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Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot

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Today's feminist movement has a glaring blind spot, and paradoxically, it is women. Mainstream feminists rarely talk about meeting basic needs as a feminist issue, argues Mikki Kendall, but food insecurity, access to quality education, safe neighborhoods, a living wage, and medical care are all feminist issues. All too often, however, the focus is not on basic survival for Today's feminist movement has a glaring blind spot, and paradoxically, it is women. Mainstream feminists rarely talk about meeting basic needs as a feminist issue, argues Mikki Kendall, but food


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Today's feminist movement has a glaring blind spot, and paradoxically, it is women. Mainstream feminists rarely talk about meeting basic needs as a feminist issue, argues Mikki Kendall, but food insecurity, access to quality education, safe neighborhoods, a living wage, and medical care are all feminist issues. All too often, however, the focus is not on basic survival for Today's feminist movement has a glaring blind spot, and paradoxically, it is women. Mainstream feminists rarely talk about meeting basic needs as a feminist issue, argues Mikki Kendall, but food insecurity, access to quality education, safe neighborhoods, a living wage, and medical care are all feminist issues. All too often, however, the focus is not on basic survival for the many, but on increasing privilege for the few. That feminists refuse to prioritize these issues has only exacerbated the age-old problem of both internecine discord and women who rebuff at carrying the title. Moreover, prominent white feminists broadly suffer from their own myopia with regard to how things like race, class, sexual orientation, and ability intersect with gender. How can we stand in solidarity as a movement, Kendall asks, when there is the distinct likelihood that some women are oppressing others?

20 review for Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mina

    FOR YEARS YOUR PRIVILEGE HAS BEEN AN ENEMY TO MY RIGHT! YES YOU. CHECK. YOUR PRIVILEGE!This book is not meant to be pretty or pleasant. It says what it says and it will call you out on your bullshit!I will stress that this is a very important book that covers key issues for black people and black women most importantly because even within our own community we are still at the bottom of the food chain. Its definitely not shocking to me and it's not news that mainstream feminism/feminist iconism FOR YEARS YOUR PRIVILEGE HAS BEEN AN ENEMY TO MY RIGHT! YES YOU. CHECK. YOUR PRIVILEGE!This book is not meant to be pretty or pleasant. It says what it says and it will call you out on your bullshit!I will stress that this is a very important book that covers key issues for black people and black women most importantly because even within our own community we are still at the bottom of the food chain. Its definitely not shocking to me and it's not news that mainstream feminism/feminist iconism will almost always certainly exclude the black woman. In majority (if not all) of third world countries plus not forgetting in the Hood, POC are facing issues such as Homelessness, Poverty, Hunger, BLOODY GUN VIOLENCE & Lack of access to consistent quality education to name just but a few. These are our issues yet if we're are feminists as we so call ourselves left right and center how come I don't here you talk about these issues sis?Where's the solidarity sis?

  2. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    An engaging essay collection that I would recommend to those who want to learn more about intersectional feminism. Mikki Kendall does a great job of connecting feminism to topics such as the housing crisis, hunger, black women’s maternal health, and more, which often are ignored in a movement that centers cis, heterosexual white women. She dives deep into social issues like gun violence and poverty, thus providing us with a solid understanding of these issues, while always drawing connections to An engaging essay collection that I would recommend to those who want to learn more about intersectional feminism. Mikki Kendall does a great job of connecting feminism to topics such as the housing crisis, hunger, black women’s maternal health, and more, which often are ignored in a movement that centers cis, heterosexual white women. She dives deep into social issues like gun violence and poverty, thus providing us with a solid understanding of these issues, while always drawing connections to how women – especially women of color – are almost always disproportionately affected by social inequities and injustices. She interweaves anecdotes from her personal life that help illustrate the gravity of these issues in a more focused emotional lens, as opposed to solely drawing from systemic analysis or theory and statistics. I’m not sure how much mileage you would get from this collection if you’re already pretty well-versed in intersectional feminism, though I still found the essay an enjoyable read and I’d definitely recommend it to people who think mostly of white women when feminism comes to mind. I noticed a pattern in which some essays would veer off into a more unfocused exploration of many topics by the middle before being wrapped back up into the original thesis by the end, which felt a little clumsy. However, I recognize that so many of these issues intersect and sprawl into one another. Yay for expanding the extent to which feminism also takes into account race, socioeconomic status, and additional vectors of identity.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gabby

