What does “feminism” mean today?
In this personal, eloquently argued essay—adapted from her much-admired TEDx talk of the same name—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness.
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—an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Publisher: Fourth Estate
Publication Date: October 9th, 2015
Genre: Non-Fiction, Essays
All that glitters may not be gold; sometimes, however, that which does not glitter is, in fact, gold—and We Should All Be Feminists is proof of that.
We Should All Be Feminists transcends the need of mere recommendation, or encouragement of reading. It is more than simply “useful”, or “educational”, or “important” to read; it is absolutely essential.
In a world where the word feminism still carries such unfavorable, negative associations, in a world where too many people still believe (ignorantly so) that fighting for women’s rights to be treated equally isn’t “necessary” anymore, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie skillfully shines a light on the sad reality, and demonstrates through a collection of anecdotes and recaps of her own experiences, how wrong that is.
She puts into words what undoubtedly so many of us girls, and women, have struggled to do as eloquently (I know I have) when being challenged as to the necessity of feminism, and she expertly disentangles and sets straight the meaning of it—not just the what, but also the why and the how.
Some people ask, ‘Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?’
Because that would be dishonest. 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. That the problem was not about being human, but specifically about being a female human.
For centuries, the world divided human beings into two groups and then proceeded to exclude and oppress one group. It is only fair that the solution to the problem should acknowledge that.
We Should All Be Feminists doesn’t take much time to read, but its content is worth so much—much more than is possible to put into words.
Have you read this book, and what did you think of it?
Do you consider yourself a feminist?
Have you ever had to “defend” feminism, or being a feminist?