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From the best-selling author of Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists comes a powerful new statement about feminism today--written as a letter to a friend. A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a dear friend from childhood, asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie's letter of response. Here are fifteen inva From the best-selling author of Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists comes a powerful new statement about feminism today--written as a letter to a friend. A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a dear friend from childhood, asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie's letter of response. Here are fifteen invaluable suggestions--compelling, direct, wryly funny, and perceptive--for how to empower a daughter to become a strong, independent woman. From encouraging her to choose a helicopter, and not only a doll, as a toy if she so desires; having open conversations with her about clothes, makeup, and sexuality; debunking the myth that women are somehow biologically arranged to be in the kitchen making dinner, and that men can "allow" women to have full careers, Dear Ijeawele goes right to the heart of sexual politics in the twenty-first century. It will start a new and urgently needed conversation about what it really means to be a woman today.


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From the best-selling author of Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists comes a powerful new statement about feminism today--written as a letter to a friend. A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a dear friend from childhood, asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie's letter of response. Here are fifteen inva From the best-selling author of Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists comes a powerful new statement about feminism today--written as a letter to a friend. A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a dear friend from childhood, asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie's letter of response. Here are fifteen invaluable suggestions--compelling, direct, wryly funny, and perceptive--for how to empower a daughter to become a strong, independent woman. From encouraging her to choose a helicopter, and not only a doll, as a toy if she so desires; having open conversations with her about clothes, makeup, and sexuality; debunking the myth that women are somehow biologically arranged to be in the kitchen making dinner, and that men can "allow" women to have full careers, Dear Ijeawele goes right to the heart of sexual politics in the twenty-first century. It will start a new and urgently needed conversation about what it really means to be a woman today.

30 review for Chère Ijeawele, un manifeste pour une éducation féministe

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    Your feminist premise should be: I matter. I matter equally. Not “if only.” Not “as long as.” I matter equally. Full stop. I honestly cannot think of any author who writes essays as equally hard-hitting and utterly readable as Adichie does. Perhaps Roxane Gay's work could be said to be as compelling, or Ta-Nehisi Coates's work to be as powerful, but Adichie always comes out on top, for me, as someone who can write about important subjects with a conversational tone that makes them pageturners Your feminist premise should be: I matter. I matter equally. Not “if only.” Not “as long as.” I matter equally. Full stop. I honestly cannot think of any author who writes essays as equally hard-hitting and utterly readable as Adichie does. Perhaps Roxane Gay's work could be said to be as compelling, or Ta-Nehisi Coates's work to be as powerful, but Adichie always comes out on top, for me, as someone who can write about important subjects with a conversational tone that makes them pageturners. This latest essay is a letter Adichie wrote to a friend who asked for advice on how to raise her daughter as a feminist. It touches on so many different things, from the role of fathers: And please reject the language of help. Chudi is not “helping” you by caring for his child. He is doing what he should. When we say fathers are “helping,” we are suggesting that child care is a mother’s territory, into which fathers valiantly venture. It is not. To self-worth, standards of beauty, and double standards: Teach her that if you criticize X in women but do not criticize X in men, then you do not have a problem with X, you have a problem with women. I found it extremely powerful and moving. Adichie's style is simple and accessible and, in fact, she herself criticizes the tendency of feminists to use jargon like "misogyny" and "patriarchy" without explaining how this applies in human terms. Even I have a tendency to write in a less personal manner about "serious" books. My tone becomes more aloof, less emotive, I think. So I'll try to take Adichie's advice and put forward my review in human, non-jargony terms: This essay really affected me personally. I got goosebumps when Adichie talked about the necessity of celebrating difference. And I felt deeply touched, even as an adult who doesn't really qualify as a "girl" anymore, by this: “Because you are a girl” is never a reason for anything. Ever. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ariel

    I wanted to write a review about how wonderful this book is, but instead I think I need to tell you how necessary this book is. About two months ago I met with Penguin who asked me if I'd do a sponsored video for this book. Having loved We Should All Be Feminists I was thrilled to work with them, and after reading this glorious little manifesto I agreed. (They sponsored that video and supplied me with the book, but this review is unrelated... I'm two months late, after all!) I got excited to make I wanted to write a review about how wonderful this book is, but instead I think I need to tell you how necessary this book is. About two months ago I met with Penguin who asked me if I'd do a sponsored video for this book. Having loved We Should All Be Feminists I was thrilled to work with them, and after reading this glorious little manifesto I agreed. (They sponsored that video and supplied me with the book, but this review is unrelated... I'm two months late, after all!) I got excited to make a video about what passages most spoke to me and to share personal experiences and thoughts I've had to do with feminism. And so I did just that and shared my video... and what came next I was naive enough to not foresee. I was flooded with comments from people who not only disagreed with my feminism, but who thought I shouldn't exist because of it. People who started to tell me that they hoped I never "tricked a man into dating me so that I never reproduce." It was the kind of infamous "YouTube Hate" that I rarely see since I run a channel about books. What struck me was that I considered what I'd said in the video to be extremely tame. I specifically wanted to highlight that what feels most prescient to me about feminism is simply choice. In my video I mention my relationship to makeup and to bras and how I wish they felt more like an option and less like an expectation. That's not a huge statement, right? Apparently it is. And so, fascinatingly, sharing my review heightened my appreciation for this book and even added an urgency to my understanding of it. It's beautifully measured and clever and I really think you should read it. My video review: https://youtu.be/LJf-am8WUPw

  3. 4 out of 5

    Emily (Books with Emily Fox)

    Teach her that if you criticize X in women but do not criticize X in men, then you do not have a problem with X, you have a problem with women. I'm actually mad that I have to return this book to the library. I need to own this book. The author has such a way with words. She states her opinion in a matter of fact and simple way. I wish I were able to do the same but I'll have to content myself with using her quotes! It warms my cold dead heart to know that women like her exist out there in the wor Teach her that if you criticize X in women but do not criticize X in men, then you do not have a problem with X, you have a problem with women. I'm actually mad that I have to return this book to the library. I need to own this book. The author has such a way with words. She states her opinion in a matter of fact and simple way. I wish I were able to do the same but I'll have to content myself with using her quotes! It warms my cold dead heart to know that women like her exist out there in the world.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nat

    After having seen the scene below shared online, which was taken from this powerful short film, I immediately wanted to absorb myself in some much needed feminist literature. At which point I recalled the existence of Dear Ijeawele, which I'd gratefully received as an ARC. *Trigger warning: rape.* In We Should All be Feminists, her eloquently argued and much admired essay of 2014, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie proposed that if we want a fairer world we need to ra After having seen the scene below shared online, which was taken from this powerful short film, I immediately wanted to absorb myself in some much needed feminist literature. At which point I recalled the existence of Dear Ijeawele, which I'd gratefully received as an ARC. *Trigger warning: rape.* In We Should All be Feminists, her eloquently argued and much admired essay of 2014, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie proposed that if we want a fairer world we need to raise our sons and daughters differently. Here, in this remarkable new book, Adichie replies by letter to a friend’s request for help on how to bring up her newborn baby girl as a feminist. With its fifteen pieces of practical advice it goes right to the heart of sexual politics in the twenty-first century. Discussing feminism, love, bodies, gender roles, marriage, rejecting likability, racism, sexism, white-privilege, privilege and inequality, body-image insecurities, female sexuality, periods, oppression, and so much more. “Where has this been all my life” was how I felt when I finished. A truly revolutionary book with a handful of innovative quotes that I'd liked to share next: “Your feminist premise should be: I matter. I matter equally. Not ‘if only’. Not ‘as long as’. I matter equally. Full stop.” “But here is a sad truth: our world is full of men and women who do not like powerful women. We have been so conditioned to think of power as male that a powerful woman is an aberration.” “Teach her that if you criticize X in women but do not criticize X in men, then you do not have a problem with X, you have a problem with women.” The above completely changed the way I perceive things. “Tell her that her body belongs to her and her alone, that she should never feel the need to say yes to something she does not want, or something she feels pressured to do. Teach her that saying no when no feels right is something to be proud of.” All of the above feels both so personally and universally relevant. And after having completed Dear Ijeawele in one sitting, I have one last thing to say: MY HEART IS SO FULL AND GRATEFUL THAT THIS EXISTS. ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Expected publication: March 7th, 2017 Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying Dear Ijeawele, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission! This review and more can be found on my blog.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Warda