    Really important thoughtful book on feminism and how women can do a better job at being more inclusive. I think this book is very educational and something everyone should take the time to read, I feel like I learned so much.

  4. 4 out of 5

    emma

    This should be absolutely required reading. For everyone.Rarely in life do you find a work of nonfiction this short and this readable that is also so expansive, so all-encompassing, and so effective.I really don't feel I need to use this review as a space to say anything more than PLEASE READ THIS, but I will explain briefly why this isn't quite 5 stars:This book spends more time and is more explicit in condemning the words of Bernie Sanders supporters than it is of those of Trump supporters or This should be absolutely required reading. For everyone.Rarely in life do you find a work of nonfiction this short and this readable that is also so expansive, so all-encompassing, and so effective.I really don't feel I need to use this review as a space to say anything more than PLEASE READ THIS, but I will explain briefly why this isn't quite 5 stars:This book spends more time and is more explicit in condemning the words of Bernie Sanders supporters than it is of those of Trump supporters or Trump himself. For a thesis that includes universal healthcare, equal access to education (including at the college level), and more democratic socialist platforms as part of its version of feminism, as for many other reasons, I just don't see how that's justifiable.But even with that, this is a stunning book.Bottom line: If you are a person and you are on this planet, read this book. "We rarely talk about basic needs as a feminist issue. Food insecurity and access to quality education, safe neighborhoods, a living wage, and medical care are all feminist issues. Instead of a framework that focuses on helping women get basic needs met, all too often the focus is not on survival but on increasing privilege. For a movement that is meant to represent all women, it often centers on those who already have most of their needs met."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Riley

    "For a movement that is meant to represent all women, it often centers on those who already have most of their needs met." "For a movement that is meant to represent all women, it often centers on those who already have most of their needs met."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bookishrealm

    Do you the know the word intersectionality? Do you know the definition? Because if you don't I need you to read this book and even if you think you know what it means READ THIS BOOK. It's so easy to classify yourself as a feminist BUT does your idea of feminism really address ALL women specifically BLACK women? Last year I was luck enough to receive a copy of Mikki Kendall's graphic novel which I still haven't had the opportunity to read; however, the moment I saw that she was coming out with th Do you the know the word intersectionality? Do you know the definition? Because if you don't I need you to read this book and even if you think you know what it means READ THIS BOOK. It's so easy to classify yourself as a feminist BUT does your idea of feminism really address ALL women specifically BLACK women? Last year I was luck enough to receive a copy of Mikki Kendall's graphic novel which I still haven't had the opportunity to read; however, the moment I saw that she was coming out with this book I knew that it was one that I needed to devour quickly. The information in Hood Feminism doesn't surprise me. You see, I'm a black woman. I know what it's like to watch non-Black individuals declare that they are feminist without truly considering the Black women that they are forgetting. Yet, it was interesting to learn the ways in which certain aspects of feminism directly forget the issues that affect Black women. It was well detailed and made me really think about the ways that a lot of movements have left out the narratives of certain groups. Like a lot of non-fiction books that discuss race, this isn't an easy read. It will make a lot of individuals feel uncomfortable BUT that's the purpose. These are the conversations that need to happen. Race plays a huge part in everything related to the American system, but for some odd reason it's the one conversation that people are scared to have or they hide behind phrases like "we're a post-racial country" or "I'm color blind." These are the tough conversations we need to have in order to move forward. Some of my favorite sections of this book included her discussion on the fetishization of being fierce, education, and (this was the best section) allies, anger, and accomplices. If you're looking for a short, but complex novel that looks at the feminist movement in terms of Black women I would recommend checking out this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Krystal

