Read We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Online

We Should All Be Feminists

What does feminism mean today? That is the question at the heart of We Should All Be Feminists, a personal, eloquently-argued essayadapted from her much-viewed TEDx talk of the same nameby Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun. With humor and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty...

Title : We Should All Be Feminists
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We Should All Be Feminists Reviews

  • Lisa

    I was raised to be a masculinist!

    Where I grew up, women did the housework, took care of children, made sure dinner was served, and cleaned up afterwards. Women worked, but only if it did not interfere with the "career" of their husbands, and they worked for lower salaries, and were reminded of that fact - often. If the "Career" required moving, women resigned from their jobs, packed up and left with the family. Women listened to the stories of men, and deferred to their "knowledge", they accepte

  • Emily May

    Not long ago, I wrote an article about being young and female in Lagos. And an acquaintance told me that it was an angry article, and I should not have made it so angry. But I was unapologetic. Of course it was angry. Gender as it functions today is a grave injustice. I am angry. We should all be angry.

    A short, sharp, and effective essay about gender, the wrong ideas many people have about feminism, and why it is so damn important. Even today.

    I suppose an "essay" doesn't sound like something m ...more

  • s.penkevich

    'Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture.

    I read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's We Should All Be Feminists in a single, uninterrupted sitting over two beers at my favourite bar. This is important for two reasons. First, it shows how quickly one is able to read this book, and read it you should. This should be, assuredly, essential reading. At it's worst it is simply a primer and gener

    We teach girls shame. “Close your legs. Cover yourself.” We make them feel as though being born female they’re already guilty of something. And so, girls grow up to be women who cannot say they have desire. They grow up to be women who silence themselves. They grow up to be women who cannot say what they truly think. And they grow up — and this is the worst thing we do to girls — they grow up to be women who have turned pretense into an art form.
    It is sad to think these are the lessons learned from common interaction with society.

    'This is how to start: We must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently.'

    What is most important from Adichie's words though is that Feminism isn't just something for 'angry women', but something for everyone. 'My own definition is a feminist is a man or a woman who says, yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better. All of us, women and men, must do better.' This is something we all must take to heart. It isn't just about empowering females, but also about teaching males about their own behavior. Male fragility is a real thing and forcing men to submit to gender normative restraints is just as damning as imposing it on females. 'But by far the worst thing we do to males—by making them feel they have to be hard—is that we leave them with very fragile egos. The harder a man feels compelled to be, the weaker his ego is.' Boys tease other boy who cry or might like something that is seen as 'girly'. They force an obdurate normality that becomes like a cancer and the side-effects harm everyone. Much misogyny can be boiled down to a male feeling they must assert a dominance or because they feel threatened. We must teach boys that a self reliant woman isn't a threat but something to be cherished just as much as we should teach girls that being independent and strong isn't something to shrink away from.
    And then we do a much greater disservice to girls, because we raise them to cater to the fragile egos of males. We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls: You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man. If you are the breadwinner in your relationship with a man, pretend that you are not, especially in public, otherwise you will emasculate him
    I find that the concept of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl to be one of the most damning motifs we find in entertainment art forms. This whole idea that a man can tame some wild girl and save her from herself is disturbing. Why can't we have the Well Adjusted and Well Read Dream Girl? The Independent and Business Minded Dream Girl? Another motif in entertainment is that white (male) knight that is the only thing that can save the girl (look at 13 Reasons Why, which is hugely problematic on countless other levels as well, but perpetuated the idea that all of society fails this girl and only the white male love interest can save her but just happens to be too late. Bleh.). We need to teach our children to be strong, to be kind, to be themselves and to see that gender norms are damaging to both themselves and others.

    'Gender as it functions today is a grave injustice. I am angry. We should all be angry. Anger has a long history of bringing about positive change. But I am also hopeful, because I believe deeply in the ability of human beings to remake themselves for the better.'

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a fantastic speaker and writer that can deliver a heady and multi-faceted topic in such easily accessible ways without sacrificing the weight and magnitude of the ideas. This is a book everyone should read and give thought to. This is a problem that affects us all regardless of our gender and the issues of it should always be first and foremost in our minds and actions if we ever hope to see a change in the world. Treat others like people, with love and not lust, with hope and not hindrance. Let the girl at the bar reading by herself read her book and give her the agency to talk to you if she chooses to, and if she doesn't, don't take it as a slight against yourself. We are all trying to get through this life, lets do it together. I'd like to publicly declare misogyny as my arch-enemy, please join me in the fight to exterminate it. Let education and empathy be our weapons, and always lead by good example.


    '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.' ...more

  • Bookdragon Sean

    This is the single most convincing essay I’ve ever read on feminism. It does not point fingers and blame men for a cultural mind-set they were born into. Instead, it offers calm logical arguments for positive change going forward. And that’s what the world needs:

    “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.”

    Adichie states that the strongest feminist she ever knew

  • Whitney Atkinson

    I agree with every single thing in this book! I loved this discussion about feminism from a Nigerian woman's perspective, because Western feminism differs completely from what those women experience every day. I can't wait to read Chimamanda's full-length novels! I have yet to get my hands on one!

  • Duane

    “Women’s rights have come a long way”; something we’ve all heard before. But we’ve got a long way to go, I think we all agree on that. No one person’s actions, thoughts, or words are going to end the oppression, if I may use that word. But we can all contribute something positive, something that creates a dialogue about change, something that becomes “another brick in the wall”. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s essay is just that, but it’s a very big brick, and it’s truths are undeniable. Everyone sho ...more

  • Adina

    “Culture does not make people. People make culture. ”

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the author of Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun, a book that highly recommend. This essay is based on a TED talk with the same title and it encourages us not to be negatively influenced by the bad reputation the word “feminism“ has built and that we need to educate our children to understand the importance of gender equality. I liked some of the arguments brought forward but I did not have the feeling she said som

  • Brina

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a leading voice in African literature today. She has written three novels and one short story collection that have all won multiple awards. Two years ago she was asked by organizers of the TEDx talk to deliver a lecture on her views on feminism in the 21st century. We Should All Be Feminists is the published essay of her talk, and is a resource that is beneficial to all who read it.

    After reading Americanah, I was curious to read one of Adichie's novels that takes pla