    “The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina.” Chimamanda just can't do no wrong! I had the honour and the absolute pleasure of seeing and hearing her in person over the weekend in London. As expected, the event was just spectacular. This book originated and was inspired by a friend of Chimamanda's who asked her ‘how to raise her baby girl as a feminist.’ The book is short, sweet and ridiculously impactful. The above quote is my favourite alongside many others. As she i “The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina.” Chimamanda just can't do no wrong! I had the honour and the absolute pleasure of seeing and hearing her in person over the weekend in London. As expected, the event was just spectacular. This book originated and was inspired by a friend of Chimamanda's who asked her ‘how to raise her baby girl as a feminist.’ The book is short, sweet and ridiculously impactful. The above quote is my favourite alongside many others. As she is a WOC who speaks on feminism (and more) and as I find her cultural traits more relatable and similar to mine, I love and admire how she continues to advocate for equality and fights to break down the barriers of everything that contributes to sexism, whilst simultaneously empowering women to be who it is they want to be. Not only did I feel content reading this book, the concept of feminism was ingrained in me even more. And as someone who was slightly reluctant to accept the term, because of the ignorant, but common connotations and how in its origin, it catered to white women, I fully embrace the term now. At its root, it's about equality. Simple. For men and women. And though it's to educate all, it's more so effective on women. I can't help but feel glorious and powerful about myself, who I am as a person and to not back down on my values and my beliefs and what my gut instinct has been telling me for so long after reading this book. There's a certain 'aura' that she exudes in her writing (and in person), which you can't help but fall for, and commands full attention and concentration. I'm under a spell. I was positively beaming whilst reading the book. But why should I read it, I hear you say? Because this book is basically a massive f*** you to the cultural garb that has defined our societal standards and norms. Because this book is about being selfish in the sense that it is about self-acceptance, becoming your own person, and focusing on your wants and needs first and not tolerating bullshit. Difference. Diversity. I cannot get enough of her work and could read/listen to her forever. Though it's approximate 60 pages long, it's thought-provoking and it's the type of read that'll linger for a while. I know it's a book I'll constantly be referring to.

  6. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    ‘your feminist premise should be: i matter. i matter equally. not ‘if only…’ not ‘as long as…’ i matter equally. full stop.’ once again, adichie is the voice of reason and the feminist icon we all deserve. i dont annotate my books but, if i did, i can guarantee nearly every single word of truth in this tiny gem of a book would be highlighted and underlined. there is so much wisdom and significance nestled into this letter that i am of the strong opinion this should be mandatory reading for an ‘your feminist premise should be: i matter. i matter equally. not ‘if only…’ not ‘as long as…’ i matter equally. full stop.’ once again, adichie is the voice of reason and the feminist icon we all deserve. i dont annotate my books but, if i did, i can guarantee nearly every single word of truth in this tiny gem of a book would be highlighted and underlined. there is so much wisdom and significance nestled into this letter that i am of the strong opinion this should be mandatory reading for anyone and everyone. but most of all, its a must read for all the strong women of the world - may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them. <3 ↠ 4.5 stars

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sean Barrs

    “Teach her to love books. If she sees you reading she will understand that reading is valuable. Books will help her understand the world, help her express herself, and help her in whatever she wants to become.” Reading, reading is so vitally important in understanding other people and differences. It develops empathy and it makes the world a better place. We should never restrict ourselves in life, men or women, it doesn’t matter as long as we do not full victim to the silly constraints imp “Teach her to love books. If she sees you reading she will understand that reading is valuable. Books will help her understand the world, help her express herself, and help her in whatever she wants to become.” Reading, reading is so vitally important in understanding other people and differences. It develops empathy and it makes the world a better place. We should never restrict ourselves in life, men or women, it doesn’t matter as long as we do not full victim to the silly constraints imposed upon us by society. Books help so much. As with We Should All Be Feminists Adichie proposes positive change moving forward. However, with this also came a personal touch. This was never written to be published, but was instead a letter written to her friend (Ijeawele) offering honest advice on how to make her daughter into a feminist and a better human being. “Teach her that the idea of 'gender roles' is absolute nonsense. Do not ever tell her that she should or should not do something because she is a girl. 'Because you are a girl' is never reason for anything. Ever.” With it came experience and the suffering of living in a world that alters people’s minds. Growing up, Adichie and her friend had to learn the hard way. They had the pre-installed cultural mind-set that made them feel and act as if they were less than men. They felt like they could not do certain things and had to behave in “appropriate” ways. It took years for Adichie to gain the confidence to question her situation and tackle it head on. What she offers her friend in fifteen suggestions is an easier route: to grow up in a society knowing her rights. I’ve decided that I really, really, need to read one of her novels after this. I love the message she imparts and it will be interesting to see if this carries over into her fiction.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Candi

    4.5 stars “Your feminist premise should be: I matter. I matter equally. Not 'if only.' Not 'as long as.' I matter equally.” This book is Adichie’s response to her friend’s request to help her raise a feminist daughter. A lot of her ideas are already ingrained in my mind, but I appreciated the reinforcements. I also learned a few new ideas to help empower young girls and women. I grew up in a climate that was somewhat conflicting regarding the roles of men and women. When I didn’t have a boyfriend 4.5 stars “Your feminist premise should be: I matter. I matter equally. Not 'if only.' Not 'as long as.' I matter equally.” This book is Adichie’s response to her friend’s request to help her raise a feminist daughter. A lot of her ideas are already ingrained in my mind, but I appreciated the reinforcements. I also learned a few new ideas to help empower young girls and women. I grew up in a climate that was somewhat conflicting regarding the roles of men and women. When I didn’t have a boyfriend in high school, it was noted, with a tone of scorn, that I would become an “old maid.” I was then later told that you had to watch out for men, they could do things to you that you would regret and never forget. I was told that I was bright enough to pursue any career I wanted. Yet there were restrictions about how far I could go off to university because I was a “girl”. When I had my first baby, a son, I was encouraged to keep working. When I had my daughter, it was hinted that perhaps I shouldn’t devote too much time to my job. I was empowered to stand up to men, but it was frowned upon when I didn’t cook a proper dinner for my young family every now and then, or when I went out with my girlfriends on occasion. So it made me laugh when I read these words of Adichie’s: “The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina. Cooking is learned. Cooking—domestic work in general—is a life skill that both men and women should ideally have. It is also a skill that can elude both men and women.” Given such inconsistent advice as a young woman and a young mom, how was I ever to raise my own daughter to be a feminist? Surely I would have all the messages mixed up and fail entirely. Well, naturally, it was a matter of trial and error on some days, but I learned as I went along. I also had a little help from my friends: books. We all know that reading gives us a broader world view. And it’s true what Adichie tells her friend here: “Teach her to love books. The best way is by casual example. If she sees you reading, she will understand that reading is valuable. If she were not to go to school, and merely just read books, she would arguably become more knowledgeable than a conventionally educated child.” I’m still working on setting the right examples and giving my daughter the tools she needs to not just survive but thrive when she is fully independent. We can all learn more, and that’s what I loved about this little book. I don’t know of anyone with new babies or children on the horizon, but as soon as I do, I’m going to run out and buy this. I’ll insist that the expectant parents both read the book. In the meantime, I’m going to give my son a little nudge to listen to this on audio. I think it’s even more important to start there, with our sons, our nephews, and the other young men in our lives. “If we don’t place the straitjacket of gender roles on young children, we give them space to reach their full potential.”