    An intelligent, insightful read.It made me more aware of my own ignorance as a white female living in Australia - so many of these things I hadn't even considered - and it made me feel a little ashamed, to be honest.That being said, the point of this book is not to shame, but to educate. She talks about issues that feminism supposedly tackles and then describes how badly feminism is missing the mark when it comes to women of colour. Apparently racism is more powerful than misogyny. I'm very voca An intelligent, insightful read.It made me more aware of my own ignorance as a white female living in Australia - so many of these things I hadn't even considered - and it made me feel a little ashamed, to be honest.That being said, the point of this book is not to shame, but to educate. She talks about issues that feminism supposedly tackles and then describes how badly feminism is missing the mark when it comes to women of colour. Apparently racism is more powerful than misogyny. I'm very vocal when it comes to women standing up for women, particularly when it comes to sexual violence, so when I encountered this particular quote regarding rape culture, I was horrified: When you can't count on solidarity for women in danger, when bystander intervention isn't a solution because white female bystanders may feel that a Black woman's plight doesn't deserve their attention because race has a more powerful effect than gender, then we aren't really battling rape culture. The scariest part was that, as disgusting as the idea of that is to me, I had to take the time and make sure I wouldn't be someone who stood back. I want to make sure that I don't have any of these subconscious racist notions myself. (I do feel confident that I would help someone in trouble, no matter the colour of their skin. I truly hope so.)That's such a big part of why this book was so powerful to me. Because so many of these things I hadn't even considered, because my white privilege has kept me safe. I have a home, a family I can rely on, a steady job, and an income that allows me basic needs as well as some things I want. I'm not afraid to walk around the neighbourhood, or hang out in parks, and if I'm really in trouble I'm confident that law enforcement will help. I'm not afraid of being incarcerated for making a mistake, and no one has ever implied that I will be unfit to raise children when the time comes. All of these things I have taken for granted, and if you have too I encourage you to read this book. This book is begging for accomplices - not just allies. It's not enough to send thoughts and prayers. It's not enough to 'hope things work out'. This book asks us to stop putting the responsibility on the marginalised groups to stand up for themselves and make our own efforts to change how they're treated. They need allies in positions of power to be moved by their plight - to understand that supporting women of colour won't cost them their white privilege - and then actually make changes for the better. They need action from those of us who have had the fortune to be born white.I've honestly never felt so powerless. I wish I was in a position to do more.But wishes aren't enough, either, so in the absence of that I intend to educate myself as best I can, and this book was a great introduction. It covers a lot of important subjects in a calm, rational and educated manner. There's even a little humour, and the author uses anecdotes from her own life to help demonstrate the issues.My only complaint really is that it was too intelligent for me - I could have used a glossary because there are so many terms in here that I'd never heard of before. However that does also highlight once again how naive I was before I picked up this book.If you're looking to educate yourself on real issues that Black women face, this is a really good starting point because it covers things so comprehensively. Some of it is quite heavy reading, and you may need a dictionary on hand for some of the terms, but it's well worth the time.I'm grateful to find books like this that can help me learn, and grow, and further understand the struggles of others.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Olivia (Stories For Coffee)

    Everyone needs to read/listen to this book. Everyone.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lily Herman

    In a world of #girlboss bullshit and emphasis on if we have enough female CEOs running problematic Fortune 500 companies, Mikki Kendall's Hood Feminism is a beacon of light with a simple message: If your feminism isn't actively centering and loudly fighting for the most marginalized people in our society first and foremost, that feminism is incredibly privileged, white, and performative.I can only speak for my own identities, so if you're a white woman who considers yourself a feminist, do yours In a world of #girlboss bullshit and emphasis on if we have enough female CEOs running problematic Fortune 500 companies, Mikki Kendall's Hood Feminism is a beacon of light with a simple message: If your feminism isn't actively centering and loudly fighting for the most marginalized people in our society first and foremost, that feminism is incredibly privileged, white, and performative.I can only speak for my own identities, so if you're a white woman who considers yourself a feminist, do yourself a favor and allow this book to completely flatten you and re-arrange everything you thought you knew about how you conceptualize your fight for equality.Honestly, consider Hood Feminism required reading in my opinion.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mara

