• Ananya Ak

We Should All Be Feminists is a Must-Read for Everyone


The book We Should All Be Feminists sticking out of a jeans pocket. Randomly kept are a bottle of perfume, a lipstick, a bottle of nail polish and a pair of sunglasses
My way of saying that you can like "girly" stuff like lipstick and nail polish and fancy perfumes and still be feminist

We Should All Be Feminists is a tiny 64-page mini-book; your very own pocket guide (literally! If your pocket is big enough, it’ll fit!) to feminism.

A simply written but powerful account, it outlines, through the lens of Adichie’s own experiences, why it makes sense right now to be a feminist.

I can’t really put it any better than her, so I’m putting in some of the most powerful quotes (the entire book is quotable, by the way…I had a hell of a time deciding which ones to choose) at the end of this post.

All I can say is…read it.

This book answers every conceivable stupid question about feminism (like…why is it called feminism and not equalism or something?) in the nicest, most concise way possible.

If you’re a feminist, consider this your handy resource. When you face such questions again, all you need to do is turn to the relevant page and show it to them! Or you can memorise the book and quote it without looking. Buy this book. You won’t regret it.

If you don’t consider yourself a feminist and have genuine questions about the concept, this will probably answer your questions, and hopefully, soften you to the necessity of feminism.

If you’re a supporter of patriarchy, well…it’s good to know the other side of the story, isn’t it? It’s a tiny book, and even if you hate it, it’ll only take you an hour, maximum, to read (I took half an hour, and that was because I kept interrupting my reading by taking pictures).

I don’t usually recommend books to everyone because I know every person has their own preferences, but this is a gem and it’s not very big either. So I believe every single person should read it.

In the words of a random dog from “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” (I like cute dog movies), this book is, “tiny but mighty.”

Now for the quotes…

(I've attached pictures for a couple of them because they were too long)


“That word feminist is so heavy with baggage, negative baggage: how you hate men, you hate bras, you hate African culture, you think women should always be in charge, you don't wear makeup, you don't shave, you're always angry, you don't have a sense of humour, you don't use deodorant.”


Quote: "Not long ago, I walked into the lobby of one of the best Nigerian hotels, and a guard at the entrance stopped me and asked me annoying questions - What was the name and room number of the person I was visiting? Did I know this person? Could I prove that I was a hotel guest by showing him my key card? - because the automatic assumption is that a Nigerian female walking into a hotel alone is a sex worker. Because a Nigerian female alone cannot possibly be a guest paying for her own room. A man who walks into the same hotel is not harrassed. The assumption is that he is there for a legitimate reason. (Why, by the way, do those hotels not focus on the demand for sex workers instead of on the ostensible supply?)"


“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.”

“Marriage can be a good thing, a source of joy, love and mutual support. But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage, yet we don't teach boys to do the same?”

“We spend too much time teaching girls to worry about what boys think of them. But the reverse is not the case…All over the world, there are so many magazine articles and books telling women what to do, how to be and not be, in order to please men. There are far fewer guides for men about pleasing women.”

“In secondary school, a boy and a girl go out, both with meagre pocket money. Yet the boy is expected to pay the bills, always, to prove his masculinity. (And we wonder why boys are more likely to steal money from their parents.) What if both boys and girls were raised not to link masculinity and money? What if their attitude was not ‘the boy has to pay’, but rather, ‘whoever has more should pay’?”


"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 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 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."

“Culture does not make people. People make culture. And if the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture.”

“We praise girls for virginity but we don’t praise boys for virginity (and it makes me wonder how exactly this is supposed to work out, since the loss of virginity is a process that usually involves two people of opposite genders).”


Fin.

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