Fiction/Non Fiction: Non Fiction
Themes: Feminism, Racism, Classism, Police Violence, Poverty, Parenthood
One sentence summary: An eye-opening and brilliant read, shining a light on feminist issues that white women forgot.
Overview: A superbly detailed and well rounded look into the vast array of injustices that white women haven't always been fighting for. Feminist issues spread as far as gun violence, the sugar tax and gentrification.
This book will teach white women the true meaning of intersectionality and fighting for all feminist issues, even if they're privileged enough to never have experienced them.
Personal Thoughts: Get ready to have any ideas of mainstream feminism torn up. I love this book for a number of reasons. Firstly for making damned sure my feminism is intersectional and I'm fighting for all women's issues and not just the ones I can see or have experienced. Secondly for the detailed and passionate approach Kendall took with this book.
Learning about oppressive systems that white women have benefitted from isn't meant to be fun, it's supposed to be make you listen and understand the privilege you have and how you too have been part of the problem. There were so many points in this that I had the "I hadn't thought of it like that before" thought. And at the start of my education, of course that is the case. We haven't lived the experience of black women or trans women so it's very easy to only see the issues that affect us directly. Hood Feminism is the cure for this and it's one of the best for it.
"Being an ally is just the first step, the simplest one. It is the space wherein the privileged begin to accept the flawed dynamics that make for equality".
I particularly loved Kendall's last chapter around anger. You may have heard the phrase 'if you're not angry then you're not paying attention' (if anyone can find a reputable source of who said that I'd love to know!). It's one I enjoy hearing and enjoyed the resonance in Hood Feminism. The phrase is not intended to guilt, or at least I've never received it as such, it says to me that when you start to work towards causes for social justice, you're going to be angry about the systems put in place that stop equality and fairness and the breakdown of power. Anger for me is passion. Anger means I care so deeply about something it forces and pushes me into action. Kendall summarises this beautifully with:" everyone should be angry about injustice, not just those experiencing it".
I'd recommend this book if you: are a white woman working on being an ally to other women, consider yourself a feminist or want to deepen your knowledge on feminist work. Similar to Feminism Interrupted by Lola Olufemi.
Would I read it again? Definitely. I think this will be one of those books I read each year.
Read this? Plan to read it? I'd love to know! Let me know in the comments below and let me know.
Available as part of our monthly subscription here.