Talk:bell hooks

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This article has been mentioned by a media organization:

video section[edit]

Anyone know what this section is actually referencing? I.e., have the title of the film available? If not, seems like it should be ditched. 16:49, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm gonna remove it. It is unreferenced, and really reads like the liner notes to the video. Of course this whole article reads like it was taken from the bio section of the program at some lecture or seminar. Andyparkerson 11:37, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

error in the career dates[edit]

article says she began teaching in 76 as a senior lecturer, then that she published a book in 81 as an undergraduate. If the book was written in the early 70s and not published till 81 we should make that clear otherwise this is very confusing...jackbrown

"Protecting the page"[edit]

Has anyone noticed that the bell hooks page has been vandalized? Someone has put, bell hooks is a dumb nigger. Is slander and hate speech permissible at Wikipedia? Please protect the page from racist vandalism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 03:08, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

We've been protecting it by reverting it as soon as we catch it. You can do that, too. WP:VANDAL explains more about the process of catching, reverting, preventing vandalism. --lquilter 03:51, 11 February 2007 (UTC)


I've archived all the old material. Because there was so much extensive discussion on (a) case/capitalization and (b) the criticism brouhaha, I set up special archives for those, following the precedent already established for the criticism section discussion (which I renamed for consistent naming). See the tidy archives box with descriptions. --lquilter 04:27, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Pen name[edit]

What does the pen name section have to do with her pen name? 10:22, 13 February 2007 (UTC)


Forgive my ignorance, but is bell hooks' name necessarily lowercase at the beginning of a sentence, where, one would think, even words that generally lack capitalization are capitalized? If the convention is to write her name as lowercase in all situations, and in all contexts, then by all means, the article should stay as it is. But if there is no such convention, then I think sentences beginning "hooks is" should probably be changed to "Hooks is." Hlemonick 12:18, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree that her name should definitely be capitalized at the beginning of sentences and paragraphs, just like any other word. It probably should be capitalized throughout to comply with standard English capitalization conventions. PubliusFL 23:28, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
You know, that is a really good question. I know that she doesn't capitalize her name in general, but I don't know if the intention is to never capitalize, or to treat the name like any other word. Natalie 23:40, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
To treat her name as some kind of "superword" exempt from all rules of capitalization would seem to contradict her stated goal of focusing on "substance of books, not who I am." On the other hand, insisting on special treatment of her name at all has the result of focusing an unusual degree of attention on her rather than the substance of her books, so maybe she hasn't thought this thing through completely. PubliusFL 00:08, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

I totally disagree with both of you, her name is meant to be lowercase, all her books she signs bell hooks in a lowercase fashion. I think we need to respect the thinker's intention and not look to conform to the rules of English grammar. To say that she has not thought this out, is not for you or I too say. By trying to capitalize it, is to take away from her, her desire to stand out. I mean Madonna doesn't use a last name for artistic purpose, so the same arguement is applied in this case ForrestLane42 02:50, 8 March 2007 (UTC)ForrestLane42

I think you misunderstand the question. I, for one, am not arguing that her name should be capitalized in general. However, we are questioning if either of her names should be capitalized when they are the first word in a sentence, like words generally are. Natalie 03:07, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Natalie is right about this particular question. For what it's worth, I am inclined to think that her name should always be capitalized. The spirit of the Wikipedia Manual of Style says we should respect the rules of English above the thinker's intention. Look at how WP:MOSTM explicitly rejects the "thinker's intention" when it comes to Thirtysomething (not thirtysomething) and Realtor (not REALTOR). PubliusFL 04:44, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

I dont think I am misunderstanding the question. As for WP:MOSTM, it is used in reference to trademarks, her name I can't see as a trademark, it is the author's linguistic intention to lowercase her name. When you do read WP:MOSTM, it seems to me to be splitting hairs in painful way. Just my opinion, I just find it that the issue of capitalization plagues her site over and over again. The question as far as I can see was resolved, if one would take the time to read the ensuing discussion in the archives... why rehash old issues?ForrestLane42 10:11, 8 March 2007 (UTC)ForrestLane42

As far as I have seen, no one has mentioned MOSTM. It does seem like the rough consensus in the archives, though, was that bell hooks' name should be treated like a normal word and capitalized at the beginning of sentences. PubliusFL 22:58, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
The Chicago Manual of Style demands that bell hooks be lower case, except at the beginning of a sentence. As reason, the manual states that the author was personally quite insistent on the matter. The Oxford University recommendation is the same. On the other hand, many other lesser style guides require that the name be treated as a proper name with ordinary capitalization. WP:CL stands astride these two alternatives: the name is to be lower case in the lede and article title, but capitalized elsewhere. This is stated quite unambiguously in the style guide, so the case is closed (in my opinion, at least). Silly rabbit 00:36, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Whoops - I just changed all instances of her name in the article to read lowercase before reading the talk page. Will revert ASAP. For the record, I'd agree with the people who assert that bell hooks's work implies that she'd want her name to be treated as a standard lower-case word (i.e. capitalized at the beginning of a sentence, lowercase elsewhere including the article heading and lead.) Apologies. On another note, the book in front of me (Key Thinkers on Space and Place) uses hooks's name only in lower case regardless of the context. The book is a formal, academic text, so if they can do it, why not Wikipedia? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:57, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia could, but Wikipedia has its own editorial guidelines which say to follow standard English usage rather than applying the preferences of individuals. PubliusFL (talk) 18:30, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, this is the same issue that's driving me nuts over on the k.d. lang page. I still think that the Wiki entry should reflect the artists' "stage names" and and should not "correct" them. There is a Wiki page for the band !!!; someone decided they should be called !!! and Wiki complies. When someone decides they should be consistently lowercase, Wiki freaks out. It doesn't make sense. A few moderators have made the case that lowercase brings improper attention to these artists, but I think !!! is fairly attention-grabbing. If a writer made a brand for herself with the name !!!bellhooks!!! (one word) that would be permissable by Wiki standards, am I right? Steverino (talk) 00:06, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it's abundantly clear just how we would handle such a stage name. We'd probably have to discuss it, and come up with a rule, because it's a situation we haven't quite seen before. -GTBacchus(talk) 18:50, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't think so (that "!!!bellhooks!!!" would be permissible). Such a stage name is basically a trademark or service mark (as is k.d. lang), and WP:MOSTM says: "Avoid using special characters that are not pronounced, are included purely for decoration, or simply substitute for English words (e.g. ♥ used for 'love'). In the article about a trademark, it is acceptable to use decorative characters the first time the trademark appears, but thereafter, an alternative that follows the standard rules of punctuation should be used." PubliusFL (talk) 19:19, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
My two cents... There is absolutely no disadvantage to writing hooks' name as she intends it, aside from the fact that it might infringe on a rather arbitrary allegiance to Wikipedia's editorial guidelines. However, there IS a disadvantage in writing her name in a way she explicitly does not intend. Who are we to say that hooks should be Hooks, or Ann Anne, or MacLeod McLeod? Hurtsmyears (talk) 07:25, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
We have a guideline that mandates arbitrary changes in spelling? – Cyrus XIII (talk) 08:14, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Why is this even an issue? Bell hooks' name should be in all lower-case unless it's at the beginning of a sentence (as in this very sentence). That's the way she intends it to be written and that's the way it should be written. Chicago Manual of Style says so. Every literature professor in the world says so. I fail to see how it draws any kind of improper attention given that every other respectable source on the planet will spell her name in lower case, per her convention. Spelling it with capital letters amounts to misspelling it. People who come here to learn about her should learn that she spells her name all in lower-case. I honestly can't think of a single good reason why we should capitalise her name. At minimum, it should be in all lower-case as the default while people talk here about possibly changing it to upper-case, as opposed to the reverse. In fact, I'd like to come back here in a couple of days and do that if nobody objects. Not to kill the conversation, just to change the way the page looks now. my_rain_face (talk) 13:22, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
I just realised that this conversation started with discussion about whether it should be capitalised at the beginning of sentences, not at the rest of occasions. That, I think, merits reasonable discussion, but at other times -- as in when her name is used in the middle of sentences -- it should be lower case. Surely everyone can agree that at least while this conversation continues, her name when written in mid-sentence ought *not* to be capitalised, since that's the conventional way it's written? (sorry for unsigned, having password issues and need to reset it. My username, as above, is my_rain_face) (talk) 12:29, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