    4.5 stars - If someone wanted to understand what intersectional feminism or womanism looks like, I would point them straight to this book. Kendall covers a dazzling range of issues and explains how they are correlated to the experiences of many Black women. This is one of of those books where I feel like I need to let it simmer and come back to it at some point to go a layer deeper. So good and a great example of nonfiction centered on social analysis

  11. 5 out of 5

    Books with Brittany

    Please, I urge you. Read this book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Candie

    This is a good book but I thought I was going to like it more than I did. I agree with a lot of the ideas and concepts in this book and found it very interesting and eye opening to learn about feminism and so many issues from a different point of view than my own. I did not however, like the writing style of this book. I found it to be very repetitive, unorganized and often went completely off topic. It brought up a lot of issues to consider and look into but it was mostly all based on her opini This is a good book but I thought I was going to like it more than I did. I agree with a lot of the ideas and concepts in this book and found it very interesting and eye opening to learn about feminism and so many issues from a different point of view than my own. I did not however, like the writing style of this book. I found it to be very repetitive, unorganized and often went completely off topic. It brought up a lot of issues to consider and look into but it was mostly all based on her opinion and experiences and I feel like there was not a lot of statistics or research put into this book. Although her lived experiences are extremely valid, I feel like more organization and research would have led to a more informative reading experience with more effective arguments. I don't know of a lot of books personally that cover feminism through the eyes of marginalized women so for that reason alone I would still recommend this book, but more as a starting point of topics to educate yourself on than because it is such an informative and well written book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    BookOfCinz

    What I do have is a deep desire to move the conversation about solidarity and the feminist movement in a direction that recognizes that an intersectional approach to feminism is key to improving relationships between communities of women, so that some measure of true solidarity can happen. Erasure is not equality, least of all in a movement that draws much of its strength from the claim that it represents over half of the world’s population. Listen Mikki Kendall did not come to play with y'all What I do have is a deep desire to move the conversation about solidarity and the feminist movement in a direction that recognizes that an intersectional approach to feminism is key to improving relationships between communities of women, so that some measure of true solidarity can happen. Erasure is not equality, least of all in a movement that draws much of its strength from the claim that it represents over half of the world’s population. Listen Mikki Kendall did not come to play with y'all in this book, she addresses every single area that the movement forgot and I was here for it. I learned SOOOOO much reading this book and what having a holistic approach to feminism looks like. It needs to be truly firm on every issue that affects women. A must read for anyone who is interested in being a better person and a better feminist. Well written and well researched.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mia C

    First, if you've never heard the word intersectionality or have little to no understanding about how race intersects with other forms of identity, this would be fine to read, though I could recommend better material on the subject. If you already have an understanding about these topics, this book may be so obvious it will be very tedious to get through. Second, in terms of the writing, another critical review noted that the editors "failed" this author and while that seems harsh, there were man First, if you've never heard the word intersectionality or have little to no understanding about how race intersects with other forms of identity, this would be fine to read, though I could recommend better material on the subject. If you already have an understanding about these topics, this book may be so obvious it will be very tedious to get through. Second, in terms of the writing, another critical review noted that the editors "failed" this author and while that seems harsh, there were many points in the book that I found myself thinking the same exact thing. Third, there are no "notes" from "the women" that a movement forgot, as the title promises. Just one long note from one woman.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alice Lippart

    Educational and eye-opening.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Maxwell

