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We Should All Be Feminists Paperback – February 3, 2015
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From School Library Journal
A personal essay adapted from the writer's TEDx talk of the same name. Adichie, celebrated author of the acclaimed Americanah (Knopf, 2013), offers a more inclusive definition of feminism, one that strives to highlight and embrace a wide range of people and experiences. Drawing on anecdotes from her adolescence and adult life, Adichie attempts to strike down stereotypes and unpack the baggage usually associated with the term. She argues that an emphasis on feminism is necessary because to focus only on the general "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." Her focus on women of color is also an aspect of the movement that hasn't always been given its due, and Adichie works in her own experience and life as a feminist within a more conservative Nigerian culture in an organic and eye-opening way. She also points to examples in Nigeria that are unfortunately universal: a young woman who is gang-raped at a university and is then vilified and blamed for the crime, which, unfortunately, happens often in the United States. Injustices such as these, she posits, are reasons enough to be angry and outspoken. The humorous and insightful tone will engage teens and give them an accessible entry point into gender studies. This title would also work well as a discussion starter in debate and speech classes. VERDICT An eloquent, stirring must-read for budding and reluctant feminists.—Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal
“Nuanced and rousing.” —Vogue
“Adichie is so smart about so many things.” —San Francisco Chronicle
Top customer reviews
She did all this while making people laugh at some of the more ridiculous indignities she and other women deal with day in and day out. Then she goes a little deeper. Then gets lighter again. She's simply an excellent teacher-speaker that happens to be a feminist.
On the other hand, it did let me mix up the phrase "bottom power" so I kept reading "power bottom," which is always good for a laugh. Otherwise... meh. It was fine.
"Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes."
"My own definition is a feminist is a man or a woman who says, yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better. All of us, women and men, must do better."
"Some men feel threatened by the idea of feminism. This comes, I think, from the insecurity triggered by how boys are brought up, how their sense of self-worth is diminished if they are not “naturally” in charge as men."
Some females are also to be blamed for this. They believe they want a man to be dominate or lead the way. But it can be chalked up to their upbringing I guess, now that I think about it.
"Gender is not an easy conversation to have. It makes people uncomfortable, sometimes even irritable. Both men and women are resistant to talk about gender, or are quick to dismiss the problems of gender. Because thinking of changing the status quo is always uncomfortable."
I learned a lot about systems of oppression and how they can be blind to one another by talking to black men. I was once talking about gender and a man said to me, “Why does it have to be you as a woman? Why not you as a human being?”
I use to ask myself why feminist only focused solely on equality of females/genders but this passage by Ngozi made perfect sense. If you don't focus on one issue, you'll lose your identity, or the sole reason you've fought. Yes, female rights are human rights but it's a right that has been getting oppressed for ages. And it's now time to highlight aspects of it that bring light to issues many face all over the world.
"This type of question is a way of silencing a person’s specific experiences. Of course I am a human being, but there are particular things that happen to me in the world because I am a woman."
I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femininity. And I want to be respected in all my femaleness. Because I deserve to be. I like politics and history and am happiest when having a good argument about ideas. I am girly. I am happily girly. I like high heels and trying on lipsticks. It’s nice to be complimented by both men and women (although I have to be honest and say that I prefer the compliments of stylish women), but I often wear clothes that men don’t like or don’t “understand.” I wear them because I like them and because I feel good in them. The “male gaze,” as a shaper of my life’s choices, is largely incidental.
Thank you madam for your time and well thought out speech which has been translated into a short story. Very nice!
She speaks with candor devoid of anger and is sending a message that is easily understood. I am pleased to have read this and have called upon what I learned in the book to help get my points across in discussions and writing papers.
This is a Must-Read for anyone.