There is a way of compromising here. Instead of capitalizing bell hooks at the start of sentences (which is incorrect, and even though WP policy mandates it the CMS and her self-definition make that mandate unworkable) either find a sentence structure that does not use her name as the first word or use "Watkins" at the start of sentences--Cailil talk 21:26, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

In addition to this compromise, I propose an edit that rewrites the page to ensure that hook's name is never the first word in a sentence. For example, instead of saying "Hooks began her teaching career in 1976..." it could say "In 1976, hooks began her teaching career..." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hurtsmyears (talkcontribs) 19:02, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Alternative lede sentences[edit]

We need to stop the pointless edit war here. So I'm going to suggest an alternative lede.

Gloria Jean Watkins (born September 25, 1952) is better known by the pseudonym bell hooks (which is deliberately not capitalized[1]). She is an African-American author, feminist, and social activist.

This lede a) is within the MOS and b) uses the subject's preferred spelling of her pseudonym. Any views?--Cailil talk 12:34, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

The current lead paragraph already satisfies the Manual of Style's call for noting preferred typeset of an article's subject and in a very descriptive, matter-of-fact fashion. What makes you think that your proposed wording of the lead would not just be continuously removed as well (along with every other "wrongfully" capitalized instance of the name)? – Cyrus XIII (talk) 13:09, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I do see you point Cyrus but the first thing that troubles me about the current lede is that it puts the pseudonym first. Usually real names are put first when dealing with authors who use pseudonyms (see Mark Twain as an example). Secondly I see compromise in this situation as the best way forward. You are right that "Hooks" should be capitalized as the first word in sentences and others are correct that her self-definition should leave "hooks" uncapitalized. There is a way to satisfy both without damaging the article. I made a post yesterday explaining such a compromise[1]--Cailil talk 14:56, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
You got me wrong there, the name should be capitalized throughout the article, except for single instances in the lead paragraph and the passage that explains how the pen name came about. No objections to putting the birth name first and add a reference to the lead paragraph instance of her personal style though. – Cyrus XIII (talk) 15:33, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I think that much is a step forward. I've gone ahead and added the new lede lines. We can reword as appropriate/necessary.
On the wider issue my over all point is that we can write this article without the contention of the capitalized/not-capitalized issue. Starting so many sentences with a name (and I'm aware that this is a biography) is lazy writing - in other words the page needs copy-editing and clean-up. Within that process we could also try to resolve or remove the "hooks" / "Hooks" issue, partially by using "Watkins" and at other times using appropriate pronouns. This will reduce the instance of Hooks says and Hooks did. Hopefully this will help make the page more stable.
BTW I do take your point about the MOS Cyrus, but the 'self-definition' clauses gives me pause in this case. Hence my suggestion to remove, resolve or at least reduce the issue--Cailil talk 12:11, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
This is a very very preview of my above suggested copy-edit of the page. This reduces the number of "Hooks" references to two - which need to be capitalized and to quotes in which her name is capitalized. What do you think?--Cailil talk 12:22, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
This seems reasonable to me. Explain the uncapitalized pen name in the lede sentence as you suggest, and capitalize elsewhere per MOSCL. PubliusFL (talk) 00:26, 3 May 2008 (UTC)


  1. ^ Hooks, Bell, Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black (south End Press, 1989) ISBN:9780896083527

Criticism Section[edit]

I think we need to put the criticisms in perspective Horowitz and Glazov have dubious reputations, highly controversial and are far from respectable sources of criticism of hooks, I am sure that someone can find criticism of hooks that is not tied to an right-wing agenda. ForrestLane42 03:12, 8 March 2007 (UTC)ForrestLane42

Following WP:ATT and WP:NPOV, we ourselves can't put their criticism into perspective. If other people have offered counter criticisms or hooks herself has responded to their criticisms, then those would be great. Sourced, of course.
Why source anything? I ask this "motivated by the desire to be inclusive, to reach as many readers as possible in as many different locations as possible."
Also, please put new comments at the bottom of the talk page. I have moved this one for you. Natalie 03:17, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
they make good points about her, and their opinions aren't to be discounted just because they have an agenda you don't agree with. if hitler had found the cure for aids, and you had aids, would you not take the cure because hitler invented it? 02:53, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
what?!? Hitler? Your comment is absurd, and irrelevant. (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 16:46, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I think the criticism section could be shortened to just the first paragraph. The second paragraph and quote seem to occupy a large portion of the article with just one small portion of one of her books. I'd rather see in that section more criticism, both good and bad, of her works, instead of this saga about her first class plane ticket. Andyparkerson (talk) 19:27, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Agreed that incident is being given undue weight--Cailil talk 19:30, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
I also agree and support that move. -- Irn (talk) 03:57, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
The plane saga seems very relevant and should remain, it could be trimmed down, though. --Knulclunk (talk) 03:32, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Image cleanup[edit]

The current headshot has severe compression artifacts. -- Beland 21:36, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, I'll put the image cleanup tag on the image itself so it might get a response. --BsayUSD [Talk] [contribs] 20:46, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Seating issues[edit]

So poster #1 (IP ) added, Hooks and her traveling companion had simply been involved in an honest mistake made by the airline. In addition, Hooks and her friend had not actually paid for their seats in first class...

Poster #2 (IP removed the entry, saying that "Poster cannot account for the experiences of bell hooks", which may be true, as Poster #1 did not cite any references.