  9. 4 out of 5

    emma

    The moral of my feelings on this book is that I will read anything Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie deigns to publish. Including her correspondence. (Because this book is a letter she wrote to her friend, not because I've been rooting through her mail.) (Yet.) This is a very teeny little thing and yet it packs more of a punch than most 400-page YA quasi-feminist books. So. Safe to say I recommend. Bottom line: If you have a spare 7 minutes, you can and should read this!! ------------ "We teach girls to be lika The moral of my feelings on this book is that I will read anything Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie deigns to publish. Including her correspondence. (Because this book is a letter she wrote to her friend, not because I've been rooting through her mail.) (Yet.) This is a very teeny little thing and yet it packs more of a punch than most 400-page YA quasi-feminist books. So. Safe to say I recommend. Bottom line: If you have a spare 7 minutes, you can and should read this!! ------------ "We teach girls to be likable, to be nice, to be false. And we do not teach boys the same." what a tiny brilliant book. review to come / 4 stars ------------ if Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has any suggestions for me whatsoever - on how to write, on how to be amazing, on how to grocery shop - i will take them --- i am spending this month reading books by Black authors. please join me! book 1: The Stars and the Blackness Between Them book 2: Homegoing book 3: Let's Talk about Love book 4: Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People about Race book 5: The Sellout book 6: Queenie book 7: Red at the Bone book 8: The Weight of the Stars book 9: An American Marriage book 10: Dear Ijeawaele

  10. 5 out of 5

    Brina

    Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a letter she wrote to a close friend who has just given birth to a daughter. The friend has asked her to describe how to raise the daughter to be a feminist in Nigeria, a male centered country. Spelling out how to raise a feminist daughter in fifteen steps, this letter can be viewed as a companion piece to We Should All be Feminists and a manifesto of how to raise all children to view all people with respect. Even though I recently read We Should All Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a letter she wrote to a close friend who has just given birth to a daughter. The friend has asked her to describe how to raise the daughter to be a feminist in Nigeria, a male centered country. Spelling out how to raise a feminist daughter in fifteen steps, this letter can be viewed as a companion piece to We Should All be Feminists and a manifesto of how to raise all children to view all people with respect. Even though I recently read We Should All be Feminists, I found that Adichie had offered some new points to ponder, starting from the child's birth. Both parents have made the decision to bring a child into the world, so, as a result, the father should not view child care as babysitting. Rather, anything he contributes to raising his child should be viewed as equal to the mother's work. Unfortunately, society as a whole does not see things from this light, and Adichie urges open minded people to change this. She goes on to state that children should not be conditioned to like a certain type of toy or play. From day one, girls are told to wear pink and play with dolls, whereas boys are told to wear blue and play with cars. If a girl chooses to play sports or be a princess, either is acceptable in this new world view, the same as if a boy would like to draw rather than play a police game. Adichie advances her views on child raising through adolescence in hopes that girls are not ashamed of their bodies and that they should still enjoy the same activities that they did when they were younger. Raising a child does not end at adolescence, so Adichie takes her readers through marriage. I found her points uplifting but most were pointed at Nigeria, which is still a male-centric society. From reading her other books, I have found that in Nigeria women oftentimes can not walk into a restaurant without a man and that Igbo women have few rights if at all. Adichie is urging the younger generations to change the older, tribal beliefs, even if it is one step at a time. By beginning from birth, she hopes that eventually this culture will change for the better and respect women and men equally. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is becoming a favorite author of mine and also a leading feminist voice internationally. I think this manifesto is something that all expectant parents should read so that their children start out with a clean slate. I would hope that later editions could be published together with We Should All Be Feminists because both are equally important. I look forward to the next time I take the time to read Adichie's work, 4 stars.

