Date finished: Jan 9th 2016
Feminism is one of the hot topics of this decade and has spawned many smaller, niche movements underneath it’s general umbrella. It’s even inspired reactionary groups, such as the rather tragic meninists, who we won’t talk about any further other than to acknowledge their rather unfortunate existence.
We Should All Be Feminists, adapted from her popular TEDTalk, is a short essay by multi-award-winning Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngoze Adichie; short enough, in fact, to read in a lunch break (I speak from experience, I read it in 20 minutes today). In this brief volume, Adichie discusses feminism – particularly in the context of her Nigerian upbringing, but also refers to much-needed progress in the West too. She makes many incisive observations that should be blindingly obvious but are often overlooked thanks to a common attitude (usually among men) that things have improved. Adichie shows that this attitude isn’t an orchestrated dismissal of feminism, but a misunderstanding of the problems at the heart of equality. She adeptly and effortlessly destroys some of the dismissive counter-arguments leveled at modern feminism and makes a passionate case for a form of feminism that ensures that both women and men benefit from this movement.
Adichie broaches her subject with an engaging wit and warmth far removed from the anarchic, “man-hating” rants that men of fragile ego often fear feminist literature will be. We Should All Be Feminists is an impassioned and well-reasoned argument from an intelligent and influential woman. If that scares you, you’re the problem; Adichie, alongside such other proponents of feminism as Emma Watson and Malala Yousafzai, is a fantastic figurehead for modern feminism and should be embraced by both men and women alike for her profoundly simple goal. It’s perhaps no wonder that We Should All Be Feminists has been made required-reading for all sixteen year olds in Sweden.