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The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love

The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love

Current price: $17.99
Publication Date: December 21st, 2004
Washington Square Press
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Staff Reviews

If I could give one book to each dude, guy, and fella in this country, it would be this one. Unsparing yet compassionate, hooks lays bare the ways in which patriarchal culture disfigures the psyches of boys to create the men who will helm and propagate it. We also learn how the feminist movement has failed men and how men have failed to understand and embrace feminism. hooks's writing is clear, concise, and incisive, making this a perfect introductory feminist text for men, teenage boys, or those who (want to) love them.

Throughout young adulthood, I avoided thinking about my own gender even as I tried to support women and trans folks in my life. I could not picture a version of manhood with which I felt comfortable, nor a world in which I would want to be male, though I knew I was. hooks helped me see what antipatriarchal masculinity could look like -- futures to fight for; ideals to aspire to. This is what I wish for every person -- man, woman, or otherwise.

— Graham


From the New York Times bestselling author of All About Love, a brave and astonishing work that challenges patriarchal culture and encourages men to reclaim the best part of themselves.

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.

About the Author

bell hooks was a cultural critic, a feminist icon, and the renowned author of more than twenty books, including the enduring classic New York Times bestseller All About Love, Rock My SoulThe Will to ChangeSisters of the Yam, and When Angels Speak of Love. A charismatic speaker, she divided her time between teaching, writing, and lecturing around the world. She passed away in 2021.

Praise for The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love

“A fierce...denunciation of patriarchy and a clarion call to the uncommitted to align themselves with visionary radical feminism.”
—Publishers Weekly

“[hooks] shows men that life can be so much more rewarding and beautiful once they embrace themselves.”


“A clear and nuanced account of the ways masculine conditioning shapes and damages men. It conveys the pressure men feel and place on themselves as it creates space for men to acknowledge their traumas and heal — not only for their sake, but for the sake of everyone in their lives.”

"Each offering from bell hooks is a major event...She has so much to give us."
—Maya Angelou