Book Reviews We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Published in Feminism / Books - 2 mins to read

In a bid to not wait 6 months in between actually finishing books, I decided to read something a lot shorter and less Russian, and was forced recommended to read We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi. Jokes aside, the book is not one I would normally have elected to read, but reading outside of one’s habitual literary bubble can be a good thing, and I think in this instance it certainly was.

Despite the book’s brevity, it makes some excellent points, in a very succint way, and invited me to consider some of the issues involved in ways that I had not done so before. Firstly, gender inequality is far deeper ingrained in our society than I had previously thought, and often manifests itself in subtle ways that seem completely normal to me, but are in fact legitimately damaging to women. Many men (and perhaps even some women), myself included, are conditioned to turn a blind eye to these, but once you start looking for them, they’re everywhere, and permeate the vast majority of interactions and scenarios that one has.

The second was that feminism serves a purpose for men too. The role men are forced to play in society sucks, not as much as it does for women, but it still sucks nonetheless. Masculine expectations of bravado, stoicism and status hurt every man they touch, whether they realise it or not. I hate many aspects of the norms I feel compelled to conform to as a man. I want to paint my nails, to sing in falsetto, to wear pink, to wear eyeliner, to talk about my feelings, to be able to cry in public relatively unashamed, to have the option of giving up my career for my prospective children without being judged for it. Probably a million other things. Men are taught to be tough, impassable, pugnacious, proud creatures, but I am fundamentally brittle and sick of pretending otherwise. Feminism can help rid me of these things just as much as it can about positive change for women too.

Perhaps this is a selfish take on the book, but perhaps I am a selfish kinda guy. In the near future I’d like to write more about why men should be feminists, because I think I finally feel comfortable calling myself one. 9/10 book, and you can blitz through it in half an hour, absolutely recommended.

Books read this year: 4/52

Next book (not that I ever stick to these): Women & Power, A Manifesto by Mary Beard

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