"Teaching classes on race and gender I often stand at the front of classrooms looking out at a diverse body of students who are more often than not eager to tell me that racism and sexism are no longer a problem, that differences do not really matter, that no one notices because "we are all just people". Then next time we meet I ask them if they were able to die and be born again, which racialized body they would choose and why: a white male, a white female, a black male, or a black female. No matter the makeup of the class... overwhelmingly folks want to come back as white and male. The reasons they give all confirm the race/sex hierarchy in our nation; they all simply believe they will have a better chance at success and at living long and well if they are white males."
This isn't a very good example of the kinds of things she talks about in the book. However I'm pointing it out because it made me stop and wonder for a moment. I thought about what I would chose to be in another life given the choice, and was surprised to discover that I'd be okay coming back as myself. That's not meant to devalue the point bell hooks is making about the social heirarchy we live in, but more a signal of the personal changes I have made in my own self.