books, Reviews

The Reviewing Reel: We Should All Be Feminists

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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I started reading this about half an hour ago. I finished it fifteen minutes later.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the author of that viral TEDx talk from 2013 – also called ‘We Should All Be Feminists’. I’ve linked you to it, there, so definitely have a watch. It is half an hour long, but it’s worth every single second.

This book is based on that talk, so if you see any parallels between the two then that’s to be expected. What I will say, though, is that she. Is. Amazing.

I read this book really, really fast. It’s only 64 pages long – although I read in on my Kindle so that didn’t really become apparent to me until I’d checked it on Goodreads. And it is… Amazing.

Basically, it’s all about Chimamanda’s childhood in Nigeria, the problems she faced as a woman, the ways she was suppressed and sidelined – because she was a woman. There’s a big emphasis in the feminist community at the moment to practice intersectional feminism, which is basically feminism for POC, LGBT+, disabled and other disadvantaged women along with straight cis white feminists.

As Chimamanda is a Nigerian woman, I felt like this book was my first proper foray into the world of intersectional feminism – something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long while. since I started identifying with the world ‘feminist’.

This is a personal essay, but it doesn’t read much like other feminist essays that I’ve read/am currently reading. It’s a lot easier to follow for one thing (Chimamanda picks up on this herself within the essay) and is full of personal anecdotes, short ones that don’t drag on and lose their effect.

The perk of reading it on Kindle means that I have highlighted a few of my favourite quotes – probably the best one being:

I often make the mistake of thinking that something that is obvious to me is just as obvious to someone else.

Which is probably the truest thing I’ve read in a long time. It’s something all feminists experience – that age old saying of ‘oh, but you have the vote, don’t you’ or ‘I’ve never experienced sexism, myself’.

Chimamanda also picks up on the ways that men are affected by gender norms and masculinity, and how these are feminist issues too.

Overall, this was amazing, and I adored it from the very first page. 5 stars, definitely, and go out and read this as soon as you can.

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