Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall || Book Review

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?

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Title: Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot

Author: Mikki Kendall

Published on February 25th, 2020 by Penguin Books

Format: Paperback, 288 pages

Genre / Themes: Feminism | Race | Social Justice

Rating: 4.5 cups of tea

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Informative, moving, and at times uncomfortable, Kendall’s series of essays explores the vastness of feminism in the modern day. In particular, Kendall explores the difficulties and injustices women of colour are faced with. Though mainly about black women, Kendall also examines other women of colour such as the Indigenous population. From wage gaps to flaws in the education system, Kendall provides a well-researched and large collection of essays that explores not only the issues at hand but ways to make improvements. I was blown away by not only how detailed every essay was, but how engaging Kendall’s writing was … it was rather easy to simply continue reading, which I tend to struggle with in nonfiction.

I did find that I would get lost in some essays, as the transition from topic to topic was not always fluid or obvious. And for those well versed in intersectional feminism, this may not provide as much additional detail as one may like; there were a number of points and statistics within Kendall’s essays that I’d already been well versed in. However, this does not negate how valuable and incredibly informed this novel and its author are. There was much I learned in this novel, with a lot of important notes I personally need to take in my life to be a better feminist and ally.

It’s not just a recommendation … it’s a must-read.

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Author of Bookmark Your Thoughts, both the Tumblr and WordPress book review blogs. I'm a tea drinking, book loving librarian who just loves literature.

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