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Love and Parapets

A Pelerine's Journey

(This following is taken from from my blog posted on I find that other people are often so much better at saying what it is I wish to express.

There are those who are especially learned, guided and particularly expert in their fields.

For me, this is the basis of my role models, one of whom is bell hooks. I confess that I have neither met her, nor do I know much about her beyond what I have seen on the world wide web.

She is a controversial figure, it would seem, speaking out against oppression which makes her an obvious target for criticism and opposition. Do we stick our head above the parapet and speak out, at a risk of having it shot off? Less controversially but challenging nonetheless, bell hooks writes about ‘love’.

For four years or more, this has been my quest. To discover, “What is love?” In the contexts of marriage, divorce, subsequent ‘loves’, lovely children, a beloved sister and much-loved mother, brother and father, I have experienced love in many ways. Yet, for those who have been wounded by ‘love’, do we expose our heart once more, sticking it above the parapet, at a risk of having it .....?

Well, I say, “Yes." At least, "perhaps we ought to; at a risk of having it ...healed.” What follows may help to point the way but first a bit of background about the woman behind the quotes. Name - bell hooks (intentionally uncapitalised) Background - African-American Born - 25 September, 1952 Occupation - Author, feminist, social critic & social activist

  • Race

  • Capitalism

  • Gender

  • Class domination

  • Education/pedagogy

  • Art

  • History

  • Sexuality

  • Mass media

  • Feminism

Some Published Works
  • Ain’t I a Woman?

  • All About Love: New Visions

  • Sisters of the Yam

  • We Real Cool: Black Men & Masculinity

  • And There We Sat

  • Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center

Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom
About Love Quotes from bell hooks
“Living simply makes loving simple.”
“When we face pain in relationships our first response is often to sever bonds rather than to maintain commitment.” “Genuine love is rarely an emotional space where needs are instantly gratified. To know love we have to invest time and commitment...'dreaming that love will save us, solve all our problems or provide a steady state of bliss or security only keeps us stuck in wishful fantasy, undermining the real power of the love --which is to transform us.' Many people want love to function like a drug, giving them an immediate and sustained high. They want to do nothing, just passively receive the good feeling.”
“To return to love, to get the love we always wanted but never had, to have the love we want but are not prepared to give, we seek romantic relationships. We believe these relationships, more than any other, will rescue and redeem us. True love does have the power to redeem but only if we are ready for redemption. Love saves us only if we want to be saved.”
“Individuals who want to believe that there is no fulfillment in love, that true love does not exist, cling to these assumptions because this despair is actually easier to face than the reality that love is a real fact of life but is absent from their lives.”
“Visionary feminism is a wise and loving politics. It is rooted in the love of male and female being, refusing to privilege one over the other. The soul of feminist politics is the commitment to ending patriarchal domination of women and men, girls and boys. Love cannot exist in any relationship that is based on domination and coercion. Males cannot love themselves in patriarchal culture if their very self-definition relies on submission to patriarchal rules. When men embrace feminist thinking and practice, which emphasizes the value of mutual growth and self-actualization in all relationships, their emotional well-being will be enhanced. A genuine feminist politics always brings us from bondage to freedom, from lovelessness to loving.”

Posted with Love and S.W.A.L.K.

Chiedza Chashe Xx


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