Is bell hooks ever wrong?

4 Oct

loveI’ve been re-reading bits of bell hooks’ excellent trilogy on the issue of love (all forms of love i.e., self-love, romantic love, communal love, etc.). It includes the books All About Love: New Visions, Salvation: Black People and Love, and Communion: The Female Search for Love.

I really like this paragraph taken from Communion: The Female Search for Love in hooks’ chapter “The Search for Men Who Love.”

When women talk about what they find likable in a man, they name traits like kindness, strength of character, and integrity. As Harriet Lerner points out in Life Preservers in the section titled “Mr. Right and Mr. Wrong,” “While individual taste varies, we want a partner who is mature and intelligent, loyal and trustworthy, loving and attentive, sensitive and open, kind and nurturant, competent and responsible. I’ve yet to meet a woman who says, ‘Well to be honest, I’m hoping to find an irresponsible, distant, ill-tempered sort of guy who sulks a lot and won’t pick up after himself.’ ” Yet, she says, “Many women put more careful judgment into selecting a new toaster oven than they put into evaluating a prospective partner.” Perhaps women suspend careful judgment because deep down they know that to exercise it might mean doing without male partnership for long periods of time. Looking for a man who can love is a search that can take ages.  

I couldn’t agree more. I get so Obama-Exasperated when men contend that all women want bad boys/thugs or men with “swag” (whatever the hell that is). Just yesterday the blog verysmartbrothas featured a diatribe about some unassuming guy’s longing for an “It Girl” aka Ms. Popularity/Captain of the cheer-leading squad. I loved the first comment by A Word or Three; I couldn’t have said it better. 

Any sentient woman post-25, knows what time it is. We want all those characteristics that appear in bold and in red above. I absolutely love intelligent, demure men. Perhaps I need to put that on a bloody t-shirt for someone to actually take notice; that and “I’m down with the swirl.” But let me qualify this — I need to be physically attracted to these unassuming fellows. Let’s not forget that crucial point.     

Back to bell, I really love how she not only contextualizes what can be perceived as a woman’s lack of judgment when selecting a partner but also highlights the extreme challenge women face when being true to ourselves and our standards. We may be without romance for quite some time. Hell, it’s been almost 3 years for yours truly.  Sigh… 😦 I keep attracting married men for some reason. “The Anti-Side Piece” — that’s my third t-shirt. The trifecta is now complete.

Oh goodie —  Scandal is on. I’m due for some escapism right about now. 

Happy Friday Fam! And remember, To thine own self be true!

Ya’ heard. 🙂 

Let’s dance this one out.

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