Bell Hooks

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Women, Writing and Language: Broadening the Definition of Dominance In her essay entitled Teaching the New Worlds/ New Words, bell hooks focuses on exploring and illuminating the close link between language and oppression from a feminist perspective. Recording that language is a self-imposing kaleidoscope of productive challenges and assistances that is impossible to bond or repress; she suggests that trying to circumscribe, it according to their interest is precisely what oppressors do with it. Hooks adresses African-Americans’ relationship to the Standard English as a reality more than a mere case study, and illuminating that how their native language, their most immense mean of bonding to each other had been taken away from them and…show more content…
Inevitably, since the Standard English was as illimitable as any language even though it belonged to the oppressor, the need for exclaim to reclaim the language from the oppressor in order to rebound the community and have an identity again has bursted from the confinement, hence the Southern black vernacular has formed: it was the oppressors language twisted, bended and used against him ironically as a weapon. According to hooks, this ill-formed, incorrect version of English must be seen as a valuable uprising that bears the changing power. By embracing an intersectional approach to oppression, particularly focusing on feminism and gender, it can be said that hooks’ essay is an inspiration to understand and reshape the link between relations of dominance and language further. While the framework of her ideas on language corresponds with many aspects of women writers such as Helene Cixous and Adrienne Rich; there are certain points that her arguments stand out as more inclusive on the concept of oppression. Moreover, deriving from her ideas that Southern black speech as an illustration of reclaiming the language , one can see striking resemblances between the case of the vernacular speech and the Queer jargon as both movements are trying defatigably to tear the power relations that has deep roots in…show more content…
It can be seen that the poem clearly had an affection of hooks since the two texts have visibly parallel mindsets. In fact, hooks highlights that parallelism by quoting a line from Rich: ‘’This is the oppressor’s language yet I need it to talk to you.’’(1) recurrently. hooks expresses that the words of Rich inherently possess the power to demand disobedience to domination through language and they evoke a deep craving to reach out the colonized peoples, to internalize how they suffered, got killed, made languageless, exiled, marginalized. Naturally, Rich does not make this call by a theoretical, dull understanding but through summoning to sympathy, ability to feel the expelled through the imagination derived from being the other: being the other is the catalyst of the unification that awakens the oppressed and make them seize the language, reinvent and utilize it to celebrate their differences; and synchronously, draw in the non-others to a unfamilliar landscape of language. Even though the words of the other would occur to the non-other as alien, the effort on encouraging the majority to walk on the land of the other’s knowledge without a claim of mastery or superiority is crucial for a multicultural society to offer life to a broader range of individuals. Also, this sense of learning without a sense of supremacy is one significant
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