We should all be feminist by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
This book is adapted from a highly appreciated Ted Talk given by Adichie, which goes by the same name. Of all feminist books that there is, I believe this will appeal and reach to the masses easily. Not because, it was written by a well known feminist, activist, and writer. But, because, it is written in such lucid and beautiful manner that it is understandable to everyone.
It is an essay on feminism expressed fiercely and persuasively by Adichie. She explained in the simplest of forms the definition of feminism and how gender issue is so deeply ingrained in our society. This is a personal journey of the author. She draws moving experiences from her own life to prove her point. One cannot read it without nodding their head in agreement to each word written in this book.
It starts with an incident when Adichie was first accused as a feminist, and how she went on modifying it’s definition to prove that being a feminist doesn’t necessarily have to be a men hater, unhappy, western influenced woman who couldn’t find a man for herself. And, it ends with her fiercely accepting that she is a feminist, and why we all should be.
She delicately mentions incidents which gave her the ugly picture of vicious gender gap that there is in the society at a very young age. She writes about how society stereotypes many things based on gender, and how we have learned to accept it as normal, “If we do something over and over again, it becomes normal. If we see the same thing again and again, it becomes normal”.
The qualities that make people praise a man, not necessarily be admired when possessed by a woman. Our gender prescribes us specific roles and society expect us to adhere to that. “We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man“, because this is normal.
She urges that we should change our culture if that is what is stopping us from giving equal political, social, and economic right to men and women, “Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture”.
Adichie also gives an apt reply to all those who questions the need for feminism. She says, “Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general—but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women“.
Adichie at the end emphasized that ‘We all should be feminist”. I would emphasis that we all should read this book atleast once in our life.