What’s it about?

In We Should All Be Feminists (2014), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie elaborates on her much-admired TEDx talk to approach our deepest misconceptions about feminism. By masterfully interweaving personal anecdotes, philosophy, and her talent for prose, she illustrates how men and women are far from being equal, how women are systematically discriminated against, and what we can do about it.

About the author:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian writer and recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. She won the Orange Prize for her novel Half of a Yellow Sun and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Americanah.

The sooner people start realizing the gender problem we suffer from; the sooner we will be free from its consequences:

The fact that most people still feel uncomfortable the moment the issue of feminism comes up is solid proof that there is something wrong.

Feminism is being misinterpreted to be many things that it’s most definitely not. The moment you step away from the glam of social media and the talk of a bunch of misinformed people, you will see how much deeper the topic is.

It is beyond discussion that women are still being discriminated against. We all can contribute to putting this non-sense to an end. No one should feel ashamed to be a feminist – in fact, it just might be the key to all of our freedom in this century. Keep on reading to know why feminism is a significant trait in the better world we all desire.

Your feminist ideas might make some people feel uncomfortable, but stand by them anyway:

Chimamanda Adichie, the author, was first referred to as a feminist at 14 by a childhood friend, Okoloma. He died in a 2005 Nigerian plane crash.  

In 2003, right after she wrote her novel Purple Hibiscus, a Nigerian journalist came up to her and told her never to call herself feminist because feminists are miserable women who will never find husbands. Later on, a female Nigerian academic said to Chimamanda that feminism was never a part of their African culture and that a feminist is someone who hates men.

The point is, people will always have different opinions about what feminism should be. Despite the negativities Chimamanda received, she never lost sight of the real meaning of being a feminist.

To achieve a generation that trusts the power of feminism, parents should start teaching this to their children at a very young age:

Back when Chimamanda was in primary school in Nigeria, her teacher offered that the one with the highest score on the test would become a class monitor.

She was so excited about getting the highest score, but the teacher replied by giving the position to a boy because she claimed that a girl couldn’t do the job correctly. Similarly, most people don’t see that men occupy almost all leadership positions as abnormal. They unconsciously accept that a man should be the one to lead because no one is taught otherwise growing up. Most people don’t recognize the inequality women receive in society. 

Chimamanda’s friend Louis didn’t become aware of this disparity until one day, while they were in Lagos, she gave a tip to a young man after helping them find a parking spot. The young man thanked Louis instead of Chimamanda even though she’s the one who gave him the tip.  

The idea of a man being the sole provider is something people don’t even think twice about because they are taught these things since they forever.

That’s why it is essential to change this kind of mindset as we raise our children. We should teach both genders always to be independent and authentic to themselves.

Yes, men and women will never be the same, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be treated equally:

The differences between women and men are distinct and unarguable – they have different biological abilities, sexual organs, and hormones. Though, this doesn’t change the fact that women can display the same skills as men. They can both be talented and have the same leadership potential.

It might come as a shock for some people, but the world has changed, and leadership is not about physical strength anymore. Leadership is for the more knowledgeable, intelligent, and creative individuals. And these traits are not determined by hormones. Society expects the wrong things from both genders. They expect men to hide their feelings and live up to their masculinity, while women have to seek marriage and submit to their husbands.

“Masculinity is a hard, small cage, and we put boys inside this cage.” 

-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

We higher the standards on girls and force on them the expected behavior while boys live freely and try new things.

You can only understand feminism gradually. You should let go of all the previous beliefs the society taught you first:

“My own definition of a feminist is a man or a woman who ways, 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.” 

-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Letting yourself be you without apologies is the best thing you can do for yourself. This means to live free no matter what society expects or thinks. Feminism is hard to define and even harder to discuss. It is a problem that continues to be on the rise because men don’t think of the gender problem. We have to speak out and defend the women that are mistreated. 

The culture is changing all the time; we should make this change in the field of feminism as much as possible. Everyone must do better. You can only do better when you open your eyes to the gender problem and fix it. Never allow societal expectations to control your choices. Just stay true to yourself, and you will see it.