This title says it all. We should all be feminists. But we are not. I think that has to do with a negative image that many people have of feminists. The word feminist even has a negative connotation. People think of it as a curse word. ‘Oh no, I’m not a feminist, I’m not that extreme’. Such a statement is ridiculous and today I am going to share a book that will explain this very clearly. It’s written by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie, here’s more about her book ‘We should all be feminists’.
We should all be feminists
This book is actually one of the first books that I read about feminism. And that has a good reason. We should all be feminists is a very accessible book. Firstly because it’s quite a small book. It’s more of a pamflet. It only has 60 pages and was written in 2016 already. You can read the book in 30 minutes. That’s because the book is based on a TED-talk by the same author. The TED-talk by Ngozi Adichie is also 30 minutes long and was already given in 2013.
But the most important reason why I love this book because it helps me grasp feminism. Feminism is complicated. No, wait. Feminism is simple. If you call yourself a feminist, you want equality for all genders and sexes. Like I said, it’s ridiculous (and unethical) if you’re not a feminist. What I wanted to say is: feminism is comprehensive. And therefore, it is complicated. From the pay gap, to catcalling, to femicide. The subject feminism includes many other issues. But Ngozi Adichie is able to get to the core of feminism in We Should All be Feminists. She explains the whole movement very compactly and to the point. After reading this book, nobody can say they’re not a feminist. Because we should all be feminist.
Personal stories mixed with standards
The book is also easy to read because it’s a mix of personal stories and an explanation of the absurd standards we have for women. It’s not a book that just sums up the statistics. In a way it’s quite personal. And as a women reading the book, I feel a lot of recognition. And I feel like only women can have that recognition. Men can never understand what discrimination on the basis of sex feels like.
But don’t get me wrong: men should read this book. In fact, it’s men who have to do the hard work to change the reality we as women live in. They are the problem and the solution. That’s another thing that gets apparent in the book: it’s extremely hard for women to make progress. If a man is assertive, he is rewarded for it. If a woman is assertive, she’s seen as aggressive. The double standards are maddening and make it hard to grow as a movement.
Women have a good life, right?
Another thing that I love about We Should All be Feminists is how Ngozi Adichie is able to describe that feminism can be subtle in some situations. One thing a lot of people think is: ‘Women have a good life in this country, so we don’t need feminism. Women are allowed to work and go to school’. And yes, that’s amazing. We should be grateful for our ancestors who have fought for these rights. But we’re not where we should be yet. We want equality. On all fronts. No more femicide, no more pregnancy discrimination, no more negative stereotypes, no more harassment. Until we have 100% equality for all genders and sexes, we still need feminism. And that is exactly what Ngozi Adichie says: we’re not there yet.
You should read We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, whoever you are.