  11. 4 out of 5

    s.penkevich

    ‘Because social norms are created by human beings...there is no social norm that cannot be changed.’ We’ve all heard the maxim that ‘change starts with you,’ which is something we must all take to heart and shoulder the responsibility. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of the powerful novel Americanah and the powerful TedTalk We Should All Be Feminists, reminds parents how important the idea of change beginning with them is in her letter to a close friend, recently revised and published as Dear Ij ‘Because social norms are created by human beings...there is no social norm that cannot be changed.’ We’ve all heard the maxim that ‘change starts with you,’ which is something we must all take to heart and shoulder the responsibility. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of the powerful novel Americanah and the powerful TedTalk We Should All Be Feminists, reminds parents how important the idea of change beginning with them is in her letter to a close friend, recently revised and published as Dear Ijeawle, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions. The advice, while geared toward raising a daughter in the modern world, is not limited in its audience to female bearing parents--or even to parents in general--but to all of us. The messages inside, told in casual yet puissant prose that is sure to rattle in any reader’s heart, mind and soul are salient advice towards creating a better, more equal and understanding world. On first glance, the ideas discussed seem fairly obvious and anyone who has embraced feminism--and I hope you have--won’t find anything completely groundbreaking, but the fact that there are those that need a reminder of these or an introduction to these ideas is why books like this exist. It is frightening to think this is a world where the ideas within the book aren’t already a cultural norm, but that is precisely why it is so important to spread and share the knowledge. Adichie’s advice should be carefully considered and constantly echoing in your mind when raising a child, engaging in a romantic relationship or simply interacting in society. ‘My friend sent me a reply saying she would “try” to follow my suggestions. And in rereading these as a mother, I, too, am determined to try.’ We must all be determined to try. It may seem difficult--there are still those who claim the gender wage gap is a myth--especially considering society has been built on an obdurate male culture that will fight tooth and nail to retain their hold. Even language is full of gender pitfalls as the history of language is a long history of misogyny. Adichie addresses many of these issues and offers a helpful guide to navigating them. The back dust jacket does a fairly accurate job of summing up her main points: All of these are ideas to take to heart. Particularly around children, as we must remember that children learn how to approach the world by watching us and those around them as role models. Adichie goes right to infancy to address a few problematic behaviors, such as how in play groups: mothers of baby girls were very restraining, constantly telling the girls ‘don’t touch’ or ‘stop and be nice,’ and she noticed that the baby boys were not restrained as much and were almost never told to ‘be nice.’ Adichie notes that ‘parents unconsciously start very early to teach girls how to be, that baby girls are given less room and more rules and baby boys more room and fewer rules.’ This sort of early guidance into the world begins a chain of behaviors that becomes very difficult to unlearn and sets girls up to feel they must be restrained their whole lives, and this is a problem. We cannot teach girls to fold themselves in and make way for boys, as much as we cannot teach boys that they have a dominant rule of the playroom and, therefore, world. The idea that ‘boys will be boys’, which is applied to a dangerously vast array of behaviors from roughhousing to sexual lusts, is an idea that must be stomped out like a cigarette butt. It gives a lower set of standards to boys and is a dangerous pass in the world. Concepts such as this allowed people to dismiss accusations of sexual assault as mere ‘locker room talk’ (another horrifically misogynist phrase that gives a pass to repulsive behavior) because ‘boys will be boys’. Adichie also brings up the problems of gendering toys and clothing. Why is ‘gender neutral’ it’s own category, she asks, even when toddler boys and girls have practically the same bodies. In fact, the idea of blue for boys and pink for girls has slowly become ingrained into society by misogynistic marketing schemes that began in the early 19th century¹ Furthermore, with regard to clothing, Adichie cautions against referring to clothing or fashion styles as immoral ‘because clothes have absolutely nothing to do with morality.’ She suggests constructive advice such as how it doesn’t or does suit them but never to refer to them as ‘looking like a prostitute.’ Many cultures and religions control women’s bodies in one way or another...the reason is not about women, but about men. Women must be ‘covered up’ to protect men. I find this deeply dehumanizing because it reduces women to mere props used to manage the appetites of men. This plays into the reprehensible ‘boys will be boys’ idea again--that males cannot control their sexual urges and it is women's responsibility to dress themselves accordingly. This is downright disgusting. Adichie notes that many cultures like a woman to be sexy but never sexual while never setting a similar standard for the sexual behavior of men. That male sexuality is seen as normal with all the high-fives and bullshit bravado and female sexuality is met with shaming and jeers is something we must not stand for. ‘Feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive,’ Adichie says, and a female must not feel ashamed for taking pride in their appearance or body. Shaming women for their style of dress has me at all times one snappy retort away from declaring overgrown beards as a phallic symbol of maleness--society judges women for body hair but not men--and therefore overtly misogynistic. It doesn't feel so good when turned around does it? Returning to damaging gender norms, Adichie also notes that toys marketed to boys tend to be more mobile “doing” type toys while girl’s are more static, like dolls or playing-house. Here’s a helpful guide for deciding the gender of toys: Jokes aside, we must remove gender roles from toys. We do children, and society, a great disservice by upholding this tradition. Recently a friend recounted that while watching his young relatives he allowed the boy to get the ‘girls’ McDonald Happy Meal because it was a toy they would rather play with. Upon returning the children to their parents, he was met with disgust that he would allow their son to play with a girl’s toy. My friend was understandably taken aback and shocked that this belief hadn’t withered away by 2017. Another anecdote: During my many years working for Barnes and Noble I once had a customer who was irritated that we didn’t have ‘boy books and girl books’ in separate sections. She was relatively outraged by my response that books aren’t gendered, that it would be offensive and would result in massive lawsuits and protests. If a boy wants to read Angelina Ballerina, why not? If a girl is into Thomas the Train, encourage it. My daughter is currently mid-series in Chronicles of Narnia and it seems disingenuous to label that as a ‘gender neutral’ series. Especially as the term ‘gender neutral’ comes loaded with outdated and facetious gender roles that do more harm than good. Teach her to question language. Language is the repository of our prejudices, our beliefs, our assumptions. It is only by questioning language, and the impetus behind words, that we can re-harness language and reshape our society. Language is our greatest tool to assess, address and affect the world around us. Remember that words come bearing connotative weight that can be detrimental even despite our best intentions. Adichie highlights the term ‘princess’ for girls which, she says, ‘is loaded with assumptions of a girl’s delicacy, of the prince who will come to save her, etc.’ Adichie prefers the term ‘angel’, though personally I use ‘Queen’ or ‘heroine’ with my own daughter (a favourite game of ours is for me to hide in a play structure--the castle--and she is the princess that has to rescue the knight. Admittedly it’s a good excuse for me to sit and relax awhile until she finds me, but I like to think it gives agency to the role of a princess). Child rearing isn’t the only topic of this book, though it is an overarching thread. Marriage and relationships are under her scrutiny as well. Marriage must never be seen as a reward, she cautions. Adichie questions the effect on society when we teach girls to aspire to marriage, to win a husband, to please a husband, but don’t impose the same beliefs of boys (not that we should, her argument is that these teachings are problematic). There is a terrible imbalance from the start. The girls will grow up to be women preoccupied with marriage. The boys will grow up to be men who are not….The women marry these men. The relationship is automatically uneven because the institution matters more to one than the other. Is it any wonder that...women sacrifice more, at a loss to themselves, because they have to constantly maintain an uneven exchange? Adichie asks for a balance in marriage and addresses the language used in it. A father is never ‘babysitting’ or ‘helping’ the mother, no, he is doing his duty as a father. The duties must be shared and not done resentfully so--like any instructional on love would suggest. ‘When there is true equality, resentment does not exist.’ We must also not refer to women as being ‘allowed’ to do things by the man. She cites many examples of this in society. Adichie continues to focus on working women, the philosophy behind names, and the idea of keeping family members around that project positive non-gender-normative roles for the child to aspire to. This goes for both boys and girls. What is most important in this book is Adichie’s ‘Feminist Tools’. The first is ‘I matter. I matter equally. Not “if only”. Not “as long as.” I matter equally. Full stop.’ The second tool follows in the form of a question. ‘Can you reverse X and get the same result.’ This second tool is the crux of many of her arguments. She shows countless examples of an inequality between gender norms. What we accept as normal in a man we often scorn in a women. A domineering man is powerful and given promotions or political positions yet we have a whole language of insults to hold back domineering women. We rarely judge a man by his style of dress but frequently assess a woman by that very thing. And have marketing campaigns that only bolster it. Here is a sad truth: Our world is full of men and women who do not like powerful women. We have been so conditioned to think of power as male that a powerful woman is an aberration. And so she is policed. We ask of powerful women: Is she humble? Does she smile? Is she grateful enough? Does she have a domestic side? Questions we do not ask of powerful men, which shows that our discomfort is not with power itself, but with women. Adiche also strongly cautions against the idea of ‘Feminism Lite,’ which amounts to a misunderstanding of what feminism is. I would argue that this also applies to much of the feminism of the white-privilege bent that ignores intersectionality. While many women made great strides for feminism in the past decades, by modern standards it often reeks of privilege. This is another thing to avoid. A Feminist Manifesto is an utterly engaging read that goes down in a single sitting but will last with you a lifetime. Adichie is charming, witty and humorous that makes her messages digestible and leave you wanting more. There are far more issues discussed in this slim book than I have mentioned, and I urge you to pick it up and read it. We must be the change we seek in the world. It starts with you, how you treat your partner, raise your children, interact with friends or society, Feminism isn’t only about educating women, it is about education all of us. 4.5/5 ‘Of course I am angry. I am angry about racism. I am angry about sexism. But I recently came to the realization that I am angrier about sexism...because in my anger about sexism, I often feel lonely. Because I love, and live among, many people who easily acknowledge race injustice but not gender injustice.’ ¹ For an interesting look at the marketing campaigns that bolstered the idea of blue/pink as gendered infant clothing, please read the following articles fromThe Smithsonian and Jezebel

  12. 4 out of 5

    Evgnossia O'Hara

    Your feminist premise should be: I matter. I matter equally. Not “if only.” Not “as long as.” I matter equally. Full stop. And this is all I'm gonna mention here! Spectacular! Read it! Your feminist premise should be: I matter. I matter equally. Not “if only.” Not “as long as.” I matter equally. Full stop. And this is all I'm gonna mention here! Spectacular! Read it!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Emer (A Little Haze)

