I know I just did a book review a few weeks ago, but this isn’t technically a book review (oK?). We Should All Be Feminist by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is actually a transcript of one of her speeches given at a TEDx talk, which you can listen to here.
It’s such a fantastic description of feminism and what it means to really use critical thinking skills to dissect how gender roles impact us and what we can do to work towards a more equal society. It also bases much of its premise on, what seems to me to be, common sense. I really encourage people to listen to her speech (and not just because Queen Bey sampled it). If anyone is on the fence as to what feminism can mean and how gender inequality affects our way of living, then this very straightforward discussion will really help guide you.
If you do opt for the book, rather than the video– it’s a quick read so even burnt out law students can handle it (it’s less than 50 pages).
Finally, it’s really refreshing to read a viewpoint on feminism from a woman of color. Adichie mentions that reading academic texts felt dry and not very appealing. And I concur! I remember studying feminism in my Social Theory course and thinking the same way. The truth is, while that academic feminist theory is informative and important, it doesn’t always align with the Latina experience because traditional feminism so heavily relies on White experiences.
For example, the stay-at-home vs. career mom saga; important to discuss and consider, but it’s much more likely a white woman issue because women of color are rarely in a socio-economic brackets where not working outside the home is a feasible economic option.
Adichie discusses how when we see something over and over again it becomes normal. We start to believe, even subconsciously, that the status quo must be the only way because we’re so used to seeing it only one way. So when we discuss feminism only through a white woman lens or discuss problems that really only affect them, we slowly begin to think that those are the only “women’s issues” simply because they’re so overwhelmingly discussed. Latina feminism is different because our experiences are different and it’s important and self-preserving to make sure our issues are addressed and supported.
Ok so I won’t make this post longer than the book, but I really recommend it to anyone who is interested in women’s rights—it’s a quick read and will help articulate so many points that we feel but rarely see addressed in open air.
Finally, just for fun—I saw this article on The Onion and couldn’t stop laughing on my commute. I’m sure I looked cray! But please also read this article entitled: I Don’t Support Feminism If It Means Murdering All Men.
Have you heard her speech? What do you think?