Does anyone know?--Knulclunk 02:42, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

hooks states that her friend did NOT have the correct boarding pass. the man she wanted to kill did. hooks claimed they were being discriminated against because her friend, who was in a seat not assigned to her (as far as the flight attendant was concerned), was asked to move for the man who DID have the correct boarding pass. on an airplane, you sit where you are assigned. she admits to her friend not being assigned to that seat. plus, airlines care more about people who actually pay for first class than those who upgrade using miles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:50, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

It seems more like hooks and her friend paid for first-class tickets, but the airline made an error and issued hook's friend a coach ticket. Indeed, the article says hooks did possess a first-class ticket, and they both uprated at the same time. Seems hook's friend should have at least had an apology from the airline and a refund of any money or miles used to upgrade. In any case, is this "drama" really worth raking someone over the coals for? I agree it should be in the text as "controversy" for it raises questions to her character and was written about by an eminent individual, but it seems liek it's hogging an inordinate amount of space. Surely she must have attracted OTHER criticism; criticism that is related to her ideology. No tats with second-wave feminists? No OTHER critiques by right-wing ideologues? -- (talk) 06:07, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

hooks's thoughts[edit]

The following section was removed with the note we could not get inside hooks's head. I disagree. As a thinker, essayist and writer, what she publishes is inside her head. The problem is that this section was unsourced, either to her or an mainstream source about her. I think if we can source this section, we can keep it.

Hooks believes that in order for the feminist perspective to make a difference in the world, feminists must return to their original positive grassroots efforts. She believes that most feminist thinkers and theorists today do their work in an University elite setting ; consequently, their work is written in highly academic language not readily understood by those who have not completed post-secondary education. She believes this type of language is evident in the works she herself produced during the first half of her career; furthermore, she endeavors to return feminism to its roots by striving to write her works in accessible language to all.

--Knulclunk 11:59, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

What she publishes is not in her head. It is on paper. We can write about that. We can say that her writing touches on certain subjects, or that she advocates certain perspectives, as evidenced in her works. We cannot write about what she thinks or believes, because we cannot observe that. Andyparkerson 14:12, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

I can agree to that.--Knulclunk 02:53, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

You can find citations for hooks' above noted views in several of her works, e.g. Feminism is for Everybody. I don't have a page citation with me or I would provide it. From a wiki reader (I am not generally involved in editing and don't know how you typically sign these things).


this article is full of non-npov statements and bias against anyone who disagrees with bell hooks. its full of "Weasel words" (for example the criticism section before i removed it, if you take a look it just plainly states that the man she wanted to kill had recieved preferential treatment, which is just one example of non-npov) someone who isn't a bigot probably should fix this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:57, 9 September 2007 (UTC)


Don't misplace the old picture, because this one will surly be tagged NFC before long. --Knulclunk 14:28, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

bell hooks' name[edit]

bell hooks is always written in lower case so is it possible to have the header without capitals

in case i need to

"American black feminist bell hooks (always written with lower case letters)"

- Sociology, Anthony Giddens, 5th Edition —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:42, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

The current WP:MOSPN and WP:MOSCL states that proper names should be capitalized normally, regardless of the wishes of the person whose name it is. As such, we write "Bell Hooks" here. Other publications have their own manuals of style, and as such do other things. Andyparkerson (talk) 07:58, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but bell hooks spells her name in lower case as a form of statement and protest. so by making the title upper case, it makes the article loose credibility.Coffeepusher (talk) 13:35, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
No, it makes the article neutral. Giving her name special treatment would turn the article into a vehicle for her "statement and protest," which is not the purpose of Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a neutral reference, and that's why we have a uniform, neutral Manual of Style that applies to everyone's name. PubliusFL (talk) 15:25, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
so her choice to lowercase her name is more of a political statement than telling her it is wrong and representing her name in a different mannor? I honastly believe that this is a moment in which the manual of style should be ignored, because it is a unque situation. the book publishers and accademic journals ignore APA and MLA format when they don't capitaise her name in publications. can you honastly think of another name in which wikipedia has capitalised a name that is normaly lowercase?Coffeepusher (talk) 00:06, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
and I checked the manual of style that states "As with all Wikipedia Styles, the "rules" laid out here are really suggestions" and there is no statement that "proper names should be capitalized normally, regardless of the wishes of the person whose name it is".Coffeepusher (talk) 00:11, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
WP:MOSCL states "For proper names and trademarks that are given in mixed or non-capitalization by their owners (such as k.d. lang, adidas and others), follow standard English text formatting and capitalization rules." And yes, all rules are merely suggestions, but they exist for a reason, and you should have a very good reason to do the exact opposite of what they suggest. Look at the talk page here, and at the talk pages of K. D. Lang, Cat Yronwode, and Brian D Foy. This argument has been hashed out over and over so often that Wikipedia has chosen to set out the policy of how names will be capitalized. If you want to change the way it is handled, the best thing to do is try to change the MOS. Andyparkerson (talk) 15:04, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
I missed that section. although I disagree with the policy, you are correct that there seems to be a consensus to maintain that standard.Coffeepusher (talk) 15:27, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Accuracy trumps style. Full stop. "Bell Hooks" does not exist. bell hooks does, and has done for many years, in hundreds of publications, a practice which is reliably reproduced almost everywhere except for RuleWikipedia. If anyone can tell me how to move the page and avoid first character capitalisation, I'm going to be bold and do it. Also, same problems over on danah boyd, where rules are trumping both accuracy and the express statements of the person in question. Mostlyharmless (talk) 04:28, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

If you don't like the WP:MOSCL, change it. Blatantly ignoring it negates the purpose of having a MOS at all. Andyparkerson (talk) 23:59, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Capitalization discussion at the manual of style[edit]

For all interested parties, there is a discussion going on right now at the Manual of Style about whether or not to capitalize people's names against their wishes (like bell hooks, for example). -- Irn (talk) 16:22, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
<div style="background-color: #fcc; margin: 2em 0 0 0; padding: 0 10px 0 10px; border: 1px solid">

Proposed page move to "bell hooks"[edit]

<div style="background-color: #fff; margin: 2em 0 0 0; padding: 0 10px 0 10px; border: 1px solid"> <br> <br> <br> <big><big><big><big><big><big>Discussion Suspended</big></big></big></big></big></big> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> In the interest of collaboration and civil discourse in accord with WP:Civility, all editors are asked to refrain from edits to the sections

Proposed page move to "bell hooks"

and (immediately below it)


during a cooling-off period.

Because many editors may be kept off-line by personal affairs rearranged around the roughly August 30 - September 1 U.S. holiday weekend, this request will not be lifted prior to noon, Pacific Daylight Time, on Tues. Sept. 2 (1900 UTC on Tues., unless i am mistaken).

The specificity of the forbearances requested above should be treated as a sign of the absolute minimum standard of requested behavior, and not as excluding the expectation of following higher standards that common sense, erring on the side of caution, and the stated intention of the suspension, will suggest to reasonable editors.
--Jerzyt 08:19, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

There is no consensus for a rename. --Jerzyt 03:47, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

The Manual of Style was changed following the above-mentioned discussion. It now reads:

Some individuals, such as k.d. lang, do not want their personal names capitalized. In such cases, Wikipedia articles may use lower case variants of personal names if they have regular and established use in reliable third-party sources. If multiple styles have regular and established use in reliable sources, use the orthography preferred by the individual.

