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Book Review; Feminist Looks at How Women Can Embrace Authentic Love
[Home Edition]
Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles, Calif.
Subjects: Nonfiction; Feminism; Love; Women; Books-titles -- Communion: The Female Search for Love
Author: Woods, Paula L
Date: Feb 14, 2002
Start Page: E.4
Section: Southern California Living; Features Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

Luckily for the reader, hooks does and recounts, through personal experiences in consciousness-raising sessions and the bedroom, her intellectual and sexual awakening during the women's movement that seems almost like an Everywoman story for certain groups of college- educated baby boomers. A Southern Baptist girl away from home at Stanford University, hooks was dazzled by the heady atmosphere of questioning and experimentation that went along with the feminist movement of the 1970s, especially when it came to love. "Radical feminism encouraged women to question our obsession with love," hooks remembers. "In extreme cases, individual women urged us to forget love and get into power." And though feminism had its greatest triumphs in the workplace, it is on an emotional level that hooks believes feminism failed to show ways that women and men could throw off male-dominated modes of thinking and relating to each other to embrace fuller, more authentic relationships. "Communion," then, is hooks' quest to get at the root causes for the lack of intimate, loving relationships between women and their partners and find ways in which women can break the cycle of thinking that has retarded their emotional growth. In addition to chapters that emphasize coming to terms with and loving oneself "right where you are," hooks does a masterful job in critiquing the envy among women (mothers, daughters and friends) that destroys their self-esteem and capacity for trusting relationships as well as the ways in which some men's emotional withholding and distancing are barriers to true intimacy.

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