My spouse reacted with horror when I read this title, “We Should All Be Feminists“. Normally, I might agree as most feminists act like men-hating, angry brats and I don’t think anyone should act that way. Still, while reading this, I had to agree with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the author of this small book, from a TED talk she gave. No, I do not know how to pronounce her name, but I still agree with her.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born and raised in Nigeria. At 19, she received a scholarship to study communication at Drexel University. She went on to graduate from Eastern Connecticut State University. Then received a Masters in Creative Writing from John Hopkins. She wrote several novels that received awards and gained more education with a Masters in African Studies from Yale. Both of her TED Talks are popular. She has one daughter and divides time between Nigeria and the United States.
We Should All Be Feminists
For the month of March, I wanted to review a book that dealt with women. I chose the short book “We Should All Be Feminists” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This book was written from a talk she gave for TED Talks. In it, she discusses how cultural perceptions and teachings in society can affect women. Then she says that all people, men and women, should work for the equality of the sexes. Basically she says that she wants everyone to be feminists.
With the way she presents the information, I have to agree. She uses stories from her life and friends to show the inequality of women and men in society. Well written, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie makes her point effectively.
From here on out I will use examples from the book. If you do not want spoilers, stop reading now.
I agree with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s definition of feminists as I have always considered myself a feminist. I think that men and women should have equality. Women should have the choice of working or staying home. They should also be expected to work as well as any man in the position, as well as be paid for their work and experience. As Adichie says a feminist does not have to hate men or dress ugly.
Adichie uses several examples from Nigeria to show the inequality between men and women. In one story, she tips a man who then thanks her male friend, assuming that her money came from him. Another time a guard stops her from entering a hotel and questioning her. He assumed she worked as a sex worker, merely because no man entered with her.
She also tells a story of a female friend in America who took over a managing job from a man. She did her job and disciplined in the same manner as the man had before her. Her coworkers called her hard to work with. In another instance in America, another friend had a boss slight her when he ignored her comments, then praised a male colleague who said something similar. Instead of speaking up, she held in her anger not wanting to appear aggressive.
In all these stories, I agree that we should all be feminists. People should not assume women less than a man, ignored, or feel slighted for their gender. Both men and women need to help change these circumstances.
Adichie suggests that parents need to stop teaching societal rules of masculinity and femininity. I happen to agree. In my house, I encourage my daughters and son to work on their goals and pursue their desires, no matter general gender expectations. She gives the example of the societal rule that men pay for meals with women. I agree that men should not always have to pay. I try to teach my children that if you invite someone out to something like dinner, then they should expect to pay. Also, when they do start dating I will encourage all my children to have money with them in case they do need to pay.
Conclusion of Review
Basically, I feel that “We Should All Be Feminists” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a well-written book. I agree with its premise and the arguments presented. I would recommend this book to others.