We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Rating - 10/10
I have had this little book on my shelf for the longest time! I’m sure we have all heard of Chimamanda right?! I feel like she’s one of those authors where everyone has heard of or has read one of her many incredible reads. I have watched sooo many interviews with her, I seriously have a little girl crush on her. She is so beautiful! But not just physically, her spirit and her aura is just so amazing, and she always looks ridiculously immaculate. Not sure how she does it. A complete mix of femininity and a strong powerful presence. Anywho, I picked up this book at a little 2nd hand bookshop somewhere in Baltimore when my mom and I were waiting for some chinese takeout. I begged her to buy me it for me because I literary had zero money on me at the time, so thanks mom! Finally read it, yay!
About ‘We Should All Be Feminists:
We Should All Be Feminists is an essay adapted from Nigerian author, Adichie’s 2012 Tedx Talk of the exact same name. The Tedx Talk was first delivered in Euston, London and has been viewed more than 6 million times! Adichie is the award winning author of Americannah and Half of a Yellow Sun.
In this eloquent and personal essay, Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the 21st century - one rooted in inclusion and equality. She analyses what it means to be a feminist shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviors that marginalize women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics. Throughout this book, she draws on her own life experiences both in her country of Nigeria and in the US. She offers an artfully nuanced explanation of why the gender divide is harmful for women and men, alike.
This book is an exploration of what it means to be a woman today and why we should all be feminists.
"Feminist: A person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes."
Definition of a feminist - located on page 46 - 'We Should All Be Feminists'
A must read!! Ugh This essay was nothing but absolute brilliance. I adored it and I read it in one sitting. Think it took me 30 mins to read it.
It’s incredible that they turned her Tedx Talk into an essay book! It was sharp, necessary and extremely accessible for anyone, literary anyone can understand what being a feminist is and why we should seriously all be feminists.
What really pulls it all together for me, were her life experiences. Especially when she tells us about her experiences in her native country Nigeria. The complete disregard of respect for women, or I should say, gender roles are extremely deeply rooted in the country. So much so, that you don’t even stop and question why things are the way they are. I found her own experiences to be very relatable, especially if you are a woman and have experienced these situations that men would normally not even think twice about. Even for some women too. Oftentimes when you read books about feminism, they can be dense, or can be pretty easy to almost get lost in what the author is talking about. but in this book, Adichie almost physically grabs at a notion that is very real and very much in our everyday world. Which gave the book an accessible aspect of which any old person could understand what being a feminist actually means, and how to be one. Ugh I loved it.
This book is described as an essay, and it’s weird because when people hear the word essay they think, well ugh, I don’t know if I want to read that. No one ever says, OH I wanna read an essay! Haha my point is, this feels very far from what you may think an essay is. Yes it is technically an essay, but it is ridiculously engrossing and reads almost like she’s talking right at you. It was brilliant.
The way in which she delves into the actual word ‘feminist’ was earnest and was explained very well. I loved it. It’s an interesting and almost off putting word. I liked that she described the exact difference between being a ‘humanitarian’ and a ‘feminist’, they are quite similar, but there is a very clear difference in the two words. She described it very effortlessly and eloquently.
All I can say is, please read this book! It’s an important read, and it gets down to the basics of what exactly gender equality is and what it means to be a feminist. All men should read this, all women, all humans should read this.
It reminded me of the numerous numerous times that I’ve gone into a bar, literally everywhere. London, US, etc. I have a lot of guy friends, and I’ve always noticed that every time we walk into a bar together, and we go up to the bar to order a drink, almost EVERY SINGLE TIME, the bartender will always always look at the man next to me, whoever he may be, and ask him what he wants to order. It’s very rare that the bartender will look at me first to ask what I would like. It’s something that really irks me to my core and it reminded me of this book.
Highly recommended for you to read it. I also watched the Tedx Talk and she is completely mesmerizing to listen to and watch. Her mind is sharp, and her writing reflects that as well. I loved the hopeful aspect of the book as well. Most feminist books tend to be a tad upsetting or frustrating to read. Although Adichie expresses her anger and frustrations in this book, she also portrays hope and human understanding. I agreed with every part of this book
I will definitely be reading more books from her in the future and will be gifting all my friends with this book too. Sheer brilliance.
I bet you thought I was going to choose 'flawless’ by Queen Bey, a.k.a. Beyonce. Seeing as Beyonce actually includes Adichie’s speech in this track! As much as I love this song, I actually heard that Adichie even though she gave Bey consent to use her essay speech in her track, she thought that Beyonce’s type of feminism is very different to hers. Adichie said,
“it is the kind that, at the same time, gives quite a lot of space to the necessity of men. I think men are lovely, but I don't think that women should relate everything they do to men: did he hurt me, do I forgive him, did he put a ring on my finger? We women are so conditioned to relate everything to men. Put a group of women together and the conversation will eventually be about men. Put a group of men together and they will not talk about women at all, they will just talk about their own stuff. We women should spend about 20 per cent of our time on men, because it's fun, but otherwise we should also be talking about our own stuff."
(see source for the interview - here)
So for this song pick, I wanted a song that demanded more power and a song that liberates women and also an inspiring song just like this book. So I chose a powerhouse of a tune, and a classic gem! I chose 'Sisters Are Doin' it for Themselves' by this dynamic collaboration, Annie Lennox & Aretha Franklin - Eurythmics, Dave Stewart. What a banger!
Genre: Non Fiction | Essay
Pages: 64 Pages
Publication Date: July 29, 2014