I first heard about this essay from a book podcast last year and the presenters were talking about its much need and powerful message; I immediately wanted to read it. I would count myself as a feminist, I’m not afraid to say what needs to be said and I sometimes can’t understand people’s naivety to the world today but then all I have to do it remember that it wasn’t that long ago that I was equally ignorant.
This essay is laid out in a perfect way, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie chronicles her journey with feminism and how she first witnesses it then gradually as time goes on how it develops and how she sees it. She is accused of being a man hater, a feminist who doesn’t shave or wear make-up and more. She points out easily how there are many different levels or beliefs in feminism, how people use it to express themselves and most importantly why.
Coming from Nigeria, Adichie talks about her experiences growing up there and the traditions expected of women born there. She also mentioned her experiences in the U.S and in many instances worldwide. What I find important about this essay is not only does it show why feminism is needed for woman but also for men which is significant as many individuals feel it is a woman’s fight.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie explains what feminism is today in the 21st century, how it includes people from all walks of life and how it fights for equality. In a way it made me emotional, it made me angry at how people view this fight for equality as an insult or unnecessary and I was frustrated because so many of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s experiences have happened to the best of us. It’s tough explaining yourself or putting into words the blatant sexism and prejudice faced on a daily basis and why you fight for something as important as feminism. The frustration is channelled in this essay and the craziest part is that all of this is done in less than 50 pages; I think I got more clarity from this essay than I would have got from a 400 page book on feminism.
As much as the entire essay hit me hard, there was one quote that really cut me deep;
It is crazy to think that having come so far in technology, in advances, in human rights, in women’s rights, people’s rights and yet there will always be a fight because individuals are blind to the injustices. Even on a daily basis it is easy to overlook being unfairly treated or talked to because people have been taught it is acceptable. I can’t understand if it’s a naivety all the time or a refusal to see people as individuals and their rights to equality. Either way this essay opens eyes and channels your deepest feelings, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie managed to put into words what I struggle to do. A clear 5 out of 5 on goodreads, if you haven’t read it, pick it up and do yourself a favour. Open your mind if you haven’t already and think about the world today.