Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

Dear Ijeawele

 

Recently, I listened to the book “Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The audible recording is 1 hour and I absolutely recommend it.

The premise of the book is the following: Years ago, the author was asked by a friend for advice on raising her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie’s advice to her.

My five favorite suggestions:

Third Suggestion: Teach her that ‘gender roles’ is absolute nonsense. Do not ever tell her that she should do or not do something “because you are a girl.”

Fourth Suggestion: Beware the danger of […] Feminism Lite. It is 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 women, or you do not.

Sixth Suggestion: Teach her to question language. Language is the repository of our prejudices, our beliefs, our assumptions. But to teach her that, you will have to question your own language.

Eighth Suggestion: Teach her to reject likeability. Her job is not to make herself likeable, her job is to be her full self, a self that is honest and aware of the equal humanity of other people.

Fifteenth Suggestion: Teach her about difference. Make difference ordinary. Make difference normal. […]Because difference is the reality of our world. And by teaching her about difference, you are equipping her to survive in a diverse world.”

Chimamanda also published the full content on her Facebook page.

What suggestions resonate with you? Which ones don’t?

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