Wednesday, November 23, 2016

On my bookshelf: "We Should All Be Feminists"

"We have evolved .But our ideas of gender have not evolved very much."-
this line brings out the essence of Chimananda's book " We Should All Be Feminists". It is adapted from her much viewed  TEDx talk with the same name.

 I would highly recommend this short ebook to all, especially to young people and to those interested in gender studies. It would also be a rather useful read for teen girls because  it's the perfect intro to those who are just starting to understand gender issues.

Chimananda writes gently but effectively and she draws on  experiences from her homeland Nigeria and from USA- her own and her friends'. She speaks of the time when she wasn't made a class monitor just because she was a girl, even though she met the criterion by scoring the highest . It was something that shook her nine year old self to the very core.

Chimananda speaks of how a woman is often criticized for the same attributes that a man is praised for.For example, a woman CEO is often spoken ill of if she's assertive, whereas a man CEO is likely to be admired for the very same trait.

For the discrimination against women, rather than attacking men, she talks about culture and mindsets, which I think is a good approach.She says that the culture must be inclusive and must evolve according to the needs of the time where physical strength is no longer important and therefore men's dominance no longer makes sense.

Some of my favourite lines from the book:

"We spend too much time telling girls that they cannot be angry or aggressive or tough,which is bad enough,but then we turn around and either praise or excuse men for the same reasons."

"We define masculinity in a very narrow way.Masculinity is a hard,small cage, and we put boys inside this cage."

"The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are."

Chimamanda's tone in this book is conversational and not at all pedantic, which makes it a great read!Looking forward  to reading more of her work!


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Malina said...

Thanks.So very kind of u !