We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2014)
Genre: Non-fiction / Essay / Speech
Why do people dislike the word feminist, and what does it truly mean to be a feminist? Why do boys and men shy away from talking about gender equality? Feminism is a dirty word for many people who don’t see that gender barriers and discrimination is a very real thing. Wanting equality does not mean wanting to put women before men, but rather seeking to erase the stereotypes that dictate roles for people based on their gender rather than their individual abilities. People do a great disservice to both men and women by teaching them to adhere to strict gender roles, and Adichie’s speech is a stepping stone to examining how gender roles affect everyone in society. Men and boys, too, are negatively affected when gender is used to define the roles, abilities and markers of success of a person.
Adichie brings forth the argument of questioning culture, toxic masculinity and reclaiming back the word feminist. ‘We should all do better,’ she says.
Content warnings: Brief mention of gang rape