Channing Bachman English 1A Essay Draft Bell Hooks and Virginia Woolf are two well known English writers recognized with their discussion towards the oppression of women, although both of women have different conclusions. Hooks has a very powerful ideal about how feminism should be and because of this, Hooks and Woolf has very different mindset on the oppression of women. Hooks believes that feminism should not only be just about equality for women, but equality for all social oppression, while Virginia Woolf has more of the mindset of a common feminist just to have equality with men, and because of this, many of their ideas appear to conflict with each other. Bell Hook’s definition of feminism is very specific and very powerful for she believes in that Feminism’s common definition of protesting against women’s oppression is linked to all social oppression such as race and finance. By finance she believes Capitalism is a big issue and many of the liberal feminist reforms simply support the materialistic values. In “Feminist Ethics from a Marxist Perspective” the text states that “Capitalism is capable of taking our visionary changes and using them against us.” An example is given that many women have recognized their oppression and because of that have divorced their husbands. In doing so, many of the divorced women have been forced to do low paying jobs in which corporations would exploit them, by saying “If she complains, she can be replaced.” Hooks had very criticizing thoughts about capitalism and had a very Marxist-like ideal about how society should financially be. She believed in Individualism in which everybody should be they’re own individual. The truth is that even Individual African-Americans, Native American Indians and other race women would be remote even had they supported the feminist movement. In Hooks text, she states that “Many women are reluctant to advocate feminism because they are uncertain about the meaning of the term.” This is because they do not wish to look apparent as supporting any other movement that might be frowned upon, such as a racist movement. This is because feminism is often perceived to be affiliated with white women only. In Bell’s text, she states that most people “think of feminism or the more commonly used term ‘women’s lib’ as a movement that aims to make women the social equals of men.” (Dilks pg. 45) She believed that this raises difficult questions such as, one in particular, that because men are not all equal such as in race, finance and class, which of the men do they exactly want to be? She states that because of this, “Bourgeois white women interested in women’s rights issues have been satisfied with simple definition for obvious reasons. Rhetorically placing themselves in the same social category as oppressed women, they were not anxious to call attention to race and class privilege. Virginia Woolf fits into this category as a bourgeois white middle class woman. Virginia Woolf wrote “A Room of One’s Own” in her university and states that she went to the men’s university and compares the architecture and meals to the University of her own. The men had beautiful buildings, delicious meals while at her University it was dull and the food was plain, and because of Woolf’s string of consciousness writing structure, it is easy to feel that she was feeling sorry for herself and the woman of her time. “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. The lamp in the spine does not light on beef and prunes.” This shows that she does wish that she wants her University to be equal to the men’s University. Being so, this brings back Hooks problematic question that what kind of men do these middle class women want to be equal to because not all men are equal. This arguably shows that Woolf did want to be equal but to those men of wealthy or middle class stature. Hooks states that women in lower class and poor groups would not have the same definition as women gaining social equality due to their social status. They knowing that the men in their social class are oppressed, they would not call it liberty to share their social class. After reading Women and the New World Hooks states that it is evident that “many women active in feminist movement were interested in reform as an end in itself, not as a stage in the progression towards revolutionary transformation.” Arguably Virginia Woolf fits into this category in which reform would be the end in itself and would be fair if by legislation that woman would be equal to men. There was no saying in A Room of One’s Own that if by law women’s Universities were equal to the men’s Universities, that there would still be a missing link that would lead to transformation or the change of mentality of people and society as a whole, as what Hooks believed in. Woolf had the mentality in which women in general were being oppressed by male domination and that all women are they’re allies, and all men as being the oppressors. Woolf gives an example of a fictional character representing Shakespeare’s sister, Judith, who was just as brilliant and cunning in writing and acting as her brother Shakespeare. She puts out a whole scenario of the difference between Shakespeare and Judith living their lives and in the end for Judith, although wanting to and attempting to thrive as an actor/writer, falls into the demise of men and male dominancy. She states many times in her text of scenarios of women being beat, being forced to marry and how the husband would be announced as lord and master. This is evident that Woolf has the mentality of men in general are the oppressors. Hooks thought about transformation is that women did not stop to think “stop to think that American women are just as reluctant as American men to struggle for a new society based on new values of mutual respect, cooperation and social responsibility.” (Women and the New World, p. 33) Due to Bell Hooks definition of feminism being more than a rising upcoming for women fighting for equal rights for men, it is very evident that compared with Virginia Woolf’s writings, they differ pretty significantly. Although the two writers talk about women being oppressed, Hooks has a whole new side to it where she talks about all kind’s of oppression, and almost criticizing feminist who believe they can call themselves a feminist if they do not believe in stopping any other kind of oppression.