    ++++ 2021 Update: Since I read this work by Adichie I have discovered that she is an author who shares very different ideologies than I do. And therefore she is an author I feel I can no longer support as I am unable to separate the art from the artist. I shall leave my review intact but remove my rating. ++++ "Teach her that the idea of 'gender roles' is absolute nonsense. Do not ever tell her that she should or should not do something because she is a girl. 'Because you are a girl' is never reas ++++ 2021 Update: Since I read this work by Adichie I have discovered that she is an author who shares very different ideologies than I do. And therefore she is an author I feel I can no longer support as I am unable to separate the art from the artist. I shall leave my review intact but remove my rating. ++++ "Teach her that the idea of 'gender roles' is absolute nonsense. Do not ever tell her that she should or should not do something because she is a girl. 'Because you are a girl' is never reason for anything. Ever." "If we don't place the straitjacket of gender roles on young children, we give them space to reach their full potential." It feels very appropriate to be writing this review on International Women's Day 2017. Some years ago Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was asked by a friend how she should raise her baby daughter as a feminist. Most likely due to the amazing public talk and essay that she had given in 2013. Adichie's response was in letter format and this short book is an enhanced version of that letter to her friend. As anyone who is familiar with me on Goodreads knows, I am a huge fan of Adichie's novels. I think they are outstanding and that she is a writer fully deserving of all the high praise she receives. I am also, or I should qualify that and say, I have in the past been somewhat of a reluctant feminist. I have always struggled with the negative connotations that have been placed on the terminology associated with feminism. You can see my review for We Should All Be Feminists where I tried to explain my struggles (read it here). However, I have educated myself to see how wrong I was. Feminism isn't some sort of man-excluding idea. Feminism is about equality. Equal rights. No differences based on gender. I don't always get things right. I am hopelessly flawed but by reading books and essays such as this one I am recalibrating my points of reference. I am learning to see the ingrained and accepted detrimental inequalities in society today and I am changing myself for the better. Change always starts from within right? The abiding message I got from this book is one of self- acceptance and it taught me this incredibly valuable tool for myself. Your feminist premise should be: I matter. I matter equally. Not 'if only'. Not 'as long as'. I matter equally. Full stop. This was huge for me this week in particular. It talks to self-worth and acknowledgment of being, which is something I am currently struggling with. This book may initially propose how to raise a child with the correct feminist tools and that sense of equality. But it goes beyond that for me. It teaches the adult how to teach the child by simply just teaching the adult... By giving them the tools. "...above all, let your focus be on remaining a full person. Take time for yourself. Nurture your own needs. Please do not think of it as 'doing it all'. Our culture celebrates the idea of women who are able to 'do it all' but does not question the premise of that praise. I have no interest in the debate about women doing it all because it is a debate that assumes that caregiving and domestic work are singularly female domains, an idea that I strongly reject. Domestic work and caregiving should be gender-neutral, and we should be asking not whether a woman can 'do it all' but how best to support parents in their dual duties at work and at home." I could quote from this book all day. It is just that fabulous. There is something to learn, and gain insight from, on every page. It is so beautifully written with both wisdom and humour that as a reader you are immediately captivated by the words and then to discover that those words come together to create this beautiful testimony of the truths behind feminism and the struggle for gender equality... It is a breathtaking and immensely inspiring read. I would love to make reference to what Adichie terms 'feminism lite'. She calls it 'the idea of conditional female equality'. This was such an eye opener for someone like me and illustrates the connotations of what we mean when we use the language of allowing . Adichie contrasts how a husband allows his successful wife to shine whereas a wife supports her husband or is behind him when he shines. I don't know why I never thought about these different ways of viewing successful women and successful men. Needing to be allowed to do something and thereby given permission calls to mind an unequal relationship such as teacher/student. And most definitely not a marriage of equals. "Because when there is true equality, resentment does not exist." I would urge everyone irregardless of your gender, sexual identification, parental status, age or creed to pick up this book. Because it contains simple truths. Simple truths by which we should try to live our lives by. Adichie is not a perfect human being, she fully recognises that herself. But she is unashamed to be herself. Does not feel the need to be liked or to conform to how anyone thinks she should conform. This is such an admirable quality and one that I am attempting to instil within myself. She recently gave a wonderful interview to the Guardian Newspaper group and I think that anyone reading my review should take the time to read it and to hear what Adichie has to say herself. You can read it plus an extract from the book HERE. The last passage I wish to quote from is so beautifully framed that I don't think I need to add anything to it. "Teach her about difference. Make difference ordinary. Make difference normal. Teach her not to attach value to difference. And the reason for this is not to be fair or to be nice but merely to be human and practical. Because difference is the reality of our world. And by teaching her about difference, you are equipping her to survive in a diverse world. She must know and understand that people walk different paths in the world and that as long as those paths do no harm to others, they are valid paths that she must respect. Teach her that we do not know – we cannot know – everything about life. Both religion and science have spaces for the things we do not know, and it is enough to make peace with that. Teach her never to universalise her own standards or experiences. Teach her that her standards are for her alone, and not for other people. This is the only necessary form of humility: the realisation that difference is normal." The book ends with the same wish that we all share for ourselves, for our friends and family, and for the world at large: to be happy and healthy. And for our lives to be whatever we want them to be. four and a half stars rounded up to five ------- Initial feelings after my first read: Since I finished Carve the Mark late on Sunday I have been unable to read another page of any of my books. Despite my preparedness and being aware of its possible issues, ultimately it took a lot out of me. I was feeling that ominous presence of a book slump lurking somewhere near by... Then I looked at the calendar. March 7th. Why did that mean something to me???? BECAUSE IT IS THE RELEASE DAY OF ADICHIE'S NEWEST WRITING!!!!!! And all is right with the world again. I've already read it through once and it is glorious in its simplicity, its wisdom and its practicality. I'm about to read it again and will review it properly thereafter.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Riley

    This might have been even better than 'We Should All Be Feminists' which I loved a lot. I found myself nodding along to everything Adichie was saying. This is largely focused on motherhood, gender roles, and how to raise your child to be a feminist. This might have been even better than 'We Should All Be Feminists' which I loved a lot. I found myself nodding along to everything Adichie was saying. This is largely focused on motherhood, gender roles, and how to raise your child to be a feminist.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Carol (Bookaria)

    Here's a very short book with a lot of wisdom. Just because it's short it does not mean it is a light read, not at all. Years ago, the author received a letter from a childhood friend who had just given birth to a baby girl. In the letter, her friend asks Chimamanda for advise on how to raise her daughter as a feminist. Oh boy, and did she deliver a response. You know she did. The book is divided in small chapters and in each chapter there's a suggestion or topic from the author. The topics range f Here's a very short book with a lot of wisdom. Just because it's short it does not mean it is a light read, not at all. Years ago, the author received a letter from a childhood friend who had just given birth to a baby girl. In the letter, her friend asks Chimamanda for advise on how to raise her daughter as a feminist. Oh boy, and did she deliver a response. You know she did. The book is divided in small chapters and in each chapter there's a suggestion or topic from the author. The topics range from gender-neutral clothes to virginity, careers, gender roles and much more.  This is an excellent book on women's rights and advocacy for equality among the sexes.  I enjoyed it, learned from it and recommend it to all.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Whitney Atkinson

    This book was so quotable. Very short but very powerful; I highlighted pretty much every other line. I don't intend on having kids, but this made me think a lot about how we train girls and boys to be and the gender roles we should avoid them adopting, and it was very empowering and great advice. This book was so quotable. Very short but very powerful; I highlighted pretty much every other line. I don't intend on having kids, but this made me think a lot about how we train girls and boys to be and the gender roles we should avoid them adopting, and it was very empowering and great advice.

  17. 5 out of 5

    April (Aprilius Maximus)

    This was great, but I wish it was more trans inclusive coz she implies multiple times that all women have vaginas.

