Book Review: Why We Should All Be Feminists 4 stars. (Non-fiction/Sociology/Essay)

Book #23 of my #100BooksChallenge, now I genuinely love everything this author writes, she is by far one of my most favourite writers. It has taken me a few years to read this short essay, and after reading it I agree with some points but not all. Reason being because in a bigger context I’m not sure if it would help or hinder people of outside of Nigeria, where she’s from.

About The Book:

A personal and powerful essay from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the bestselling author of Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun.

‘I would like to ask that we begin to dream about and plan for a different world. A fairer world. A world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves. And this is how to start: we must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently…’

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.

Should we all be feminists? Yes most definitely in the sense that this author is advocating for. She has a good, solid, grip on what feminism is. Rather than this modern day feminism largely based on sexual freedom many younger women are buying into. Also, the author sticks to what feminism is– equality for sexes! So I totally agree. It was women like my mum with her fist in the air fighting for the rights I have today as a woman. I really enjoyed how the author was able to show how lack of feminism in her community in the part of the world she is from, is really damaging. The examples from her own experience were strong.

However what the author suggests that children should be raised pretty much gender-less, it is a good idea in principal. So based on ‘ability’ eg., ability to pay the bills, ability to pay for dinner rather than an expectation that it should always be men. I agree with this, however when I thought about the world at large, and in particular how this could work outside of Nigeria where the author is from, and where she based all of her experience, I wondered if it would help or hinder certain demographics of women. Mainly as we seem to have a problem with women of colour being the backbone of their community, and I feel this needs to change. If children are raised gender-less, what hope does this give to change the fact that at present women of colour are the backbone. How can this change? This is the reality outside of where the author lives and has based her experience. So even though I think the concept is great, based on the ‘problem’ women of colour are facing outside of Nigeria, I feel that it would hinder them, and not much incentive be given for men either. Just my thoughts on it when I applied the theory to what seems to be happening outside of Nigeria. I do understand where the author is coming from with her views though, within the African community generally. It is very different in how women and men operate, that I could understand and appreciate.

Overall, do I agree? Yes, we should all be feminists in the true form, and this should be gender-less men and women aim for equality great points made. Should we raise kids gender-less? I’m 50/50 when I look at what’s going on for women of colour outside of the African community. But I loved reading it! Four stars from me! I would recommend it to anyone who is not clear on feminism, as it’s clear from looking at the ‘movement’ today, there’s a new wave of feminism and I’m not sure it aligns with what it really is. Overall I liked it, good read.

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