I think the non-capitalization of bell hooks is clearly established, and the content of the article reflects that.

Is there consensus to move the article to the uncapitalized "bell hooks"? - Haunti Talk 17:07, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Support - The only trouble is that I do not think we can lower-case the last name. I tried on my own to make the page "bell hooks", but I could not figure out how to make both names lower case. It seems to be a technical limitation of wikipedia. In any case, if you can manage to do it, I'm in favor of it, as "bell hooks" is the proper spelling of her name. I am adding the request to the WP:RM page. Godheval (talk) 21:19, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
I is actually quite easy to do. Simply move the name to Bell hooks and then use the lowercase template at the top of the page and the word Bell will appear as bell. The article title technehcally does not change but the title will read as bell hooks. Info can be found at Template:lowercase. The same thing is used for article like Ipod and iPhone etc. -- (talk) 22:18, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
  • This nuisance happens with any article named after something that should start with a lowercase letter, for example pH, which see in edit mode for how this nuisance is usually handled. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 21:51, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Agree I've never seen "bell hooks" capitalized in any official capacity.--Darknus823 (talk) 00:10, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Weak oppose Support: the question is not what she does, but what other people do. I'm genuinely not sure. this blurb, however, suggests her publisher does not. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:00, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose, per the source Septentrionalis provided. Given that this is her own publisher, the author does not appear to actively pursue the emulation her personal formatting preferences in other publications. The guideline obviously requires such intent ("do not want"), otherwise it would be E. E. Cummings all over again. – Cyrus XIII (talk) 16:22, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Cyrus XIII, I have no idea what you're talking about, nor do I know what kind of obscure cached reference that is, but if you look at virtually any of her books - you know, the ones that were published by her uh...publisher, you'll see on the covers that she is known as "bell hooks" (lower case). Amazon and other outlets recognize this and list her name as such. See here for the Amazon listing, or here for the Barnes & Noble listing, or finally, here for the listing. And in case you missed it the first time I said it, the COVERS of her books say "bell hooks". With the manual of style changes mentioned above, there really is no legitimate argument against the move. Godheval (talk) 18:35, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Again, the Manual of Style refers to individuals who "do not want" their name to be capitalized and I'm merely cautious if this indeed the case here. Of course her own books reflect her personal style and the first paragraph of the current Career section offers a well-referenced explanation for that. Yet in order for the guideline to apply, we need some sort of verification that she explicitly does not want her name to be capitalized in third-party media, lest we resort to stylized typography (and all the accessibility and neutrality related trappings involved) based on speculation. – Cyrus XIII (talk) 19:36, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
The covers of Cummings' books are also often lower case. But that was plainly not his own preference (except in the context of a handful of poems) nor what his biographers use. All I want (I can't speak for Cyrus) is evidence that the literature about her (and I don't mean booksellers) uses "bell hooks" routinely; it may. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:12, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
So, if you're open to it, then why did you Oppose right off the bat? Perhaps you should reconsider that position. At any rate, I will attempt to find explicit evidence that states bell hooks herself wants her name to appear lower case. Godheval (talk) 23:33, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
This is kind of ridiculous. If "bell hooks" wasn't how she wanted to be known, why would it appear on her books in lower case near unanimously? It's not like the e.e. cummings situation where he was known to go either way. bell hooks always displays her name in lower case. Where it is not displayed as such, it is due to the oversight of whatever agency is doing the printing. Anyway, here's some more evidence. With regards to why she uses lower case, she was quoted as saying: "it is the substance of my books, not who is writing them, that is important." and "[She uses the lower case spelling] to get away from the ego attachment we have to a name."[1] Honestly, at this point, I think the burden of proof lies with the detractors to the move that she does NOT prefer lower case. Godheval (talk) 15:53, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
The burden of proof is generally with those proposing a change. However, I think it's quite easy to meet that burden in this case. All it takes is a bit of research.Erudy (talk) 20:18, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I very much agree with what User:PMAnderson states--"the question is not what she does, but what other people do". Even the evidence of how her name appears on book covers is not by any means definitive. In this case, however, I believe the convention is to represent her name without capitalization. All these reliable sources seem to use bell hooks:
  • I'd say we have a consensus here. I can't imagine what anyone could bring to the argument against all the evidence that's been compiled in favor of the move. So I'm going ahead with it. Godheval (talk) 04:03, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
    • Now wait a minute. First of all, initially agreeing to find and provide the evidence that was requested and then dismissing the request altogether merely a day later probably isn't the most productive course of action. Like Erudy wrote, obtaining verifiable proof should be simple here; if the author does not want her name to appear conventionally formatted in third-party publications, this information is out there somewhere and explicitly so (rather than loosely interpreting what was written about her own works). Secondly, we do not perform moves by cutting and pasting the text from one page to another, as it robs and article of its edit history. Proper procedure for a controversial move would be to list this article at Wikipedia:Requested moves and create the respective sections here for surveying and discussion. This will attract both wider input by the community (not just by people interested in the subject, which naturally might imply a certain bias) and an admin who will eventually close the discussion and perform the move in an orderly fashion. – Cyrus XIII (talk) 10:46, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
      • Actually, if you cared to check, or had you read the beginning of this conversation, you would've noticed that the WP:RM request was made back on August 21st. That is probably what drew people here to the discussion in the first place. You may not have noticed the request because it was removed by JPG-GR as of this edit, as the move was already completed. Now, if I did not follow the correct procedure for the move, then feel free to do it correctly, but the matter has already been decided. The evidence has already been amassed that demonstrate not only that she prefers her name to be displayed in lower case, but that virtually every publisher who represents her works in any forum extends her the courtesy of honoring that preference. Erudy didn't just suggest that we provide evidence, he provided said evidence himself with the links posted above. I do not even understand why there is such resistance to the move. This is getting tiresome, and fast. Godheval (talk) 14:53, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
        • Funny how I never noticed the "move" tab in every article. However, it cannot be used because the bell hooks article already exists. It appears an administrator is needed to delete that article before this one can be moved there. Godheval (talk) 15:07, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Conventional capitalization should be used as per the MOS. It can be mentioned within the article itself that the subject normally writes her name using all lower case. --DAJF (talk) 05:48, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
    • Wrong. THE MOS makes provisions for exactly this kind of situation, as of recently. See lengthy post below. Actually, I'll show you the text from the MOS myself. "Some individuals, such as k.d. lang, do not want their personal names capitalized. In such cases, Wikipedia articles may use lower case variants of personal names if they have regular and established use in reliable third-party sources. If multiple styles have regular and established use in reliable sources, use the orthography preferred by the individual." So for both reasons stated here, the move should take place. There is regular and established use - as seen on the covers of books, how she is listed in catalogs, and in news sources. If you consider the very few instances where her name is capitalized to constitute "multiple uses", then the second rule applies, as we should use what bell hooks herself prefers - and that is her name in lower case. There truly is no argument against the move that is valid. Godheval (talk) 14:00, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
  • The guideline cited establishes more than adequately that lang's name is not generally to be uppercased, and hooks's IMO adequately. The 2nd sentence of the opening 'graph of the WP-talk page advocates for the current wording by indirect-quoting (emphasis added by Jerzy)
    in the cases of authors such as bell hooks, the lower case of their name is to be used, except at the start of sentences.
I am not about to wade thru looking for whether more was said in the WP:MoSCap discussion on that qualification (tho i welcome having specifics pointed out to me), but i note the absence of any mention of it in the resulting guideline, and that the first word of Bell hooks#Early life, "Hooks", supports the interpretation that this principle was regarded as too obvious to state:
A proper name beginning with a lower case letter is capitalized when it occurs at the beginning of a sentence.
A more general principle would also explain that omission, however:
Casing rules analogous to those that apply to common nouns, when used at the beginning of a sentence or in a title, apply also to a proper name with one or more words beginning in lower case letters.
My own intuition and what i've seen in reviewing Erudy's sources raises the possibility that these are both generally accepted by careful writers; that could suggest that WP's bios should be titled Bell hooks and K.d. lang. Outside WP -- even if, say, fan bios of lang, with no caps in the titles are the rule -- books with the name up-cased only at the start of sentences in the text, but with titles like Bell Hooks and American Identity Politics or K.D. Lang as an Activist Icon might be published.
The fundamental premise in this move proposal is that when you have established the applicability of WP:MoSCap#Mixed or non-capitalization to a name, you have established the need for the title to precisely match it, and there has been no discussion on this page of whether there is any connection between the two.
My purpose in entering this discussion is not to advocate for or against the stronger principle as the basis for determining the proper title, but to vindicate the principle that a WP consensus is not the result of a headcount, and relies (for the sake, as i understand it, of a durable consensus) substantially on the quality of the arguments. I flatter myself, perhaps, that your consideration of that potential principle, whether or not persuasive to you, will add dimensions to your model of the issue -- stimulate your imaginations, if you like, and for instance give you the occasion to consider the 6 sources presented by Erudy, for examples not just of acceptance of the "odd" casing, but also of their different approaches to treatment of the name in titles -- but i think i will not try to be part of the consensus.
I think there has been, without bad faith, a shared blindness to the need to weigh the connection between the name and the title, and that therefore no sufficient consensus yet exists. I also invite you to keep in mind the possibility that a consensus that is explicit in stating a theory on the relationship between personal name and article title will be both be more solid, and serve the project more extensively, if it's taken to WP:MoSCap as another aspect of the "Mixed or non-capitalization" guidelines; i'll try to follow the further discussion thoroughly enuf to recognize a sound consensus once you reach it, and take care of any move requiring an admin.
--Jerzyt 10:06, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
You know what would be great? If you could just move straight to the point without using so many words. I'm sure I could derive some meaning from this if I had the time to interpret such flowery language (and kudos for that, I just don't feel like reading it). Connection between the name and the title? Isn't it inherent that the title of an article would reflect the name of the person, as it is commonly written? We give recognition to the "i" in iPhone, but can't respect the wishes of a human being to use lower case letters for her name, especially in a situation where it symbolizes something crucial to her worldview? That, to me, is absurd. To understand Bell hooks and her writing is to recognize the suppression of egoism, a principle reflected in the lower casing of her name. And there's still the lingering, prevalent, near unanimous recognition of this fact across many media. This is yet another example of annoying Wikipedia "politics", where overindulgence in the wordy, overstated, dubious, and bureaucratic rule set gets in the way of something obvious and just. And obviously just. In any case, Jerzy, if you could be more clear on exactly what you expect in order to make the move, I'd be much obliged. Godheval (talk) 13:51, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Support move to "bell hooks". It appears that the MOS has been modified for these types of cases.--Knulclunk (talk) 10:30, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. In academic use, the lower case is overwhelming. In her own writing of course it is only lower case. In the popular press its about 50/50. The Chicago Manual of Style and other guides explicitly recommend lower case. I think that per the above, and long discussion hammered out to a consensus at WP:MOS, there is case for a move. Mostlyharmless (talk) 21:45, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Let's reduce this discussion to the basics:

