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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
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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.
Personally, I love the eloquent way this essay is worded; it’s persuasive but doesn’t pressure you or force you into agreeing with her. It doesn’t have to because her story speaks for itself. What I think is really important is how she emphasises the way that feminism is about equality between both sexes, something which is at the core of feminism but is overlooked so often in today’s society.
This book is tiny, insightful and would make a perfect present as it also looks gorgeous. I highly recommend this to teenagers and young adults who are just being introduced to the concept on feminism, but equally anyone with an interest in the subject would also love it. It’s a great short read and one I wish every person was made to read.
By defining feminism and what it is to be a woman in the world, Adichie sends forth both comfort and a challenge. Once when I was young, my great-grandmother told me about our city before pavement, and how they were sure cars would never last because they were impractical. Had the world listened, instead of putting down pavement, we'd all still be walking or riding horses. Women today too often accept the dated definition of what it is to be female, and content themselves with walking the dirt roads when there is a better way. It requires changes. It isn't easy. It will never be easy. The day we think it is, we will have forgotten how much was given to have it.