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bell hooks on the Power of Representation

“It’s scary to me now, because, particularly in issues around erotica and sexual violence, people want to deny the direct link between representations and how we live our lives. I think that it’s possible to embrace the knowledge that there’s a direct link between representations and choices we make in our lives that does not make that link absolute, that does not say, “oh, if I look at a movie in which a woman is fucked to death,” than I will go out and think I should let myself be fucked to death by any man who wants to fuck me. I think that’s an absurd sense of a direct link, but that is not to say, that if I watched enough of those images I might not come away thinking that certain forms of unacceptable male violence in coercion in relationship to my female body are acceptable. Continue reading