For Christmas, my daughter brought me a bell hooks book. I read bell hooks in college. At the time, I considered myself a feminist. From what I understood of feminism then caused me to be skeptical about Christianity. I still considered myself a Christian, but I could not embrace God because of the patriarchal views that I thought were a part of Christianity. I realize that the patriarchal ideas are not embraced by Christianity.
In hooks first chapter Wanted Men who Love, states “Patriarchal mores teach a form of emotional stoicism to men that says they are more manly if they do not feel, but by chance they should feel and the feelings hurt, the masculine response is to stuff them down, to forget about them, to hope they go away.” In Christianity, it is acceptable for men to show emotion. In Genesis, it talks about how Issac mourned his mother’s death for three years. David wrote many psalms discussion a wide range of emotions.
According to hooks, ” Real men get mad. And their mad-ness, no matter how violent or violating, is deemed natural- a positive expression of patriarchal masculinity.” The Bible warns us many times about anger; it does not embrace violence as acceptable.
hooks discusses how in contemporary feminism women became frustrated and began male bashing when men refused to share their power. Women had tried to seduce, cajole and entice men to share their emotions- ” to love us”. That made me think about Samson and Delilah. In Judges, we read about how Delilah tired to seduce, cajole and entice Samson to share his power by revealing his secret. In this case, sharing power was disastrous for Samson.
I had a hard time reading the preface and first chapter. The preface deals with how patriarchal culture embraced violence. This was tough for me to read because I had been trying to do a post about domestic violence. Unfortunately, I have experienced it first hand. Yes, it has had a lasting effect on my life emotional.
The other reason hooks The Will to Change is a tough read for me is she deals with her relationship with her father. She discussed how she tried to avoid her father, and I have been guilty of that. She talked about how she longed for closeness with him, but yet she was scared to talk to him.
The made me think about how I had discussed briefly with my father doing a book about daughters and fathers and healing there broken relationships. I realized I must do the work to heal our relationship before I can ever help others with healing in this area.