We should all be feminists.
That’s what I came away with to after reading this essay by Chimmamanda Ngozi Adichie. Although I’ll admit, I held this belief long before opening these pages. I’ve recently read Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun and loved them both, so when I saw this 52 page book, I knew it would be a perfect bus reader.
If you’re interested in an articles that well summarize this book, I’d recommend this article that calls it the most important book you’ll read all year, or here.
One thing I like about this book is that it’s accessible as a primer on what it is to be a feminist. It uses plain language and interesting anecdotes.
On the completely opposite end of the spectrum, the message is nuanced enough for the well versed and well established feminist by speaking to the inherent complexity in the term.
I especially identified with the way Adichie felt she had to qualify what “type” of feminist she is:
…since feminists are women who are unhappy because they cannot find husbands…I decided to call myself a Happy Feminist.
These qualifications keep going until she’s calling herself a “Happy African Feminist Who Does Not Hate Men And Who Likes To Wear Lip Gloss And High Heels For Herself And Not For Men.”…when really being a feminist is being “a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.” Doesn’t that sound simpler?
This resonated with me in so many ways; as a woman, a hardworking professional, a wife, a blogger, a fashion loving lady, a sister to three boys– and all aspects of my values, traditional AND modern, are part of how I identify with being feminist.
Because March is Women’s History Month, I thought I’d share a few links I found particularly relevant, given my recent read:
- Beyonce’s Flawless which samples Chimamanda’s TED talk
- Who says feminists can’t also love fashion and other “girly” things?
- Buzzfeed’s 22 moments that made you proud to be a feminist in 2014
- …and since I’ve just binge watched the entire first season, here’s Buzzfeed’s feminist moments from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
- Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls is an inspiring addition for your Facebook feed
- Portland Monthly had a whole issue this month featuring the strong, creative, pioneering #OregonWomen
- Here’s another book on Feminism that delves deeply into the movement during the 60’s
- Last month I got to see a great film on the same topic, “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry,” and I saw it with this fellow feminist!