Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Published March 7th, 2017
Genres: Feminism, Nonfiction, Essays
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon
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.
I loved this book. It’s the first book I read from the author, although I’ve heard really good things about others. And to be honest, I’m speechless.
It’s so easy to read and yet so important and thoughtful! It really makes you think.
This essay is a letter from Adichie to a friend who wrote her, asking for advice on how to raise her daughter as a feminist. It’s really concise, simple and utterly gripping. It touches points like fatherhood, beauty standards, genre equality, self-worth, sex, marriage,… that are really important and that make you see life in a different way. It talks from a feminist perspective, which is a theme that can’t be talked enough.
Feminism is still a topic not understood by many, and in my opinion this book is a great start to understand it. But what struck me most was how Adichie criticizes the tendency of feminists to use “misogyny” and “patriarchy” without explaining how this applies. Which I think is really important and many persons don’t do.
This book is sincere and beautiful and positive! I don’t even know how many quotes I’ve taken from this book! It really makes a difference and it’s written in a way that REALLY moved me. Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions is clever, accessible, powerful, and definitely a favorite and I would recommend it to EVERYONE!
Here are some quotes that I found beautiful, educational and extremely important in life:
“Your feminist premise should be: I matter. I matter equally. Not “if only.” Not “as long as.” I matter equally. Full stop.”
“Because you are a girl” is never a reason for anything. Ever.”
“The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina.”
“People will selectively use “tradition” to justify anything.”
“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.”
“If she likes makeup, let her wear it. If she likes fashion, let her dress up. But if she doesn’t like either, let her be. Don’t think that raising her feminist means forcing her to reject femininity. Feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive.”
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!