“Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not in our culture, then we can and must make it our culture.”
~Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian feminist author of several novels including ‘Purple Hibiscus’, ‘Americanah’ and ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’. The book ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ is a modified version of a TEDx talk she had delivered in 2012. She talks about incidents of gender-based discrimination from her own life, and from the lives of other women she knows. She bursts the myths on feminism, chalks out the reasons behind gender-bias and explains the importance of equal rights for men and women with unshakeable logic.
The author does not use highly complicated words and difficult concepts. She rather uses her impeccable sense of humour in describing the stereotypical attitude all feminists face. She talks about culture and traditions which curb women’s freedom and toxic masculinity that affects the lives of both men and women. She explains why most men develop fragile egos and women have to cater to them by suppressing themselves.
She also questions the systems at workplaces where women generally don’t get positions of power only because they are women. She asks why cooking has become women’s gender-role, while most of the famous chefs in the world are men.
Many people have raised questions on the concept of feminism. They have asked why it cannot be replaced by ‘humanism’. Adichie has provided logical answers to such questions in the book.
I like this book because of its simplicity, preciseness and witty writing style. If you are beginning to know feminism, I would suggest you begin with ‘We Should All Be Feminists’. This book is an example-based essay on feminism, to which most of the modern women will relate irrespective of their nationalities or cultures. It is a must read for those people who struggle with the idea of feminism.
The word ‘Feminism’ was coined by French philosopher Charles Fourier in 1832. The concept is not new to the world. Hundreds of books have been written about it. Thousands of people have talked about it. Yet there is a lot of stigma around this word. Suppression of women’s rights and freedom has become a norm. Feminists are still looked upon as threats to relationships and culture. ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ is a book that brings these issues under the light of universal awareness.