- 2020-01-31 04:48:22
From the book —
WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS
By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
1. It is one thing to know something intellectually and quite another to feel it emotionally.
2. Gender as it functions today is a grave injustice. I am angry. We should all be angry. Anger has a long history of bringing about positive change.
3. I teach a writing workshop in Lagos and one of the participants, a young woman told me that a friend had told her not to listen to my “feminist talk”; otherwise she would absorb ideas that would destroy her marriage. This is a threat - the destruction of a marriage, the possibility of not having a marriage at all - that in our society is much more likely to be used against a woman then against a man.
4. We are all social beings. We internalize ideas from our socialization. Even the language we use illustrates this. The language of marriage is often the language of ownership, not a language of partnership.
5. The sad truth of the matter is that when it comes to appearance, we start off with men as a standard, as the norm. Many of us think that the less feminine a woman appears, the more likely she is to be taken seriously. A man going to a business meeting doesn’t wonder about being taken seriously based on what he is wearing – but a woman does.
6. 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 a vague expression of 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, being excluded. It will be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women. The problem was not about being human, but specifically about being a 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 should acknowledge that.
7. I was once talking about gender and a man said to me, “Why does it have to be you as a woman? Why not you as a human being? “This type of question is a way of silencing a person’s specific experiences. Of course I am a human being, but there are particular things that happened to me in the world because I am a woman. The same man, by the way, would often talk about his experience as a black man.
8. What is the point of culture? Culture functions ultimately to ensure the preservation and continuity of a people.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.
9. And when, all those years ago, I look the word up in the dictionary, is said: Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.
10. My own definition of a feminist is a man or a woman who says, “Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better. “All of us women and men must do better.
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