We Should All Be Feminists | GoodReads

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We Should All Be FeministsWe Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5.5/5 ⭐️'s — Every human should read this book, or at least watch the TED Talk.

What is a feminist? This term continues to change, evolve, and carry a lot of baggage with it. Many women are discouraged from calling themselves feminists because of the underlying implications. A lot of this has to do with being "liked."

How they have been raised to believe that their being likable is very important and that this "likable" trait is a specific thing. And that specific thing does not include showing anger or being aggressive or disagreeing too loudly.

When women are too strong, too vocal, or too fed up with being treated as an inferiors as opposed to equals, they are labeled in negative ways, while a man with the same characteristics is labeled as a leader, a "tough go-getter," even a trailblazer. Women are subject to extremely biased double standards, and these are not disappearing any time soon ... unless we begin to raise our daughters and sons differently.

Girls should not have to "shrink themselves" in order to "cater to the fragile egos of males."

Why is marriage still something women are expected to aspire to, in the modern world?

Our society teaches a woman at a certain age who is unmarried to see it as a deep personal failure.
While a man at a certain age who is unmarried has not quite come around to making his pick.


Yes, it's easy to say, resist this, say no to conformity. However, "we internalize ideas from our socialization."

I am angry. If anything can get me riled up, it's women's rights (or lack thereof), and old white men dictating the activity of my uterus.

Gender as it functions today is a grave injustice. We should all be angry. Anger has a long history of bringing about positive change—but in addition to being angry, I'm also hopeful. Because I believe deeply in the ability of human beings to make and remake themselves for the better.

Every sentence strikes a cord, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie paints a clear picture and summary of gender matters. Adichie first gave her TED Talk in 2012, and the book version was printed in 2014. Unfortunately, gender issues are not any more resolved today.

This photo, and this book should be a rallying cry to all (not just women) who want equality.

description
"This photograph is what patriarchy looks like – a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded." (Article here.)

*As long as you live you'll never see a photograph of 7 women signing legislation about what men can do with their reproductive organs.*

Things to Keep in Mind

The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn't have the weight of gender expectations.

Both men and women are resistant to talk about gender, or are quick to dismiss the problems of gender. Because thinking of changing the status quo is always uncomfortable.

Some people ask: "Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?" Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general—but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women. That the problem was not about being human, but specifically about being female human. For centuries, the world divided human beings into two groups and then proceeded to exclude and oppress one group. It is only fair that the solution to the problem acknowledge that.

TLDR:

"Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture."

"All of us, women and men, must do better."

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