Reasons to move Bell Hooks to bell hooks:

1. MOS provisions for this exact kind of change, cited several times throughout the discussion. Specifically, the MOS says that "Wikipedia articles may use lower case variants of personal names if they have regular and established use in reliable third-party sources." The underlined condition has been met, as demonstrated in the vast number of sources - not including the author herself - that print her name in lower-case.

2. The MOS goes on to say "If multiple styles have regular and established use in reliable sources, use the orthography preferred by the individual." This means that if we see the name both upper and lower cased in different sources - and we do, as there are a few sources that do not recognize the lower-casing - then we use the style preferred by bell hooks, which is to lower-case her name. Sources showing that this is her feeling on the matter have been cited in the discussion.

3. If the above - you know, following Wikipedia's guidelines - isn't enough, there is also the point - well-cited in interviews with the author - that the reason she lower-cases her name has to do with the suppression of ego, which is part of her personal philosophy, and ties directly into the subject material of her many books. Since the content of the article is about the author, her philosophy, and her writing, and the latter two are irrevocably tied to the lower-casing of her name, the title of the article (as the header to said content) should be lower-cased as well.

4. Please note that the argument in favor of moving the article has nothing to do with whether or not the name should be capitalized at the beginning of a sentence. The two arguments - the latter of which I am not making at all - are mutually exclusive. The iPhone article lowercases the first letter, and most sources that talk about the iPhone recognize that lower-casing. However, at the beginning of sentences, "IPhone" will be used. This naming convention is done merely with respect to Apple's chosen orthography. So why in the world would we not extend that same respect to a human being, especially when the reasons for honoring her chosen orthography are far more extensive and significant to who she is and what she stands for.

5. The simple and obvious fact that there are no sustainable arguments against the points raised above. Any resistance to the move is out of some strange and inexplicable obstinance. There may actually be an explanation, but I am not yet ready to launch that particular accusation.

Reasons not to move the article:

Oh noes, oh crapz! There arez nonez!

Case emphatically and explicitly closed.

Godheval (talk) 00:58, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

  • And are you ready for the hilarity? Check out this link - it's a google search for "Bell Hooks" (sic). Note the spelling of the name in Wikipedia's own search result. This is me, lawling. Even more interesting is that if you search "Bell Hooks", the "Books" link - next to "Web" and "Video" right under the Google logo is not there. But search "bell hooks" and suddenly it appears. HUH. Imagine THAT. And just in case it should change between now and when you guys get to look, I've taken screen caps of the irony - found here and here. Godheval (talk) 01:13, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

There is no consensus for a rename.

