Friday, 21 November 2014

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

We Should All Be Feminists (2014) (Fourth Estate)
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Grade: A+
Genre: non-fiction
Source: own
Fiction RBC 2014: A book of non-fiction 

Watch the TEDx talk here.

Adapted from her phenomenal TEDx talk of the same name, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie draws upon her experiences growing up in Nigeria and uses her gift for storytelling to put forward a persuasive argument for why we should all be feminists and what every man, woman, boy, girl and parent can do to contribute towards the equality of the sexes.

I watched this TEDx talk earlier this year and was blown away by her wit, speaking style and really down-to-earth demeanour. Beyoncé’s song ‘Flawless’ uses a line from this speech which really put this talk in the spotlight. It’s a lengthy piece (30 minutes) but it’s worth every minute and will guarantee countless laughs. Her anecdotes reveal the stunning ‘everyday sexism’ that she’s been subjected to, yet these instances have become normalised into culture such that it has simply become the way that we treat men and women. Although the book does, in essence, repeat verbatim the contents of her speech, it’s still worthwhile to read it and watch the talk – though not at the same time. It was such a long time ago that while I remember key parts of her speech, what hadn’t stuck in my head was the way that she’d managed to link seemingly unrelated events to weave an organic piece of storytelling that hits home, hard. I read in the Evening Standard this week that the word ‘feminist’ had been voted the top word to get rid of from our vocabulary. If this talk can’t change those peoples’ minds, then I don’t know what can. Read it or watch it, or do both if you’re so inclined – you won’t regret it.

Image courtesy of Book Depository

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