Wednesday 23 November 2016

Book Review: We Should All Be Feminists; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

I watched this wonderful author's TED talk 'The Danger Of A Single Story' a while back and instantly fell in love with her speaking style. She's witty, easy to understand, and her points are clear and well-founded. That particular talk was about cultural differences, and when I saw this small book of hers on the topic of Feminism I knew I needed to read it. Everyone should read this book.

SOURCE: Bought
TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: We Should All Be Feminists
AUTHOR: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

PUBLISHER: Fourth Estate

GENRE: Non-Fiction, Feminism, Essay

RATING: 5/5 Stars

What does “feminism” mean today? That is the question at the heart of We Should All Be Feminists, a personal, eloquently-argued essay – adapted from her much-viewed Tedx talk of the same name – by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of ‘Americanah’ and ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’. With humour and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century – one rooted in inclusion and awareness. She shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviours that marginalise women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics. 

Throughout, she draws extensively on her own experiences – in the U.S., in her native Nigeria – offering an artfully nuanced explanation of why the gender divide is harmful for women and men, alike. Argued in the same observant, witty and clever prose that has made Adichie a best-selling novelist, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman today – and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.

What I Liked:
  • This was absolutely the perfect summary of what Feminism is, and what it most certainly is not. Adichie drew on her personal experiences, both in the US and in Nigeria (where of course attitudes towards women differ immensely), gives humorous anecdotes to illustrate her points clearly and best of all shows that Feminism is not women complaining about how life is unfair for them. Feminism is a fight for equality and asks why one gender is expected to behave and do one thing, while another gender is different. I recognised Adichie's unique style in this transcript and it has cemented the idea that I want to read her books soon even more firmly in my mind.
What I Disliked:
  • I have nothing to write here except why has Adichie NOT written a thousand page book on the subject? And why does everyone not own this book, because they should!
Overall Conclusion:
I have been a very self-aware feminist for a while now, and I have often had late night chats with my boyfriend and friends on how unfair the world's expectations not just for women, but men too. I've never actually read any books on the topic though. This is my first, but it has convinced me that I need more non-fiction like this on my shelves! Adichie is funny and interesting, with a clear and distinct voice. So much so that I almost felt like I could hear her speaking while reading. Everyone should own a copy of this book (I will keep saying this throughout my review) and if you love it (which you will) then watch her speak on the TED website. I promise it's worthwhile.

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