--Jerzyt 03:47, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

_ _ The repeated claim that there is consensus here is not about a consensus in the sense that is used in making decisions at Wikipedia; it is about a general agreement on something those in agreement want to do, without valid reasons for doing it.
_ _ The recent change to WP:MoSCap#Mixed or non-capitalization establishes that WP recognizes that the name of (at least) k.d. lang may lack capital letters. (IMO the same reasoning also applies to bell hooks. In fact, while i'm not certain i never have wavered, my first (clumsily awkward) edit to the article, over 4 years ago, when it was not yet a year old, was consistent with any interpretation of the new guideline that i've seen on from rename advocates on this talk page). This is just as with the great da Vinci's surname, which may begin without a capital. That guideline says there are exceptions, for some celebrities: there is universal presumption in European languages (i think in each of them), that the names of persons are made up of capitalized words, occasionally supplemented by words like articles, prepositions and conjunctions; the guideline says that these exceptions need not be capitalized.
_ _ The discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (capital letters)#Capitalisation began with an advocate of the change who paraphrased authorities who call for lower-casing these names "except at the start of sentences"; the new language that resulted from that discussion did not address that question qualification. Without checking the whole discussion, it would seem that everyone who paid attention to that phrase regarded it as obvious, and that anyone who disagreed was not giving the subject the attention it deserves.
_ _ (The last sentence -- in a separate 'graph, not otherwise addressing names of persons, and speaking of "symbols" -- reads "It is best to avoid putting symbols like n at the beginning of a sentence where English rules would require capitalization", but should not be construed to directly apply also to names of persons.)
_ _ The so-called consensus about the title involved no discussion, in the face of the silence of the guideline, of the particularities of titles. The point about the start of sentences having been made from the outset, failure to counter the obvious interpretation that the guideline means to treat lower-cased names as common (non-proper) nouns are treated keeps it from having the status called "consensus" at WP. We don't make decisions in bull sessions.)
_ _ I mentioned da Vinci above bcz i was sure the first word is non-cap'd, then kicked myself and almost went back to replace it, bcz nobody calls him by his surname: in most contexts, Leonardo means da Vinci, and he's one of the few exceptions where the surname is well known but we would call him just "Leonardo". But the page actually succeeds in making my point: the page starts with a redirect-HatNote, beginning

"Da Vinci" redirects here. For other uses, see Da Vinci (disambiguation).

And with Victor de Sabata, the first Italian composer i found with a suitable name and a bio long enough to have a second mention by name: following the first heading, we find "De Sabata was born in ...".
_ _ What the guideline-section we have been citing says, and means, is about WP recognizing some names that don't meet our presumptions about names. To the whatever extent it has intentions on the question of abridging our practices of capitalizing the first word of a sentence (which we do even with da Vinci and de Sabata) and capitalizing (the first character of ) article titles, (if it is a letter), then it is about sticking with the common sense approach:

  1. With the first word of a sentence there are no exceptions (and you recast the sentence if you want to avoid a capital).
  2. In a title, you capitalize some usually lower-case words (first word, on most wikis; first, last, and significant words, in traditional media -- except where your style sheet or ad hoc stylistic choice calls for all-caps). Cases like mRNA (if it weren't a Rdr) and pH and iPod are special, but it doesn't follow at all that all-lower-case personal names justify the same treatment, rather than treating them like common nouns.

--Jerzyt 03:47 & Jerzyt 05:01, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Man, you really talk too much. So many words when you can say the same thing in half the text. Contrary to what you say at the beginning of your bloody mess of dialogue, there are many valid reasons for the move, which I not-so-subtly listed in a big white box with a bold black border and underlined headers. Until you refute even ONE of my arguments, I don't think you're in a position to say there are no valid reasons. Although you are an administrator, I think you may have forgotten that you are also still a regular wikipedian. So for all this verbosity - none of which moves the debate any further in either direction, thus making it pointless - how about you weigh in with a Support or Oppose, and maybe we'll come closer to that consensus? I mean, seriously, was it necessary to go into the history of the argument on capitalization in the Manual of Style? Who gives a holy damn? All that matters is what it says now. Good grief. Let's keep this discussion about the issue at hand. Godheval (talk) 05:06, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
    • No offense Godheval, but you might want to moderate your tone a bit. Urging your fellow editors to be more concise in their replies is all good and well, calling their contributions "a bloody mess" borders on incivility though. Likewise, putting boxes around a number of arguments and noting the perceived lack of valid counter-arguments in a few (somewhat flippant) slang phrases does not conclude a discussion in which other editors still beg to differ.
      For example, for me the central flaw of this proposed move still remains; none of the sources explicitly state that the author does not want her name to be capitalized in third-party sources, hence the cited guideline does not apply. Don't get me wrong, I don't consider it completely inconceivable that the author may indeed think of the lowercasing to be inextricably tied to her name and that (in her opinion) it must not be written otherwise. But where's the prove? So far, it's all been circumstantial and based on interpretation. Consider this interpretation: According to our sources, she lowercases her name to give it less importance than the substance of her own writings – that distinction does not even apply in the context of this Wikipedia article.
      Again, if the author is in any way adamant about her personal formatting choice, it's bound to be a matter of public record somewhere (previous disputes with news vendors, personal blog entries, etc.) and will come up here in time. Until then, please don't urge us to make exceptions out of courtesy towards, well, whom? Her fans? Her publishers? – Cyrus XIII (talk) 20:20, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
      • No offense taken, but I see no need to moderate my tone. Any venom in it I feel is warranted, and I am not the type to tiptoe around anything for the sake of WP:Civility or whatever random set of rules on a page I'll never read. I speak here the same way I'd speak in an academic forum, in front of a work committee, or in front of Joe Schmoe on the street. I grant no special lee way to - of ALL people - some people on the internet. Now moving back to the point, the request to move is not a courtesy to her fans, but for all the reasons I stated. Nowhere did I mention her fans. If it is a courtesy to anyone, it is to bell hooks herself, out of respect for her personal statement. And the issue at hand here is why we SHOULD move it, as that is the proposal, and many reasons have been given. It is not necessary to prove that she "does not want her name to be capitalized".
      • Or are you trying to say that such a finding would supersede all other arguments and be grounds upon which to make the move? If so, then you are being contrary and absurd. My burden, and those who support the move, was to provide reasons for the move, and it is then up to the opposition to cite reasons against it, which they have not done. Some have even changed their vote from oppose to support. Even Jerzy, for all of his wordiness, seems to be in support of the move, but is just playing his role as administrator, and being cautious before he commits to the move. I'd say overly so, but that is my opinion. Even if the lack of "proof" you're looking for was the only reason against the move, the overwhelming reasons for the move supersede it. You really have no case, but alas - and thankfully - it is not up to you. —GodhevalT C W 21:43, 29 August 2008 (UTC)



As an aside to the capitalization/non-capitalization question, please note that the name needs to be capitalized in the DEFAULTSORT template. That is, {{DEFAULTSORT:Hooks, Bell}} is correct. This is because:

  1. Sorting for category lists is supposed to be case in-sensitive, e.g. "LeVander" should appear between "Levai" and "Levay", when a case-sensitive sort would put it before or after
  2. Depsite the above, the wiki software uses case-sensitive sorting (a very long story why and it's not easy to fix)
  3. For consistency with the most common forms of article names, all sort keys therefore capitalize the first letter of each word and lowercase the remaining letters, even when the exact opposite is how the word is presented in normal text.