  18. 5 out of 5

    mina reads™️

    This was such an amazing way to start my day 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)

    *3.5/5 Unsurprisingly, after some of Adichie’s comments a couple of years ago, this is good but deeply cis-centric in its language.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Seemita

    [Originally appeared here (with edits): http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/li...] Feminism – A rather commonly used terms these days, with interpretations far and wide, but not necessarily, coherent. If among contemporary writers there is one who imparts veritable meaning and clarity to this much relevant and pertinent ideology, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie would be her name. When a friend asked Adichie how she can raise her little daughter as a feminist, Adichie shared fifteen suggestions in form of [Originally appeared here (with edits): http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/li...] Feminism – A rather commonly used terms these days, with interpretations far and wide, but not necessarily, coherent. If among contemporary writers there is one who imparts veritable meaning and clarity to this much relevant and pertinent ideology, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie would be her name. When a friend asked Adichie how she can raise her little daughter as a feminist, Adichie shared fifteen suggestions in form of a letter. And each one of them echoes so loud that it feels quite unreal to see these obvious orders missing in our societies. She advises that a girl should be taught to reject “likeability”. Often people put so much thrust on girls being nice and likeable that this shallowness gobbles up more important and life-defining traits like kindness and fullness of character. It is the same brutality the society exhibits when it equates a girl’s appearance to her morality. One should teach their daughters to consistently reject this policing. From setting examples at home by sharing responsibilities, to actively shunning the so-called “gender-roles”, the onus of driving the essence of feminism lies on both the parents. Among other propositions, Adichie writes about encouraging the child to read and understanding the importance of having an identity of her own. Adichie’s effectiveness in what she advocates is primarily because of her aim, which indeed, is to empower girls and not turn them into saints. She insists that female goodness goes hand in hand with female evil, and that, she is fallible and not without flaws. She justly maintains that equality is a two-way road and that raising your child as a feminist is inclusive of not manipulating the opposite gender to one’s benefit. Drawing inferences from her own experiences (as an Igbo girl), her teens, her biases and her learning, she forwards her recommendations with not just an intimate warmth inherent between two childhood friends but also etches a manifesto, as is mentioned in the title, that has an universal application. If you have not been taken by Adichie's strong voice or ethos in the past and have an inkling you might not after all spend time reading this book (though I strongly recommend against it), you can view her fifteen suggestions under this spoiler: (view spoiler)[ Teach her - to be a full person (and not simply a mother to your child) - to do it together (i.e., husband and wife/ father and mother sharing responsibilities in equal spirit) - "Gender Role" is nonsense - "Feminism Lite" is dangerous (you are either a feminist or you aren't; there is no mid-way) - to read - to question language - to never view marriage as an achievement/ a reward to aspire for - to reject "likeability" (that appeases society at the cost of her own falsities) - to acquire a sense of identity - to not view her appearances from the societal lens (that will help with all the body image insecurities that the world thrust upon girls; as a parent, surround her with people whose qualities you might want her to acquire) - to question our culture’s selective use of biology as “reasons” to social norms - to converse about sex with parents without shame - to love - female goodness is as normal as female evil - about difference, and that it is rather ordinary and should be respected/accepted. (hide spoiler)] . But don't take my word; read it. The accompanying texts and instances she quotes, are as much a delight to read as they are wise to imbibe. Clearly, this is a book which should be read by parents and its philosophies, inculcated in their children, regardless of their genders.

  21. 5 out of 5

    leynes

    Hells bells, this was absolutely fantastic. I had to wait for over an hour at my local tax office, luckily I had this book at hand. It made the hour worthwhile. After finishing this little book, I finally know why We Should All Be Feminists didn't woe me. Sure her TEDx talk was great and had all the right messages, but it lacked practicality. What am I supposed to do with that knowledge? How can I be and live like a feminist in a patriarchal system? Lord behold, Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manif Hells bells, this was absolutely fantastic. I had to wait for over an hour at my local tax office, luckily I had this book at hand. It made the hour worthwhile. After finishing this little book, I finally know why We Should All Be Feminists didn't woe me. Sure her TEDx talk was great and had all the right messages, but it lacked practicality. What am I supposed to do with that knowledge? How can I be and live like a feminist in a patriarchal system? Lord behold, Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions has all the answers. A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a childhood friend, asking her how to raise her baby girl to be a feminist. This book is Adichie's letter of response. Here are fifteen invaluable suggestions for how to empower a daughter to become a strong, independant woman. So let's go through them: #1 Be a full person. Do not define yourself solely by motherhood. Chimamanda stresses how important it is for mothers to keep working (if they want to), to have hobbies and other interests apart from raising their kids. Why? Because children look up to their parents. If the only thing your baby girl sees you doing is cooking, cleaning and looking after children, she will assume that this is her duty in life as well. Chimamanda says: "Please reject the idea that motherhood and work are mutually exclusive." I agree. But she also states that we should abandon the notion of a woman who is "doing it all" - We should give ourselves room to fail. Women do not naturally know everything about caregiving and cooking. Domestic work and caregiving should be gender-neutral. #2 Do it together. Men should do everything that biology allows - which is everything but breastfeeding. The child should be shared equally. I loved how she stressed that "the language of help" should be rejected. Men are not "helping" you by caring for their children. They are doing what they should. "When we say fathers are "helping," we are suggesting that child care is a mother's territory, into which fathers valiantly venture." Men caring for their children do not deserve special gratitude or praise - both partners made the choice to bring a child into the world, therefore the responsibility for that child belongs equally to both. #3 Do not ever tell her that she should or should not do something because she is a girl. This suggestion featured my favorite line from this entire collection: "The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina. Cooking is learned." Chimamanda also talks a lot about the fact that girls are raised to see marriage as a prize (a desirable end), whereas boys are not taught the same. Whereas this doesn't mirror my own experiences growing up, I can still see how this is true for huge parts of society. I also highly appreciate that she called out the nonsense that re toys for boy v. toys for girls. I mean what the fuck? Your daughter wants to play with a truck? Let her play with a truck. Your son wants to play with a doll? Let him play with a doll. Same goes for gendered colors. Fuck that! Girls are not supposed to wear pink, boys are not supposed to wear blue. This is some made up shit, and by complying to these standards you are reinforcing harmful gender stereotypes. "See your daughter as an individual. Not as a girl who should be a certain way. [...] We are quick to assume that girls can't do many things. Let her try." A-fucking-men! #4 Reject the idea of conditional female equality. Being a feminist is like being pregnant. You either are or you are not. You either believe in the full equality of the sexes or you do not. In this chapter Chimamanda calls out the ridiculous "feminist" groups, who propagande things such as men should allow their wives to be successful. Ehhh... A husband is not a headmaster. A wife is not a schoolgirl. Women don't have to be allowed to do anything. #5 Teach her to read and to love books. Books can teach us many things, they help us understand the world. They give us the language necessary to express ourselves. Books can help us figuring out what we want to become. I am very happy that Chimamanda and I are on the same page here. Books are the fucking shit. #6 Teach her to question language. This was probably my favorite chapter, because I am myself very much interested in language. Chimamanda says: "Language is the repository of our prejudices, our beliefs, our assumptions." and I couldn't agree more. She advises parents not to simply call certain things misogynistic (a word that most children will never be able to remember), but to explain why things are: "Teach her if you criticize X in women but do not critcize X in men, then you do not have a problem with X, you have a problem with women." #7 Never speak of marriage as an achievement. Chimamanda says that in her culture girls are conditioned to aspire marriage, whilst boys are not. I especially enjoyed the portion in which she discussed that it is every women's right to keep her maiden name if she wants to. Society doesn't expect men to drop their original name when entering into marriage, so why should women give up a part of themselves. This part almost made me tear up: "It is the name that I had since I was born, the name with which I traveled my life's milestones, the name I have answered to since that first day I went to kindergarten on a hazy morning and my teacher said, "Answer 'present' if you hear your name. Number one: Adichie." - Ahh I'm almost crying again. The thought of getting married never crossed my mind, but if for some weird ass reason I decide to marry one day, I know for sure that I will keep my maiden name, because it means so much to me. (Just to clarify: It is totally cool if women want to take the name of their partner. If it's their own choice, that is.) #8 Teach her to reject likeability. Hells yeah! This is something that I have struggled with for my entire life. We want others to like us, we put that desire above our own sense of self sometimes, and that is just so damn dangerous. We should teach our girls to be honest, kind and brave. To speak their minds, to speak up (especially when it is fucking hard and when you're the only one fighting against injustices). And yes this starts with telling her that if a child takes her toy without her permission, that she should take it back, because consent is important. "Teach her that she is not merely an object to be liked or disliked, she is also a subject who can like or dislike." - YES. YES. YES! #9 Give her a sense of identity. Of course this applies to every girl around the globe, but I loved Chimamanda's focus on women of color. It is important to show your black chuld that black culture and its women are beautiful. Why? Because of the power dynamics in the world, girls of color will grow up seeing images of white beauty, white ability, and white achievement. It is important to embrace your own culture, find black heroes. They exist. #10 Engage with her and her appearance. Encourage her participation in sports. I couldn't agree more with this sentiment. Physical activity is not only important for your health, it also helps with body image, the trust in and the respect for your own body. If she wants to wear makeup, let her do that. If she doesn't, that's cool too. Don't think that raising her feminist menas forcing her to reject femininity. Looks have absolutely nothing to do with morality. And again, I loved how Chimamanda uplifted black cultures, advising black parents to show their children alternatives to "white beauty". Children have to be shown that non-white, non-slim women are beautiful, too. #11 Teach her to question our culture's selective use of biology as "reasons" for social norms. Biology is often used to explain privileges that men have, the most common reason being men's physical superiority. Biology is used to explain male promiscuity, but not to explain female promiscuity, even though it really makes evolutionary sense for women to have many sexual partners - the larger the genetic pool, the greater the chances of bearing offspring who will strive. #12 Talk to her about sex, and start early. I would have loved if my parents had done that with me, because right now I am still suffering from 'sex' being a taboo topic, like Chimamanda says, in some weird twisted way it is linked with shame. Children should be taught that sex can be beautiful, but also that it has physical as well as emotional consequences. Children should be taugh that their body is their body, it doesn't belong to anybody else. Nothing should be happening to their body without their consent. And again, I loved that Chimamanda made clear that in order to have a healthy sexual relationship with yourself and others, you have to be given the tools to talk about sex, children need that language. Teach your kids to refer to the sexual organs as penis and vagina or any other term you like. How else are they going to tell you if something isn't alright with them? Sexuality and shame should never be linked. Nakedness and shame should never be linked. #13 Be on board with her sexual and romantic life. It is important that children are taught that it is okay to talk about their parents about such things. Children should also be taught that to love is not only to give but also to take. Why shouldn't women propose marriage if they want to? What does the man have to make the first step? Luckily, these are notions that are slowly destroyed in the Western world. It is not a man's role to provide. In a healthy relationship, it is the role of whoever can provide, to provide. #14 In teaching her about oppression, be careful not to turn the oppressed into saints. This is something that I'm struggling with myself. Women are as human as men are. Female goodness is as normal as female evil. And just because a woman says that she isn't a feminist, it doesn't that feminism isn't necessary. #15 Teach her about difference. The world is made up of a diverse set of people. Diversity and difference are normal and ordinary. Othering people because they look different, they think different, they behave different, is fucking pathetic and shouldn't be tolerated. As long as other people don't engage in harmful behaviour towards others, their business is none of your business. Our standards are for us alone, and not for other people. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't have opinions, no not all, we should have all the opinions, but these opinions should come from an informed, humane, and broad-minded place. This was truly an amazing letter. Whoever Ijeawele is, she can consider herself lucky that Chimamanda is her friend. I learned so much by reading through her response, and I am really grateful that this little book exists.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Reading_ Tam_ Ishly

