Date started: June 23, 2016
Date ended: June 23, 2016
Technically, this is an essay.
Technically, this is not young adult.
But besides all those technicalities, this book is amazing. I will be buying all my family members a copy of it for Christmas because the message is so pure, so true, and it needs to be spread and passed around to everyone because it is something that America needs to become an even greater nation. I realized half way through reading this essay, that I had seen Adichie give a TED talk a couple years ago in a sex and gender course at university. I remember the passion and the emotion she made me feel because I have been discriminated against because of my sex.
In university I was a female athlete, even though I had proved that I was talented enough and strong enough to make it to a playing field level with my male peers, they still felt more entitled. And the university showed more favoritism toward male athletics. Even though softball and women’s soccer had more wins, titles, championships, etc then their male counterparts, all the media focus was on the upcoming men’s basketball, men’s soccer, or baseball schedule. I won’t mention what school I went to because I’m not trying to start anything, we already did and the school has made some changes. But it was a huge problem, sometimes female athletes were mistreated by male athletes because we aren’t as strong, yes, I know biology and I know genetics and males are normally stronger and faster than females, but not all the time. Actually, at my school, the females were superior on the field and off. The females had a higher combined GPA than the males by a good 30%. The females had more championships, trophies, titles etc then the males. And yet, we were still treated as lesser beings. We had some media focus, but not a lot. Now, I know this seems trivial in comparison to all the other discrimination that goes around the world, but this is the way I know discrimination. This is the way I can relate. But, it happened to me enough times, when I was younger to the present, that there needs to be a change.
Adichie makes feminism relatable to everyone. She talks about her culture (Nigeria) and then she talks about how she’s seen race discrimination and discrimination by her sex. So already she’s touched, two different groups. She then talks about how men and women should both be feminist and why. Following are some of my favorite quotes from We Should All Be Feminists. This was no easy feat because I realized I was almost typing the entire essays!
“Gender matters everywhere in the world. And I would like today to ask that we should begin to dream about and plan for a different world. A fairer world. A world of happier men and happier women who are fryer to themselves. And this is how to start: we must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently” (p. 25).
“The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations” (p. 34).
“But what matters even more is our attitude, our mindset. What if, in raising children, we focus on ability instead of gender? What if we focus on interest instead of gender?” (p. 36).
“More of use should reclaim that word … My own definition of a feminist is a man or a woman who says, ‘Yes, there’s a problem with genre as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better.’ All of us, women and men, must do better” (p. 49).
Feminism is not just for females, it’s for everyone. It’s for equality. It’s for being progressive, it’s for change. But the only way it changes is with us, the future generation, by raising our boys and girls differently. By not making them conform to societies idea of masculine or feminine ideals. We can change this from the ground up, it just starts with one person, and then another, and then another. We can make a difference, it just starts with you.