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