TITLE: We Should All Be Feminists
AUTHOR: Chimamanada Ngozi Adichie
PUBLISHED: February 5, 2015
Finally, I've read it.
It's quaint, and poignant, and true - and there is absolutely no wonder why, the Queen Bey herself sampled this speech in her single "***Flawless", because it is exaclty that.
I have been a lover of Adiche's work. I loved "Purple Hibiscus", I loved "Half of a Yellow Sun", I am obssessed with "Americanah"... But it is in this work, this beautiful speech "We Should All Be Feminists" in language that is universally obtainable and unapologetically true, she says what we all should know to be true.
She starts with the complexity of the word "feminist" and how people tend to demonize this word when, as the title suggests, we SHOULD all be feminists. There is an effort by some men to marginalize the word by writing "humanist" over it. And Adiche explains why this is wrong too. We cannot ignore the disparities that have existed between the sexes since the beginning of time. Words are everything. And we cannot gloss over this word and the history it represents. Feminist: A person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.
Why don't we all believe this? Why do we still, even in 2014 when this speech was given, still need to make this passionate appeal? We do, and who better than Adiche. She gives it direct and straight up. Perhaps my favorite portion of the speech is when she speaks of wearing an "ugly" suit in order to gain the respect of an audience. Down with respectability politics in every form! It is crushing and erasing, and we must love and embrace ourselves in the frms we come in, and stop being apologetic for who we are. If we love wearing Kente, we must wear Kente, and wear it well! If we love pink lipstick and flirty skirts, we must wear them enthusiastically and with confidence. Presenting yourself as who you are in all your brilliance is a gift, not a hinderance, and we need to stop trying to dress and speak and think and talk in ways to fit in and minimize ourselves. At the end of the day, no matter what you do, there are armies of people who will think less of you - so you just have to own who you are and let them drown themselves in their own oppression and misery.
I am a feminist, and proudly so.
Audience: Young Adults, Millenials and Beyond