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Summary

Everyone needs to love and be loved - even men. But to know love, men must be able to look at the ways that patriarchal culture keeps them from knowing themselves, from being in touch with their feelings, from loving. In The Will to Change, bell hooks gets to the heart of the matter and shows men how to express the emotions that are a fundamental part of who they are - whatever their age, marital status, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. 

But toxic masculinity punishes those fundamental emotions, and it’s so deeply ingrained in our society that it’s hard for men to not comply - but hooks wants to help change that. 

With trademark candor and fierce intelligence, hooks addresses the most common concerns of men, such as fear of intimacy and loss of their patriarchal place in society, in new and challenging ways. She believes men can find the way to spiritual unity by getting back in touch with the emotionally open part of themselves - and lay claim to the rich and rewarding inner lives that have historically been the exclusive province of women. A brave and astonishing work, The Will to Change is designed to help men reclaim the best part of themselves.

©2003 Gloria Watkins (P)2020 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about The Will to Change

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Poetic, accessible, political

Bell can do little wrong in my eyes, this is an important text nearly 20 years on. I've been waiting for more of bells texts to go up, please put more of Bells work on audio!!

4 people found this helpful

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Inspiring and moving. Superb performance by Janina

This is my first listen to Bell Hooks and I have to say I'm very glad I got that chance to listen to her book. I was recommended All About Love by Bell Hooks but decided to start here since as a young man there are many times where I myself am confused about my place and role in the world especially when it comes to being an authentic and honest representation of myself seeking deeper, healthier connections with my loved ones while not clouded by circumstances of life having lived through trauma and being a black man. Bell Hooks clearly outlines ways in which we as men can start to reclaim the masculinity which the world rejects and sees as irrational and unacceptable so that we may learn real self love and real expression of love. I'm looking forward to delve more into her works and have a long backlog of books from her and other writers through which I seek to explore positive personal development and learning the practice love both in and out of oneself

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Necessary and Enlightening for Men and Women Alike

Wonderfully read, I could hear bell hooks’ narrative voice clearly and felt her presence throughout. I can’t stress enough how important the themes of this book are and how revolutionary it could be for men and women to read this and carry the message with them. Highly recommend to anyone considering listening!

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just exquisite!

fantastic commentary on the intricacies of the emotional worlds of men and how all people can contribute to the emotional wellbeing of all people - love being, in itself, a revolutionary act!

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Excellent despite its limitations.

Core arguments excellent & still what we need to know (some fuzzy thinking in details).

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The Will to Change

This is a complicated subject, and we are all too often aware of the worst effects our patriarchal society has on the lives of women, but the impact on men is never discussed. So, Bell Hooks looks at how this dominator society we are part of has adverse effects on the lives of men who, despite men welding power, are as much victims as are women.
This book would be one of my recommendations.

She focuses on, the lack of emotional underdevelopment, lack of self-expression, and inability to show vulnerability and much more.

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Brutally honest

An honest discussion on the issues the everyday faces in a society that dictates our manliness and what attributes underpin men’s value in society

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Key reading for all men, and all/any genders!

This is a potent antidotal read especially for men who wish to return to be a whole sense of being, and healing from the patriarchal culture. I will re listen !

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Highly recommend

Beautifully written & well spoken.

This is something for everyone not just men as some of the recommendations suggest.

Illuminating and affirming the stuggles I see in society and my own life concerning the position of men, their masculinty and relation to women.

There is solution that seems so simple yet rarely practiced.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-09-20

A unique call to an ethic of creative love

belle hooks, a black woman, just spoke directly this white man's heart in a way that no man or woman ever has. Growing up without the direct presence of a father, I never knew what good masculinity looked like. I now, for the first time in my life, in my late thirties, am beginning to understand, thanks to this book.

belle hooks' love for men, women, and children pours out of every word of this book, and comes through crystal clear, if not amplified, by the beautiful narration of Janina Edwards.

This book exposes the unimaginable depths of societal rot caused by millennia of Patriarchy, and calls for a new ethic of creative (instead of destructive) love and wholeness that can heal and bring us together. Having read this book, I will never again be able to not be on the journey of helping to bring this profound vision into reality.

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  • C. Minor
  • 14-06-20

Transformative Enlightenment For Masculine Souls

For so long I've wondered why I never seem to be able to get a handle on my own masculinity because of my experience with toxic masculinity and patriarchy but this book really highlights the history of feminism and how feminism can help and in (small ways) failed to bring boys along when fighting for change back in the day. But as Bell Hooks articulates the struggle between man and woman she applies poignant and precise commentary that highlights where she views the disconnects are and why they are the way they are with her own personal experiences. It's a very enlightening and rewarding read. If you're a man and you know something is wrong with the way we are living but don't know what to do or what areas you should start on i encourage you to read this book. It will provide some insight for you. I believe that to be true because it opened up a whole new world for me.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Epigenomical
  • 14-10-20

Phenomenal

Bell Hooks compassionately illuminates and brilliantly dissects the devastation wrought by patriarchal society on humanity. The female narrator's voice is pitch-perfect. This is a powerful work of immense importance to the world. This is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the roots of Trump-era societal self-immolation.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Nobody
  • 20-12-21

Do the work

Men, it’s on us to heal and reenter the circle of love. The rewards are well worth the risk.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Brandon
  • 07-08-20

Must Read

I never call anything a must read, but this one speaks to all men everywhere. Hooks manages to speak to the core of feminism without alienating men. She digs into the struggles we all face in this culture, and sheds light on what we must become. For those who ask "What is it women want from us?" I recommend reading this.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-04-20

Bell Hooks, my hero!!

Loved this book. Full of incredible, life changing insights. I'd give more stars if possible.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-08-20

Fantastic but now I feel emotionally drained

Very comprehensive. For those not willing to listen / read the whole book it would have been better if the chapters could stand alone. Lacks a good ending summary. Where do we go from here?

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  • Chanpete
  • 17-12-21

The unsung hero bell hooks, RIP

An inspiring and powerful read, that hints to Paulo Freire, but a trailblazer her own.

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  • David P Couto
  • 14-02-22

Lovely Read. Is there a lil ideology blindness? ye

I enjoyed this book dearly.
Although after a first read I have pages of notes citing problems with various points of reasoning Hooks made throughout, including a few I would consider major. For every elucidating and resonant point made, she then turns the reader to the idea that the only feasible solution is the construction of some new masculine mythos that is both amiable to feminist views and considerate to the pains which Patriarchy as a kind of meta-meme (although she does not employ this language) has and does incur suffering within men's lives. I find it to be peculiarly Messianic in taste.
Nothing out of the ordinary for the logic and statistics illiteraterate academic addressing topics of popular psycho-social interest.
You get used to it. Compelling observations of taboo synthesized with less than entirely compelling forms and logic into less than effective or sufficiently radical ends.
My problem is I haven't found another book that approaches the same problems as effectively as this one does.
For pragmatic brevity: Do I see myself recommending this book to affluent left of center women in an apparent need of overcoming their internalized patriarchal views? Yeah.
Do I see myself recommending this book to the average man or to conservative women of the same need? No.

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  • Peyton Huff
  • 02-10-21

An oasis in the desert

A must read for every man looking for love and connection of a world activity seeking tear us apart.

1 person found this helpful