In other words, English-speakers are going to expect to find "bell hooks" between "Abner Hooks" and "Benjamin Hooks" in a list (and not after the Zs in the list).

Note that the DEFAULTSORT template does NOT result in the actual presentation of the key value anywhere; the last DEFAULTSORT in the article merely controls where in a category list the article name will appear. If the category list should have "bell hooks", then the article needs to be named that... Studerby (talk) 18:42, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

You've stated the technical situation impeccably, with two exceptions that i can see:
  1. It may be misleading to say
    ...all sort keys therefore capitalize first letter of each word ...
    when what i am sure you must have intended is
    ...all sort keys therefore must be capitalized by hand at the first letter of each word ...
  2. I have noticed no multi-word common-noun titles (such as Face powder) with the magic word (the {{DEFAULTSORT}} is pretty much window dressing). As a result, i believe the comma in e.g. "Face, Powers" causes all people surnamed Face (from Abner to Zora) to be listed after (or is it before?) the cosmetic. It may also be that most titles like Face Powder Manufacturers' Association are part of a low-grade problem that probably does little harm. (Except when dumb bots do searches of Cats?)
Beyond the technical issues, i think your conclusion is stated backwards: the listing on the Cat page is a list of articles, with each identified by title (even tho for bios, each usually coincides with its subject's name), and the system makes this happen. With respect to Cats, none of the approaches bell hooks, Bell hooks, or Bell Hooks amounts to a special case -- unless the DEFAULTSORT tag is botched, by ignoring what you've pointed out.
--Jerzyt 04:41, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

<div style="background-color: #fff; margin: 2em 0 0 0; padding: 0 10px 0 10px; border: 1px solid"> <br> <br> <big><big><big><big><big><big>Discussion Suspended</big></big></big></big></big></big> <br> <br>
In the interest of collaboration and civil discourse in accord with WP:Civility, all editors are asked to refrain from edits to the sections

Proposed page move to "bell hooks"

and (immediately below it)


during a cooling-off period.

Because many editors may be kept off-line by personal affairs rearranged around the roughly August 30 - September 1 U.S. holiday weekend, this request will not be lifted prior to noon, Pacific Daylight Time, on Tues. Sept. 2 (1900 UTC on Tues., unless i am mistaken).

The specificity of the forbearances requested above should be treated as a sign of the absolute minimum standard of requested behavior, and not as excluding the expectation of following higher standards that common sense, erring on the side of caution, and the stated intention of the suspension, will suggest to reasonable editors.
--Jerzyt 08:19, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
<br> <br> <big><big><big><big><big><big>Discussion Suspended</big></big></big></big></big></big> <br> <br> <br> <br> </div> </div>

Moving the page[edit]

Despite the suspension noted above, I am making a few bold changes, after a request to examine the discussion was made on my Talk. I've added a citation to the article indicating Ms. hooks' "want" for the uncapitalized version of her name. Based on this, and on my reading of the discussion above:

  1. I'll move Bell Hooks to bell hooks
  2. I don't think Jerzy should have tagged the discussion above as if there were no consensus when Jerzy was one of the debaters.
  3. Most of the discussion seems civil, until Godheval's edit of 05:06, 29 August 2008 (UTC) ("Man, you really talk too much. etc."). Editors often have differing approaches to debate (and different levels of verbosity in writing and time for reading); while you don't have to conform to others if they are writing more than you want to read, asking for a headline or digest can be done more civilly.
  4. And I agree that the default sort should be "Hooks, Bell".

-- JHunterJ (talk) 18:18, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Meh. There was no consensus to suspend the discussion, no obvious personal attacks (although some comments tended away from civility), no dispute resolution was engaged, no third parties brought in to mediate etc. In short, there were many things that could have been done short of unilaterally shutting down discussion. I don't consider discussion closed, but I would strongly remind all parties not to be overly verbose, nor to be overly brisk (since on the internet it's easy to misread tone and intent) and display more respect on both sides. Mostlyharmless (talk) 06:32, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
  • There was exactly what i intended: a de-facto consensus on suspending discussion until after JHunterJ's intervention.
    To my knowledge, no one has suggested NPA would be relevant until now.
    My request that JHJ involve themself did not mention mediation or any other specific modality, but it did elicit the effective third-party admin attention that i saw as necessary.
    (I had not intended to comment even to this extent here, but since my immediately preceding 'graphs now seem called for, i think it would now be offensive to say nothing in response to JHJ's msg. I am grateful for the intervention, consider it highly responsible, and see no value to my commenting on this page re what at this point would constitute only fine details of it.)
    --Jerzyt 19:00, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Improving the page[edit]

After all of that (with the acknowledgement that it is unresolved just yet), it's worth remembering that this page is still pretty small. I'd like to hammer out a discussion on how we can improve it, and a plan for expansion. Mostlyharmless (talk) 06:43, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

I was hoping to work in some mention of some other hooks books (e.g. "Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center"), but I'm not sure where to fit it in. I recently un-stubbed the "Feminist Theory" article, so it's worth linking to, hopefully. Ticklekitty666 (talk) 22:07, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

The sections on her books have numerous organization, tone, and copyediting errors. I haven't read any of bell hooks' works, so I don't know whether my fixes would be correct. Gvprtskvnis (talk) 18:30, 3 April 2016 (UTC)

Alternative page title[edit]

Perhaps as an alternative and to avoid the capitalisation problem, we could move the page to Gloria Jean Watkins? That is, after all, the first name given in the lead paragraph. Orpheus (talk) 23:47, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

No, that would astonish everybody. Consider Lewis Carroll, which begins "Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, (better known as...". Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:09, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

weasel words?[edit]

How is "better known by" weaselly? Everything she does publicly (teach, publish, lecture, etc.) is under the name "bell hooks", and it's common practice to use the phrase "better known by" in the case of pseudonyms (see Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll, Voltaire, Martin Sheen, Jay-Z, Eminem, etc.). -- Irn (talk) 09:20, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

Bell hooksbell hooks – This would require the {{lowercase title}} tag. Reason is there is no such entity as "Bell hooks". It's "bell hooks". If we wanted to go with "Bell Hooks" instead that would be defensible, but I think it's pretty clear we're using "bell hooks" throughout, and rightly, since it has caught on and most sources use that.

Granted we use "Bell hooks..." at the beginning of sentence (and rightly so IMO), but an article title is entirely different, is not the beginning of sentence, and is treated differently. This is why we have eBay and k. d. lang and so on. Lang is the apposite example. If this article is to stay as "Bell hooks" then Lang's needs to be moved to "K. d. lang" I would think.