    An essential intersectional feminist text. I appreciated how the author was able to succinctly touch on so many issues, from housing and education to healthcare and hunger, through a feminist lens. And though it’s an accessible, engaging read it doesn’t lack complexity. Kendall interrogates issues feminists face from without and within the group. Having read a few other books along these lines, I do feel like this is a good place to start if you’re looking for a feminist text that is wide rangin An essential intersectional feminist text. I appreciated how the author was able to succinctly touch on so many issues, from housing and education to healthcare and hunger, through a feminist lens. And though it’s an accessible, engaging read it doesn’t lack complexity. Kendall interrogates issues feminists face from without and within the group. Having read a few other books along these lines, I do feel like this is a good place to start if you’re looking for a feminist text that is wide ranging but distinctly intersectional. This was a good reminder for many topics I’ve read about before as well as bringing new ways to think about things I am not as well versed in.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    4 stars This is a book that I think is important for all women to read. Definitely thought provoking and eye-opening. I enjoyed listening to the audiobook. It talked a lot about the groups left behind in feminism and the parts of it that aren’t recognized as they should be. I’m glad I picked this one up! Audio book source: Libby (borrow) Story Rating: 4 starsNarrators: Mikki Kendall Narration Rating: 4 starsGenre: Non-fiction Length: 6 hours and 57 minutes

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    Hood Feminism unpacks the problems with a mainstream feminism that centers white women while excluding or even harming many women of color and women who are not middle class or wealthy. Issue by issue, it paints a picture of what true intersectional feminism might look like, focusing on serious concerns that have a serious impact on women and children. From gun violence and a more comprehensive approach to reproductive justice, to food and housing security and the ways that racism and white femi Hood Feminism unpacks the problems with a mainstream feminism that centers white women while excluding or even harming many women of color and women who are not middle class or wealthy. Issue by issue, it paints a picture of what true intersectional feminism might look like, focusing on serious concerns that have a serious impact on women and children. From gun violence and a more comprehensive approach to reproductive justice, to food and housing security and the ways that racism and white feminism can intersect in very harmful ways, Kendall calls attention to the very real issues that have nothing to do with whether someone can more easily become a CEO. This is a book everyone should probably read and take to heart. This is the brand of feminism, centered on racial and social justice, that I feel strongly about. And you will probably learn a lot, as the author includes data and statistics while carefully structuring her arguments. This is an important book from a thinker we should be paying attention to. Now I just want more practical steps for action.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ivonne Rovira

    Mikki Henderson does a good job of pointing out how often “feminism” means more rights for upper-middle-class working women who need nannies, while forgotten African-American women, lesbians, transgendered women and working-class women of all races. Issues that are definitely feminist ones — housing, living wages, food security and more — are thought of as labor issues when we should instead operate from a mindset of intersectionality.I enjoyed Hood Feminism, but I didn’t find it as inspiring as Mikki Henderson does a good job of pointing out how often “feminism” means more rights for upper-middle-class working women who need nannies, while forgotten African-American women, lesbians, transgendered women and working-class women of all races. Issues that are definitely feminist ones — housing, living wages, food security and more — are thought of as labor issues when we should instead operate from a mindset of intersectionality.I enjoyed Hood Feminism, but I didn’t find it as inspiring as either Ijeoma Olou’s So You Want to Talk About Race, Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist or Baratunde Thurston’s How to Be Black. In the interest of full disclosure, I received this book from NetGalley, Penguin Group and Viking in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Reads Ravenously

    I really enjoyed listening to this book. I feel a lot of "feminists" need to listen to or read this book because it points out all the people modern day feminism leaves out. Very informative and made me think about my own perspective on things. I started to wonder how I would react if I was the "white woman" in these situations and I hope I come out on the side of ally. All white women need to work on being better allies, myself included. I really enjoyed listening to this book. I feel a lot of "feminists" need to listen to or read this book because it points out all the people modern day feminism leaves out. Very informative and made me think about my own perspective on things. I started to wonder how I would react if I was the "white woman" in these situations and I hope I come out on the side of ally. All white women need to work on being better allies, myself included.

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