    "Why were we raised to speak in low tones about periods! To be filled with shame if our menstrual blood happened to stain our skirt? Periods are nothing to be ashamed of. Periods are normal and natural, and the human species would not be here if periods did not exist." A must read. I cannot believe I took it this long to pick up this small yet powerful book. This is the kind of non-fictional read which I feel we can introduce to kids starting age 8 onwards. Because feminism and basic ideas on gen "Why were we raised to speak in low tones about periods! To be filled with shame if our menstrual blood happened to stain our skirt? Periods are nothing to be ashamed of. Periods are normal and natural, and the human species would not be here if periods did not exist." A must read. I cannot believe I took it this long to pick up this small yet powerful book. This is the kind of non-fictional read which I feel we can introduce to kids starting age 8 onwards. Because feminism and basic ideas on gender equality aren't just topics for a certain age. It's something to be learnt, something to be shown by words ir action during our learning phases during childhood. And yes, who needs this book more? It's us adults I say! *Some more favourite quotes: 🔸"Everybody will have an opinion about what you should do, but what matters is what you want for yourself, and not what others want you to want." 🔸"Gender roles are so deeply conditioned in us that we will often follow them even when they chafe against our true desires, our needs, our happiness." 🔸"Being a feminist is like being pregnant. You either are or you are not. You either believe in the full equality of men and women or you do not." 🔸"Many girls remain silent when abused because they want to be nice. Many girls spend too much time trying to be "nice" to people who do them harm. Many girls think of the "feelings" of those who are hurting them. This is the catastrophic consequence of likeability." 🔸"Feminism and feminity are not mutually exclusive. It is misogynistic to suggest they are." 🔸"Female misogyny exists, and to evade acknowledging it is to create unnecessary opportunities for anti-feminists to try to discredit feminism." 🔸"Why does a woman have to be successful at work in order to justify keeping her name?" 🍂 What's your basic take on feminism? Should we need to learn about toxic feminism as well? Wow. Make your family read this book ASAP. Especially the kids. Yes, even the middle grade (8 to 12 year olds). Basic things which I wish were introduced to me when I was growing up.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Dear Chimamanda, I love the fact that you still write letters, that you care and stay committed to the issues that are important to the next generation. I love the fact that you write short and anecdotal letters that can be shared between my three children and myself in a library on a dark winter afternoon. I can't say how much it means to me that you have a voice that is clear and sharp and kind enough to reach out to both my sons and my daughter. We feel the same anger you feel, and when I rea Dear Chimamanda, I love the fact that you still write letters, that you care and stay committed to the issues that are important to the next generation. I love the fact that you write short and anecdotal letters that can be shared between my three children and myself in a library on a dark winter afternoon. I can't say how much it means to me that you have a voice that is clear and sharp and kind enough to reach out to both my sons and my daughter. We feel the same anger you feel, and when I read your passage about being angry to them this afternoon, they all identified with the frustration: "The writer had accused me of being 'angry', as though 'being angry' were something to be ashamed of. Of course I am angry. I am angry about racism. I am angry about sexism. But I recently came to the realization that I am angrier about sexism than I am about racism. Because in my anger about sexism, I often feel lonely. Because I love, and live among, people who easily acknowledge race injustice but not gender injustice." Dear Chimamanda, we talked about this, my children and I. And we realised you were right. Misogyny is the most widespread injustice we could think of, to be found in almost all societies to some extent, and nurtured by both men and women when they raise their daughters and sons to live fully to their potential - or to comply fully with someone else's potential. Women and men are equally responsible for changing the world, and a start is to take on the challenge of your first suggestion: "Be a full person". Never reduce yourself or others to a gender or a fixed mindset. Be what you can be. A parent, a professional, a lover, a writer, an artist. You gave us a delightful discussion this afternoon, and as dialogue is the way to constructive change, I thank you for starting the string of words... Sincerely, A Mother, A Teacher, A Reader

