Good morning, dear readers!
This is a special day, for my little blog: today (and I owe Alfred A. Knopf Publishing House a huge thank for it!) I’m bringing to you my first ever English review. The book which I’ll be talking about is none other than “Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a dear friend from childhood, asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie’s letter of response.
Here are fifteen invaluable suggestions–compelling, direct, wryly funny, and perceptive–for how to empower a daughter to become a strong, independent woman. From encouraging her to choose a helicopter, and not only a doll, as a toy if she so desires; having open conversations with her about clothes, makeup, and sexuality; debunking the myth that women are somehow biologically arranged to be in the kitchen making dinner, and that men can “allow” women to have full careers, Dear Ijeawele goes right to the heart of sexual politics in the twenty-first century. It will start a new and urgently needed conversation about what it really means to be a woman today.
When it comes to Feminism, I ask myself a lot of questions. What is wrong with the society we live in? Why did we feel the need to create the term “Feminism” in the first place? And, most importantly: when the time comes, will I be able to pass on my beliefs to my own child? When it comes to the answers to those questions, I rely on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Apparently, I’m not the only one, though.
“Your feminist premise should be: I matter. I matter equally. Not ‘if only’. Not ‘as long as’. I matter equally. Full stop.”
When Chimamanda was asked, by one of her closest friends, how to raise her daughter to be a feminist, her response became a book. An essay dedicated to young females, to empower young females and make them understand, from a very young age, their value. Do we need all of this? You might think. We do. Because, guess what? We’re not out of the woods, yet. Yes, we’ve gone undoubtedly far, but there’s still a long way ahead of us. What bothers me the most, though, is the fact that, many times, it’s women who put themselves down, who belittle their worth. If us women don’t think that we matter equally, no man will. I know that this is not their fault, because those women have been taught to think this way, to consider themselves as something less valuable, less important. Why do we do this to ourselves? That’s the point: we don’t deliberately do it. As a matter of fact, it is my opinion that we don’t even realize it. This way of seeing things belongs so much to the essential nature of our society, that we don’t even notice it.
“Tell her that her body belongs to her and her alone, that she should never feel the need to say yes to something she does not want, or something she feels pressured to do. Teach her that saying no when no feels right is something to be proud of.”
But, let’s not lose focus on this: how do we raise our daughters to be feminists? First of all, as Chimamanda says, we need to beware the idea of Feminism Lite, which is the idea that women can do whatever they want, because men allow them to. Think about it: in a marriage, would you ever say that a woman allowed her husband to do a certain thing? No, because it doesn’t usually happen. Because he’s the man, he doesn’t need her permission. So, why would we need men’s permission? As females, when we want to go out, when we want to spend our money, we are expected to ask for a man’s approval, and this is definitely not what Feminism is about. Feminism is about believing that we are all equals, that we – men and women – are on the same team. We need people to understand that women are human beings, not pretty objects to play with. We have the right to be heard, to be taken seriously, to dress as we please and not to be judged for it. We need to stand up and show the world how powerful we are. Yes, we are powerful and we can change the world, but we have to be determined to make it happen.
The only way I can express my genuine gratitude to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is by recommending this book, by telling people: you are not alone in this fight. We are all in this together, here’s the proof.
Title: Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in fifteen suggestions
Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Price: $ 9.37
[If you want to give this book a chance: AMAZON!]
Hope you have a great day!
See you next time,