Friday, 28 July 2017

Review: Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Adichie
Sourced from

Feminism:  the advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.

Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Date Read: 21/05/17

Year Published: 2017

Genre: Non-fiction/Essay

Here are fifteen invaluable suggestions- compelling, direct, wryly funny, and perceptive- for how to empower a daughter to become a strong, independent woman. From teaching a young girl to read widely and recognize the role of language in reinforcing unhealthy social norms; encouraging her to choose a helicopter, and not only a doll, as a toy if she so desires; having open conversations with her about appearance, identity, and sexuality; criticizing cultural norms surrounding marriage; and debunking the myths that women are somehow biologically designed to be in the kitchen, and that men can "allow" women to have full careers, Dear Ijeawele goes right to the heart of sexual politics in the twenty-first century. It will start a new and urgently needed conversation about what it really means to be a woman today.

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a die-hard Chimamanda fan! So when I caught wind of her new book, I was beyond excited. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it! Fortunately for me, I was able to purchase it here a few months later along with Bury Me Come Sunday Afternoon by Nike Campbell-Fatoki. (A review for it will be up soon)

I think we need to talk about how awesome Chimamanda is! She takes the most controversial of topics and turns it into something so profoundly relatable.
She's one of the only authors I know who passes a point across with humour and simplicity. A lot of what she said changed my perspective on life and left me shook. After reading certain paragraphs, I found myself screaming 'Yasssss Chimamanda, preach!' Lol. When I was through with the essay, I was so overwhelmed by her awesomeness that I had to re-watch her TEDx talk **inserts crying emoji**

Although I don't agree with everything she wrote, I definitely think that what she has written down in this manifesto is important and should be celebrated by everyone.  And I  hope that through this essay and We Should All Be Feminists, that the word Feminism will no longer be necessary, because the equality of the sexes will be inherent in our society.

Some excerpts from the essay

“The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina.” 

“People will selectively use “tradition” to justify anything.” 

“Never speak of marriage as an achievement. Find ways to make clear to her that marriage is not an achievement, nor is it what she should aspire to. A marriage can be happy or unhappy, but it is not an achievement. We condition girls to aspire to marriage and we do not condition boys to aspire to marriage, and so there is already a terrible imbalance at the start. The girls will grow up to be women preoccupied with marriage. The boys will grow up to be men who are not preoccupied with marriage. The women marry those men. The relationship is automatically uneven because the institution matters more to one than the other.” 

“...parents unconsciously start very early to teach girls how to be, that baby girls are given less room and more rules and baby boys more room and fewer rules.” 

“Because you are a girl” is never a reason for anything. Ever.” 

Thank you for reading. P.S: Check out my favourite quotes page for new quotes xx

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