This evening I read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s essay ‘We Should All Be Feminists’, because of course we should! And it is International Women’s Day and the slim little book had been near the top of the pile on my desk for a few days now. I enjoyed it – possibly because the voice reading to me in my head was Adichie’s – though the essay is hardly pitched at me, someone who twenty-plus years ago learned what ‘feminist’ means and, like Adichie, readily claimed the title. (‘Feminist: A person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.’ Simple.) But having read it, I am looking forward to putting the book, with its good humour and telling glimpses of Nigerian and American cultures, into the hands of my young niece (who is neither Nigerian nor American).
P.S. Three days later: My 18-year-old Tibetan niece really enjoyed it, saying that she had previously only thought of ‘feminism’ in its political sphere, and not really understood its application or implications in the social and economic aspects of our lives. Like me, she also enjoyed the little vignettes offering insights into women’s lives in Nigeria and America. Yep, we should all be feminists.
Adichie’s essay is based on her 2012 TED Talk of the same name. But if your wanderings around the internet have not yet brought you to her 2009 TED Talk ‘The danger of a single story’, start there. Listen now! It is one of my all-time favourite talks.