We Should All Be Feminists is a short essay, available on Kindle, easy to read and completely relatable. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speaks of her experiences as a Nigerian woman, but her specific experiences transcend nationalities and cultures. She talks of gender stereotyping as an evolutionary development, and a survival mechanism that our societies have out grown. If you’re a man who watches your friends receive different treatment at a club or restaurant, or a woman who carefully dresses and guards her words at work, you’ll recognize yourself in Adichie’s experiences. Her reasonable, sometimes humorous, argument for commitment to the feminist cause should not go unread by you. Check it out. Here are some of our favorite lines.
“…a nice, well-meaning man” told Adichie that “Feminists are women who were unhappy because they can not find husbands,” then an academic woman told Adichie, “feminism was un-African,” and a dear friend explained, “calling myself a feminist meant that I hated men,” which led Adichie to conclude that “feminist is so heavy with baggage, negative baggage.”
Feminists are women who were unhappy because they can not find husbands
“…in a literal way, men rule the world. This made sense—a thousand years ago. Because human beings lived then in a world in which physical strength was the most important attribute for survival; the physically stronger person was more likely to lead. And men in general are physically stronger. (There are of course many exceptions.) Today, we live in a vastly different world. The person more qualified to lead is not the physically stronger person. It is the more intelligent, the more knowledgeable, the more creative, more innovative. And there are no hormones for those attributes. A man is as likely as a woman to be intelligent, innovative, creative. We have evolved. But our ideas of gender have not evolved very much.We have evolved. But our ideas of gender have not evolved very much.”
Human beings lived then in a world in which physical strength was the most important attribute for survival… Today, we live in a vastly different world.
“Gender as it functions today is a grave injustice. I am angry. We should all be angry. Anger has along history of bringing about positive change. In addition to anger, I am also hopeful, because I believe deeply in the ability of humans to remake themselves for the better.”
I believe deeply in the ability of humans to remake themselves for the better.
“What if in raising children, we focus on ability instead of gender? What if we focus on interest instead of gender?”
“To use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender.”
“I looked the word up in the dictionary, it said: Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.”
Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.