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We Should All Be Feminists Paperback – January 1, 2015
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"A call to action, for all people in the world, to undo the gender hierarchy." —Medium
In this personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from the much-admired TEDx talk of the same name—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century. Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman now—and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.
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From School Library Journal
“Adichie is so smart about so many things.” —San Francisco Chronicle
"An enchanting plea by the award-winning Nigerian novelist to channel anger about gender inequality into positive change." —KIRKUS
"A call to action, for all people in the world, to undo the gender hierarchy." —Medium
- Publisher : Anchor Books; Reprint edition (January 1, 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 64 pages
- ISBN-10 : 110191176X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1101911761
- Lexile measure : 940L
- Item Weight : 2.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.44 x 0.26 x 6.24 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #15,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #34 in Feminist Theory (Books)
- #34 in General Gender Studies
- #57 in Political Commentary & Opinion
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on September 28, 2016
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Top reviews from the United States
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My favorite part of the book was basically the whole thing. This is the only non-fiction book I willing read and it is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It is such a convincing essay on feminism and I love how the author doesn’t blame this issue on men and has sympathy for men too. She said that if we, both genders, can change our perspective on this then our future kids can be happier that they can be freer and don’t have to listen to gender expectations.
I don’t have a least favorite part. This whole book was written beautifully written.
My question for the author is when did u start feeling like women are treated unfairly and are you going to keep writing and speaking out about it?
You should definitely read this book. I feel like feminism isn’t a huge topic that we all talk about, so I think everyone should be required to read this book. It is a short book so it’s not going to take forever to read and it has so much information. Feminism should be a more important topic that we should all learn about and reading this book and getting informed on it is how we can all start.
"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!
So true. This essay comes a few days after a talk with my brother who founded a manufacturing business and has around 200 employees. He texted me randomly one night and asked if I think he’s sexist. My answer was that I don’t believe he’s consciously sexist, but I do think he’s said and done many sexist things. This answer didn’t fit right.
After reading this essay, I think the better answer would have been that I don’t think he’s sexist, but I also don’t think he’s a feminist. I think he’s apathetic. And to be clear, I love my brother and think he’s one of the best humans on this planet for many reasons. I could sing his praises all day. But do I think he consciously thinks about his status as a white man and uses that status to be a voice for women and minorities? No.
Is it ok to not be a feminist as long as you’re not a sexist? Do you have to pick a camp? Does it have to be black or white? Yes, I think it does. It’s 2020 and I find myself still talking to my male friends and family members about things that happen to me—subtle and blatant everyday acts of sexism—and their reaction is almost always complete shock. My reaction, in turn, is then shock that they are seemingly unaware of how screwed up things still are. So yes, we should all be feminists. We should all care. We should all do better.
Top reviews from other countries
It's basically a precise and emotional summary of what feminism is (partially, of course) in the 21st century. Adichie talks about gender and the way it is perceived; toxic masculinity; sexism; and pretty much every topic that explains the existence of feminism and its importance. It's direct and to the point, and it even feels inspirational, even considering the way the author describes the Nigerian culture, and the way sexism is engrained in it. It's such a short and concise book, there really should be no excuse for you to not read it!
There’s not much more you can say about this. I wouldn’t normally write a review about such a short piece of writing, but I had to post just to say go and read it! Or look up the original TEDx talk on YouTube.
The only point that I didn’t agree with was when it was stated that ladies shouldn’t thank their partners for changing their babies nappy and that it should just be expected of men as it is of women.
I believe that we should thank our partners for helping out, but they should also thank us for doing it too. We should work as a team to complete tasks - regardless of the genders involved, but to hear a little thank you makes so much difference to the job that we are doing. To hear a little appreciative thanks often gives me personally more encouragement to carry on doing what I am doing. It makes the task feel lighter. So we, in my opinion, shouldn’t avoid thanking men, but they should thank us too.