  24. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has the most incredible way with words and how to get her points across with humour and hope. This, a letter to her friend who asks her 'how do I raise my daughter feminist?', was brimming with warmth and power whilst asking us all to check ourselves and how feminist we are when we say what we do and act as feminists. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has the most incredible way with words and how to get her points across with humour and hope. This, a letter to her friend who asks her 'how do I raise my daughter feminist?', was brimming with warmth and power whilst asking us all to check ourselves and how feminist we are when we say what we do and act as feminists.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joce (squibblesreads)

    4.5 stars! So important and wonderfully written and explained with examples. I wish it had been longer - I was imagining this as a collection/novel made up of vignettes with the author as a type of wise narrator... A+ material

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    As a mother of a son and daughter(s), this book speaks to me on a deeply personal level and I hope I can raise my children with a sense of what it is to be a feminist. All I want for them all is to grow up in a society that is inherently equal to all, without any biases towards what they grow up to be. I hope they already have some idea about the values discussed here. I'm the main earner in our family, my husband and I divided the childcare equally and I would never impose supposed views on them As a mother of a son and daughter(s), this book speaks to me on a deeply personal level and I hope I can raise my children with a sense of what it is to be a feminist. All I want for them all is to grow up in a society that is inherently equal to all, without any biases towards what they grow up to be. I hope they already have some idea about the values discussed here. I'm the main earner in our family, my husband and I divided the childcare equally and I would never impose supposed views on them just because of their gender. My son hates sport, is very emotional, plays with his sisters toys sometimes and likes computer games. My daughter loves ballet, wearing pink and wants to be a doctor when she grows up. The important point here is that these are their own choices and I would be happy no matter what as long as they are happy too. This is such an important read, I don't think I could express it enough. We could all take away something to learn from it, even if it's just to realise how ingrained some cultural ideas about feminism and 'women's roles' are in society. It’s a fight that I’ll continue to make as long as gender inequality exists, to ensure a better world for my children.

  27. 5 out of 5

    j e w e l s

    FIVE STARS, of course! Confession. I need 4 more books to make my 2018 goal. Four more books in a very busy month is not realistic for me. I'm doubting my strength to power through it in December. Solution. Audio books. Short audio books. My Overdrive app offers a section for short audio books under three hours. Honestly, many of them are less than one hour. Hey, I read three books today!! And anyone can do it! I've got this goal. Almost. I'm a die-hard fan of the brilliant Adichie. I firmly believe FIVE STARS, of course! Confession. I need 4 more books to make my 2018 goal. Four more books in a very busy month is not realistic for me. I'm doubting my strength to power through it in December. Solution. Audio books. Short audio books. My Overdrive app offers a section for short audio books under three hours. Honestly, many of them are less than one hour. Hey, I read three books today!! And anyone can do it! I've got this goal. Almost. I'm a die-hard fan of the brilliant Adichie. I firmly believe her books are for ALL PEOPLE, not just women. This book is a letter to a friend that had asked her advice on how to raise her newborn girl as a feminist. It is a concise, wise and compelling piece of writing that carves a tiny niche in your brain and holds on tightly. I am willing to bet you won't call any little girl "Princess" in the future after reading Adichie. Adichie, in 15 suggestions, tackles sexual politics, clothes and make-up, and choices of toys for your child. She is at her best when debunking myths that we don't even realize we as "modern society" still carry and pass down to our children. I am especially fond of Suggestion #5. TEACH HER TO LOVE BOOKS. Note: I was so disappointed with the American narrator. She sounds silly when pronouncing all the Nigerian names. Why no Nigerian narrator, Penguin Random House? I've listened to two other Adichie books, both with lovely Nigerian narration.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Dear Ijeawele is Chimanda Ngozi Adichie's response to her friend's request for advice on how to raise her baby girl a feminist. The format of the book is a letter to the baby with fifteen suggestions. I may have enjoyed reading this even more than We Should All Be Feminists. Many of the suggestions include changing the language we use with our daughters and examining attitudes about marriage and relationships, identity, and gender roles. I feel that many of the suggestions are already widely acc Dear Ijeawele is Chimanda Ngozi Adichie's response to her friend's request for advice on how to raise her baby girl a feminist. The format of the book is a letter to the baby with fifteen suggestions. I may have enjoyed reading this even more than We Should All Be Feminists. Many of the suggestions include changing the language we use with our daughters and examining attitudes about marriage and relationships, identity, and gender roles. I feel that many of the suggestions are already widely accepted in the West, but the book demonstrates the need for additional progress and further examination of these topics. Of course, the author and her friend are Nigerian, and I enjoyed her inclusion of Nigerian culture and cultural expectations in that country. I could relate to quite a few of her suggestions. One suggestion was to reject the idea of gender roles, and she retold the story of a little girl showing interest in a remote-controlled helicopter in a U.S. mall and the mother responded to the girl that she had her dolls. I've always loved science and as I child my gift requests to Santa were a microscope, a telescope, a rock tumbler, etc., and the only doll I ever wanted was a She-ra action figure and her castle. I think girls and boys should be allowed to explore their personal interests. Another topic Adichie explored that I related to was marriage. She discussed keeping her name and using the title Ms. instead of Mrs. When I married almost twenty years ago, I decided to keep my last name. It wasn't a question of "feminism" for me. I was married in Mexico and liked the fact that women didn't change their names, and, frankly, I didn't want to go through the process of a legal name change. Now, however, I truly enjoy my identity and am thankful that I kept it. I think if you enjoyed We Should All Be Feminists, you'll definitely want to add Dear Ijeawele to your list.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Adira

    There's nothing here that's mind boggling, but it is a good beginning text for people who want to learn to incorporate more feminist teachings into their parenting skills and/or life. If I'm being super honest, I really just want Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to start writing novels once again. Her feminist essays come across as tepid with no real depth opposed to her novels, which present a much more in-depth picture of her subject and the Nigerian culture by using a more focused approach than just l There's nothing here that's mind boggling, but it is a good beginning text for people who want to learn to incorporate more feminist teachings into their parenting skills and/or life. If I'm being super honest, I really just want Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to start writing novels once again. Her feminist essays come across as tepid with no real depth opposed to her novels, which present a much more in-depth picture of her subject and the Nigerian culture by using a more focused approach than just listing off the general "do's and don'ts" of feminism. In short, to me, Adichie's essays on feminism seem generic and forced after that Beyoncé shoutout she got in 2013. For the most part, I've heard everything she's saying before and dare I say it, heard it said better by feminist scholars who have come before her and who have studied feminist theory as their life's work opposed to Adichie who seems to write her essays as an afterthought and just seems to be dabbling in it now because of the shoutout from Bey. smh These essays feel trendy, but I almost feel like they're feminist lite opposed to the popular opinion that they're God's gift to feminist theory. Don't get me wrong, I'll always support Adichie in her writing endeavors, but her feminist essays are becoming a bit redundant.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Olivia (Stories For Coffee)

    I listened to this in one sitting and really enjoyed the messages Chimamanda had to give in terms of feminism, teaching a daughter about consent, strength, choice, and so much more. This is so much more than a guide for a mother but a guide for everyone in life, but, like other friends said in their reviews, this novel is very cis-centric in its messages, so take that into account when reading it.

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