[Review] We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognising how we are.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

A standing ovation greeting Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie when she finished her TED talk.

Her speech about her experiences with sexism and discovering feminism is hard-hitting, but easy to digest. So Adichie decided to spread the message and We Should All Be Feminists became a book.

We Should All Be Feminists explores Adichie’s experiences with sexism and misogyny while growing up in Nigeria – such as missing out on the coveted title of  Class Monitor (because, obviously, only boys can be Class Monitor even if a girl wins the competition) through to being unabled to enter a nightclub without an accompanying male. She explores the expectations of marriage on women, and the financial pressures men face.

Adichie writes in a plan and simple way, she’s persuasive but not demanding. Even the most radical anti-feminist could read her book and come away with the smallest idea that current society doesn’t quite make sense. We Should All Be Feminists is a short, punchy introduction to feminism that everyone should read. Plus it’s only 50 pages, so it won’t take long!

Culture does not make people. People make culture.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The impact of this book has been amazing. In 2015, every 16 year-old girl in Sweden received a copy for free. In 2017, copies were handed out at Donald Trump’s inauguration protests. Her TED talk about her experiences received a standing ovation. Adichie explains throughout her book that when we elevate women to positions of equality, we all win – including men.

She makes it clear that it isn’t just about wanting power, it’s about walking down the street and feeling safe. It’s about girls winning the title of Class Monitor when they are the best choice.

I completely recommend We Should All Be Feminists. It’s a wonderful introduction to feminism.

Buy We Should All Be Feminists