So, okay. Um, want to talk about love by bell hooks. So a very intense book from an author.
Who’s known for talking about subjects like the black experience in America, you know, sexism and all these systemic issues that we face. And for her to talk about love is a very different subject.
You would think it turns out she kind of ties it into her philosophy on, you know, fundamental human rights and stuff like that; it’s also a very different book. Okay. Like many people, they are going through isolation and uncertainty in their future and things like that. And just reading this book, it felt very affirming. It’s very optimistic about love, and I’m not that optimistic about love usually.
So it’s a little uncomfortable to read. Bell hooks talks about power structures and how love is tied into the relationships you had as a child with caregivers. A lot of people didn’t have great childhoods.
A psychologist ties in childhood relationships to relationships and adulthood, especially in romantic relationships, and bell hooks kind of talks about this. A lot about the power structures you felt as a child often reflect anger, romantic relationships as an adult.
She touches on the way young children seem to think love is receiving gifts and attention, you know, hugs and kisses and things like that. And in adulthood, that’s what a lot of people feel love is. They feel like receiving gifts from their partner is what love is. They feel like if they don’t get enough physical affection for some people, not everyone, they don’t get enough physical affection that the partner doesn’t really love them.
And things like that. And bell hooks says that this comes from childhood relationships. She argues that love is a decision instead of a feeling; many people think that love is that great feeling that you get, you know, butterflies and things like that.
And she thinks that it’s more of a verb. It’s an act of caring for someone and doing the things that you don’t really want to do for someone, which is really, I don’t know, it’s, it’s really empowering to not just say, oh, I have this feeling for you, and I love you, but I’m not going to do anything about it. If it gives you a sense that you can actively love someone.
Another huge topic is gender roles. And like I said, bell hooks is a renowned feminist author. And she touches on how gender roles and power structures between men and women affect how heterosexual relationships, at least how they act out love.
We see a lot of, at least in America, I don’t know about other places, but we see many people being tired and feeling like love is just like a sensitive topic.
So, in essence, it is worth showing by your actions. How you feel about someone, not just saying it, you know, not just saying, oh, I love you. And I feel so compassionate about you. I feel so passionate about you. It’s more about what you do with those feelings.
The way society is set up society with specifically in a capitalistic society, it’s mostly about dominance. It’s about, you know, individualism and things like that. And though that kind of bleeds into how people show love to each other. Bell hooks think that love would be more prevalent in our society.
If we didn’t have these pressures to just be constantly doing the side hustles and doing all these other things to make money, she thinks it would just be, you know, kind of chill.
So the antidote to those problems would be to have love and show love to other people, you know, love as a verb, not as a feeling showing love to humanity, and to your intimate romantic relationships could solve a lot of these systemic problems.
Things like that will definitely solve a lot of problems we have in society as a whole. So overall, I think this book is really well written. It’s heavily researched.

There’s a lot of quotes from other authors. Most of the book feels like I was reading 10 other books. Honestly, it felt like 90% quotes from other books, but I think bell hooks do a good job tying in all these ideas from different philosophers. And I feel like she really put effort into thinking about her own personal life and how other people have experienced many of these same things.

I liked how she ties in all of these systemic problems to things that we experienced in romantic relationships. Overall, I think it’s worth the read.

It would help if you took it with a grain of salt. She gets into some spiritual things, and it gets a bit weird for a chapter, but it’s worth reading. And it’s good to think about, especially if you like philosophy, you’re a feminist or a womanist, and yeah.