Bell hooks represents writing from a combination of feminism, activism and African-American views looking out at the world around her. The writing she puts into this book hits all the third rail issues (race, gender, class, and social conflict) but doesn’t get electrocuted by the contact. Instead, Talking Back is a collection of feminist thought stripped of political soundbites and flushed full of daily life interactions instead. This is the real view of a real woman in real life, not a made-up ideal in a utopia that will never happen in this lifetime.
Talking Back provides the latest chapter in bell hooks’ heavy portfolio of work spanning at least 30 other books and dozens of articles. Leaning hard on the postmodern female view of the world, hooks approach all the hot-button social issues of today and strips them down to a woman’s view, as well as reflecting how that woman fits in the world with these various aspects pushing back. Whether it’s today’s intimate sexuality expectations, the blaring mass media view of women, the buried principles of raw feminism that doesn’t fit neatly in a political box, or gender influence on education today, hooks’ makes the topic her own in Talking Back.
So, if you want a fresh view of feminism that doesn’t follow the typical standards of mainstream soundbites, then you’ll appreciate diving into Talking Back. The work is as much a reflection back on the average woman as it is a commentary on how much work still needs to be addressed to bring feminism to its modern maturity.