Book Reviews

Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall- Mainstream Vs Marginalised

Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall is a compilation of essays that talks of marginalized feminism comparing them to scenarios where mainstream feminism was/is brought out with a pomp side-lining the former section of people. Because Feminism is an expansive topic, the only way to learn more about it is through reading and Mikki Kendall ensures her essays are peppered with the right information for the readers to understand the amount of work that is done for both these sections under feminist movements. The fact that these marginalized sects have struggled so much despite a feminist movement running in the background with a trending hashtag was appalling to know. It drew a clear contrast between black and white and talked of futile attempts to merge them.

Kendall’s writing is factual and she lays stress on educating the reader by backing these facts with numbers, real-life stories, political scenarios, and feminist movements. Her presentation with words is accurate, escorted with the precision of poking one topic at a time so it cuts the reader deep, its effects realized and known. She starts with basics and essentials- Hunger, Education, Race, Poverty, and politics. Slowly treading over to talk about topics from the hood, or the kind of things women of color are called out for- their physique, their appearances, and how hair is considered a major factor to land a job. She says- “Socially, dark skin became associated with poverty and light skin with aristocracy”. She enters global territories and backs it up by stating the existence of Colorism, “that is not just confined to Black Americans but is a global issue”. Her essays on Gun violence, rape culture, patriarchy, and parenting while being marginalized are devastating, leaving the reader numb as one tries to absorb the struggle of these women and their families.

Her sentences are little bombs that explode timely in these pages as she talks about feminism, White women oppression with no addressable argument towards women of color exposing the myths of a movement, and weighing it against the basic and the societal occurrences of the past. Her plea that is more of a solid debate rebuttal at times looks like this- “fight against hunger as hard as you fight for abortion rights or equal pay”. The agenda of the book is to highlight that mainstream feminism will only succeed in bringing out changes if the focus is laid on combating discrimination of every order.

I recommend reading this book for the sheer reasoning of knowing more about Feminism and how sometimes a mainstream feminist movement garners much uproar tramping on the voices of the marginalized. To see a winning scenario this is what needs a shapeshifting- solidarity to bring everyone under one umbrella.

Her sentences are little bombs that explode timely in these pages as she talks about feminism, White women oppression with no addressable argument towards women of color exposing the myths of a movement, and weighing it against the basic and the societal occurrences of the past. Her plea that is more of a solid debate rebuttal at times looks like this- “fight against hunger as hard as you fight for abortion rights or equal pay”. The agenda of the book is to highlight that mainstream feminism will only succeed in bringing out changes if the focus is laid on combating discrimination of every order.

I recommend reading this book for the sheer reasoning of knowing more about Feminism and how sometimes a mainstream feminist movement garners much uproar tramping on the voices of the marginalized. To see a winning scenario this is what needs a shapeshifting- solidarity to bring everyone under one umbrella.

Thank you to the publisher Bloomsbury India for the review copy.

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