Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has published her second short work on feminism in the form of a letter to a dear friend. She responds to the question that her friend asks “How do I raise my daughter a feminist?”
Like her first work on the subject, We Should All Be Feminists, Adichie shares her beliefs on feminism and why it is needed in every part of the world. As she splits her time between the United States and Nigeria, Adichie gives relevant suggestions for not just the average American, but also suggestions that can be applied to all women in all walks of life.
There are plenty of notes that I could share with you about this book, but since that would be a very long post, I’ll just share a few.
“The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina… Cooking is a life skill that both men and women should ideally have.”
“Teach Chizalum to read. Teach her to love books.”
“Teach her that if you criticize X in women but do not criticize X in men, then you do not have a problem with X, you have a problem with women.”
“Never speak of marriage as 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 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.
“Is it any wonder that, in so many marriages, women sacrifice more, at a loss to themselves, because they have to constantly maintain an uneven exchange?”
“Her job is not to make herself likable, her job is to be her full self, a self that is honest and aware of the equal humanity of other people.”
“Don’t think that raising her feminist means forcing her to reject femininity.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has such a strong voice. Both of her books on feminism were a joy to read and left me with a desire to delve into the topic further. Both are short, but they leave the reader with a sense of camaraderie for someone who shares the same opinions and beliefs.
If you have difficulty understanding feminism or the need for feminism, I encourage you
to start with these books. Both are great first looks into the idea and the necessity of feminism.