The vagueness or malleability of the word love is both its strength and weakness as a political term for social progress. In Bell Hooks’ piece “Living by a Love Ethic” she argues for an interpretation of the word love that forgets associations with traditional dominant ideology notions of love in the family or between husband and wife, in favor of a more all-encompassing love ethic that emphasizes the “care, commitment, trust, responsibility, respect, and knowledge” aspects of love.  She believes that the spread of this ethic of love is imperative as a tool for social progress and that it must replace the already established ideas of heteronormative love that surround us in mass media every day.  In her mind, if people can adopt this notion of love on a widespread scale and be conscious every day that they are acting toward others in a way that embodies this love ethic, we could begin to erase the differences and unjust domination dynamics that are present in our society.  I personally doubt the practicality of this approach in terms of what it could realistically achieve.  In my opinion, it is not realistic to think that this message could possibly reach a wide range of often closed minded people, who have spent their entire lives developing certain notions of what love is based on media, religion, etc.  However, I do appreciate the importance of this love ethic as a tool for whoever is interested in bettering themselves and working toward becoming a more understanding and loving individual alongside one’s fellow human beings in society.  In summation, Hooks’ concept is no doubt a valuable insight that can be used to help tangibly understand how to be a better person every day, yet it seems unrealistic to think that on a large scale it would be possible to redefine how people understand love followed by implementation of this ethic into their lives.

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