Relevant material is at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (technical restrictions)#Lower case first letter and perhaps elsewhere, such as WP:NCCAPS and WP:TITLE and God knows where else. Also see discussion above, which was apparently never formulated as a proper requested move. It looks like a lot of interesting discussion there, and I think most people favored the move then, but it didn't happen. But anyway that was in 2008 and stale, so let's fix this now. Herostratus (talk) 02:09, 24 February 2013 (UTC) Herostratus (talk) 02:09, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

  • Comment. This is not a page move request and does not involve a page move. It is a suggestion that the title use a lower case first letter. Apteva (talk) 02:30, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
    • Oh OK, did not know that. And you have changed the title, so done, unless anyone wants to object. Herostratus (talk) 05:16, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
I think it's a pretty cut-and-dried "she prefers this so we'll do it this way" thing. I actually had to look up Manual of Style guidelines because I thought we weren't supposed to render names in all caps or lowercase, but it looks like the MOS makes exceptions for lowercase if it's established by reliable sources. So yeah, unless bell hooks starts to go by Bell Hooks or otherwise changes her pen name, all lowercase is preferred. Woodroar (talk) 05:27, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

Is the Horowitz criticism section necessary?[edit]

Why is the criticism from Horowitz here? The man is a far right conspiracy theorist who offers no scholarly reply simply condemnation because.... team rightwing crazy doesn't like the left. Ok. But how is this relevant? Should we append "Criticisms from Glen Beck" sections on every person who he's accused of being a secret communist or a "Criticisms from David Icke" on folks like Mr Obama to the effect "Some critiques accuse Obama of working to further the lizard man agenda". Of course not. Nothing Horowitz says meets wikipedia standards of notability. I propose his statements belong on a right wing blog, and not wikipedia. Keep it respectable, people. (talk) 04:06, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Well, Horowitz is blue-linked and in fact has an extensive article. He seems to be somewhat of a player as a public intellectual (unlike Beck, a television personality)... he founded such and such and so and so which are bluelinked.... he's not just some random person.
As to the merits of the material (which matters I think), there's only a short paragraph about Horowitz, it's not like we are going on and on... If hooks did indeed write that she was sitting beside an anonymous white male that she longed to murder because he was complicit in a boarding pass misunderstanding, I can see where someone might say "wait, what?".... and all it really says is that Horowitz criticized her for writing stuff like that, then goes on to give more or less her side of the story (she has, admittedly, an exaggerated response to situations where she feels powerless). I'm not seeing a problem here. Herostratus (talk) 14:29, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Why does Ms. Hooks spell her name in lowercase?[edit] (talk) 11:44, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

Read the article? Herostratus (talk) 13:10, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

Non-capitolized title?[edit]

Shouldn't the title be "Bell Hooks" and not "bell hooks" as Bell Hooks is a person? Never mind. I did my research and agree with the lower case title.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Jason.morcos (talkcontribs) 22:17, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

Unable to verify "Space" and "Witness" by bell hooks[edit]

While cleaning up the ISBNs in the bibliography I noticed that ISBN 978-0-203-88801-8 was used for two different titles:

This is an ISBN for Belonging. I was unable to find Space by hooks on Amazon[2], Abebooks[3], nor Worldcat[4] The puzzle though is the editor that added the line for Space seems to be an entirely WP:AGF editor though was also a WP:SPA per Special:Contributions/Cu.

At the time the editor was adding the ISBNs to the bibliography and cleaning it up and as part of that and did two edits:

  • 00:49, 9 February 2006
    • Added *Homemade Love (2002) ISBN 0786806435 (verified ISBN is for Homemade Love by hooks)
    • Added *Be Boy Buzz (2002) ISBN 0786808144 (verified ISBN is for Be Boy Buzz by hooks and Chris Raschka (Illustrator))
    • Added *Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope (2003) ISBN 0415968178 (verified ISBN is for Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope by hooks)
    • Added *We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity (2004) ISBN 0415969263 (verified ISBN is for We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity by hooks)
    • Added *Skin Again (2004)ISBN 078680825X (verified ISBN is for Skin Again by hooks with Chris Raschka (Illustrator))

As it's been nearly ten years since that line was added a casual Google search will likely find pages that were sources from Wikipedia. As Space is included here which is bell hook's biography and bibliography at Berea College where she works I've assumed it is a valid title. I also noticed that the Berea College bibliography included Witness (2006). This used to be on Wikipedia's bibliography for bell hook[5] though with ISBN 0-89608-759-X which is now Homegrown (2006). The assumptions are:

I have e-mailed Berea College's webmaster to see if they can confirm the issues with Space and Witness. --Marc Kupper|talk 20:09, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Letter case at the start of sentences[edit]

The letter case for bell hooks' name has been a point of contention in the past for the article title and in the middle of sentences but there seems to be consensus for "Bell" and "Hooks" at the start of a sentence in the Talk:Bell hooks#Capitalization section above. Hopefully I was accurate in detecting that consensus as I went ahead with fixing the letter case to always be capitalized at the start of a sentence. This resulted in some instances of "bell" and "hooks" now being "Bell" and "Hooks". Before my edits to make the letter-case consistent we had 12 lower-case instances and 8 upper-case instances and now have 20 sentences that start with Bell or Hooks.

Ideally, we reword all 20 sentences so that they do not start with "Bell" or "Hooks". I took a look and it'll be painful for things as "Hooks has undertaken three scholar-in-residences at The New School." --Marc Kupper|talk 01:18, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

  • This is the correct approach according to the Manual of Style in MOS:LCITEMS which reads: "Some individuals do not want their personal names capitalized. In such cases, Wikipedia articles may use lower case variants of personal names if they have regular and established use in reliable third-party sources (for example, k.d. lang). When such a name is the first word in a sentence, the rule for initial letters in sentences and list items should take precedence, and the first letter of the personal name should be capitalized regardless of personal preference." I have just gone through and done the same thing to change several instances of sentences beginning with a lower-case. --Greenwoodtree 11:40, 25 November 2016 (UTC)

General Criticism[edit]

I definitely think that the criticism section is borderline unnecessary but if it needs to stay, everything after the first paragraph could and should be deleted. If criticism of her work is mentioned, it should shy away from one's criticism because of their political agenda or views because it gives the reader a feeling of bias. Influences section should be moved to after her page is done going into detail about all of her work and success. Claireeewills (talk) 20:15, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Possessive form of her name?[edit]

Should it be written as hooks' or hooks's? MOS:POSS gives alternative guidelines: either 's should be applied uniformly, or it should depend on pronunciation (i.e. hooks' if it is pronounced the same as "hooks", or hooks's if it pronounced "hooks-uhz"). On the other hand, the possessive form hooks' (no second s) is the published form used in a book on the reference list, "bell hooks' Engaged Pedagogy" (this is how it appears on the book cover shown on --Greenwoodtree 11:49, 25 November 2016 (UTC)

Which trumps -- sentence case, or bell hooks case?[edit]

So OK, "bell hooks", fine, but how about at the beginning of a sentence? Is it "Bell hooks did this..." or "bell hooks did this..."? I ask because right now we are doing it both ways. FWIW for eBay subject-preferred case trumps sentence case: "eBay was founded...". Herostratus (talk) 23:02, 28 February 2017 (UTC)