing up in a segregated community is one of the main reasons why she predominantly focuses on the effects of racism in her work. Throughout her schooling in the 1960’s hooks had a strong passion for writing. She had many of her poems published, however, it was short essays that gained peoples attention as she acquired herself a reputation as a writer of systems of domination. She felt...
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