Communion: The Female Search For Love

After bell hooks passed away late last year, her words and books circulated throughout social media. But I will confess that I knew very little about her. In 2020, I bought one of her books but never got around to reading it. So, at the beginning of this year, someone suggested we read one of her books for a book club discussion. We selected All About Love: New Visions. This book is so impressive; it is a book everyone should read at least once in their lifetime because it is life-changing.

Anyways, after reading that book, I realized I had to read more hooks. It so happens that I was in for a treat since hooks wrote a trilogy on love. All About Love was the first in the trilogy. So, reader, did I read them in order? Of course not! Why follow the rules, haha. The second book in the series is Salvation: Black People and Love, which I plan to read next month, and the last book in the series is Communion: The Female Search For Love, which I recently finished.

Like All About Love, Communion is a nonfiction book divided into 16 chapters. The book focuses on hooks’ reflections on the intersection between love and patriarchy, touching on the feminism movement, body acceptance, family dynamics, friendship, gender equality at home and work, and romantic relationships between men and women.

I enjoyed this book because it thoroughly examines patriarchy and its nuances while simultaneously challenging the feminist movement, causing the reader to self-reflect on the true meaning of feminism. The book is so profound and transformational that I can not do full justice with my review. As a result, I want to share a few thought-provoking quotes from the book:

“This is a female’s first lesson in the school of patriarchal thinking and values. She must earn love. She is not entitled. She must be good to be loved. And good is always defined by someone else, someone on the outside.”

“It has not been that difficult to show women the ways in which their continued allegiance to patriarchal thinking hurts them and other women. It has been hard to inspire them to give up that allegiance when it provides that common ground on which to meet and bond with men”.

“Women who learn to love represent the greatest threat to the patriarchal status quo”.

“Lots of women can hang tight with one another and bond if one of them has a problem or if they share a problem. Affirming another woman’s success is the difficult issue for many females, even those of us who claim to be feminists…it is as though our knowledge that females lack value in the eyes of patriarchy means we can gain value only by competing with one another for recognition”.

“Early on within the contemporary feminist movement, it was easier to blame patriarchy for all our female woes, rather than look within to see they ways in which we fail ourselves, the ways we self-sabotage.”

So, reader, what do you think about these quotes? Do you plan to read this book?