Many of the ideas in Living by a Love Ethic by bell hooks seem like they would only be possible in a utopian society where everyone agrees to live fully in a way that only promotes love and peace, and even though that seems unlikely and impossible, I think that was part of the point she was trying to make. In the beginning of the chapter, hooks makes the point that we at one point most people were scared to accept revolutionary technology, such as computers, but with time, changes were made and computers became a huge part of most people’s lives.

In the same way that computers became popularly accepted, the love ethic can be promoted and accepted by the majority of people- it just will take a lot of work. One of the best ways this can happen is through media because mass media is so pervasive in Western culture. Using hooks’ example of domination, if people who were involved in creating mass media decided not to promote and normalize domination in relationships and instead show healthy relationships with loving couples, there could be a huge shift in viewer reactions and responses.

The best example I can think of to describe this is the movie “50 Shades of Grey.” The movie romanticizes an incredibly harmful relationship where one man completely dominates the life of his romantic partner, even when she does not consent to the relationship. Even in the trailer for the film, Ana describes Christian as “intense” and later Christian states “I like to take control of all things, Ms. Steele.” The video does not show a productive, healthy, loving relationship, and it allows viewers to believe that this sort of relationship is one to seek out and accept.

Instead of promoting movies that exude and promote unhealthy relationships between not only romantic partners, but also family members and business partners, the love ethic would rather promote media that celebrates loving, healthy relationships and proves that love takes work but is better in the end than glamorized dominance.

%d bloggers like this: