My rating: 4 stars
It’s baffling how feminism still manages to be constantly misinterpreted and discredited in the 21st century. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a modified version of the TED talk that the author gave in December 2012. Having her personal experience as a starting point, she engagingly describes how feminism can benefit both men and women and how, in order to prevent change, some people continue to misjudge its purposes.
Although Adichie frequently gives as examples situations connected with life in Nigeria, women worldwide can surely relate to many of those instances of everyday sexism. She mentions many familiar topics: magazines telling women how to act in order to please men; marriage being a sign of success for women; children being raised according to stereotypes; and victims of rape being blamed for their assault.
Some of the topics mentioned could have been further developed, though. Being a version of a talk, this is obviously a tiny book. Adichie could have taken the opportunity to further expand her thoughts on certain issues. She mentions, for instance, that she likes wearing high heels, but, as many women find them uncomfortable and are pressured to wear them in many occasions, she could have further delved into this.
There are many lessons to take from this non-fiction book, however. It raises many thought-provoking questions. Culture not being a reason to curb equality, since it changes with time, is just one of them.
“Culture does not make people. People make culture.”
We Should All Be Feminists is obviously not the most comprehensive book on this topic, but it’s a good summary on why feminism is important for our societies as a whole.