Review: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Adapted from the 2012 TEDx Talk of the same name, We Should All Be Feminists is a powerful and stirring essay. Using her own experiences, those of her friends, and the influences of her native Nigerian society, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie delivers the basics of feminism in this compact text. We Should All Be Feminists is a concise and provoking piece on what it means to be a woman, and why the definition needs to change.

WAS IT WORTH THE READ?

The concept of feminism isn’t new, neither are the stereotypes surrounding the word. Often associated with images of man-hating-bra-burners, Feminists tend to be dismissed as dramatic and/or unnecessary. Adichie’s adapted essay speaks to the very foundation of the term, and – in clear and direct language – explains exactly why equality between genders is vital to human survival.

Observations on the harmful cycle of male dominance, the normative dismissal of female presence, and the global benefits of equality are all boiled down to their essence in less than 50 pages. Consider this booklet as the primer to feminism, the ABC’s of equality. If you’re new to the discussion of feminism, if you’re looking for better language for your concerns, if you’ve never considered the topic, We Should All Be Feminists is a wonderful starting point.

This book is a five out of five. Western readers should be aware that Adichie’s words are heavily influenced by her Nigerian experiences. Some of the more specific examples of inequality may not apply in every culture. However, I hope the following quote will ring true to all readers:

Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not in our culture, then we can and must make it our culture.

Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists, p. 46

WHAT NEXT?

If you read the essay and enjoy it, or you’re just looking for a similar read, check out the links below!

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Happy Reading!
– Bekah

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