Book Reviews

We Should All Be Feminists

Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.

This little book based on a talk Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie did at a TEDxEuston talk is one of the most empowering things I have ever read.

Chimamanda writes about what it is like being a modern-day feminist, and the fear behind admitting you are a feminist due to some of the negative connotations that surround it, but reinforces the fact that you can be a feminist without hating men and wanting to burn your bra!
I’m so glad she made this point because the negativity surrounding feminism was one of the reasons I didn’t want to admit to being a feminist.

The book itself it’s quite small, perfectly sized for your handbag/work bag and is only 48 pages long.
In such a small space of content, her words become extremely powerful and they really made me think about how feminism is viewed around the world, and our grandmothers and great-grandmothers who helped pioneer feminism before it had that name.

I found two things in this book quite hard-hitting.

The first being that when someone told her she was a feminist and that wasn’t a good thing she started classing herself as a Happy Feminist.
When she was told that feminism was un-African, she then classed herself as a Happy African Feminist.
Then when she was told that feminism meant she hated men she classed herself as a Happy African Feminist Who Does Not Hate Men.
And then finally she ended up classing herself as a Happy African Feminist Who Does Not Hate Men And Who Likes To Wear Lip Gloss And High Heels For Herself And Not For Men.

Although she points out a bit of this is tongue-in-cheek, it highlights the baggage (as Chimamanda calls it) that comes with the simple word: Feminism.
We shouldn’t have to dress up a word if we want to use it!

I think these points can translate to so many people, especially as when I’ve dressed up a bit more than usual I’ve been asked who I’m dressing up for – believe it or not it’s for me!

The second thing, is how she approaches the conversation on gender equality.
She admits that it is a difficult conversation to have, but we must ensure that we speak about it or else change will not happen!
She also says how to help get equality, within out gender we should be supporting each other and lifting our sisters up! (I wrote more about this in my IWD post.)
I think this is essential, and within the circles I am part of, we all do this for each other! I don’t think there’s ever been a time where I’ve been put down by my peers for an achievement! We are all each other’s cheerleaders!
As a stronger unit, we can press for this change to happen – the more voices we have, the louder we are!

We Should All Be Feminists retails at £3.25 on Amazon, and I promise you that you won’t regret buying it!