We Should All Be Feminists
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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A personal and powerful essay from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the bestselling author of ‘Americanah’ and ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’, based on her 2013 TEDx Talk of the same name. What does “feminism” mean today? That is the question at the heart of We Should All Be Feminists, a personal, eloquently-argued essay – adapted from her much-viewed Tedx talk of the same name – by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of ‘Americanah’ and ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’. With humour and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century – one rooted in inclusion and awareness. She shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviours that marginalise women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics. Throughout, she draws extensively on her own experiences – in the U.S., in her native Nigeria – offering an artfully nuanced explanation of why the gender divide is harmful for women and men, alike. Argued in the same observant, witty and clever prose that has made Adichie a best-selling novelist, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman today – and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.

All Quotations

12 + 18 in other languages
LauraTLauraT added a quotation
Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture.
LauraTLauraT added a quotation
Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture.
LauraTLauraT added a quotation
We police girls. We praise girls for virginity but we don’t praise boys for virginity (and it makes me wonder how exactly this is supposed to work out, since the loss of virginity is a process that usually involves two people of opposite genders). LOL
LauraTLauraT added a quotation
We police girls. We praise girls for virginity but we don’t praise boys for virginity (and it makes me wonder how exactly this is supposed to work out, since the loss of virginity is a process that usually involves two people of opposite genders). LOL
LauraTLauraT added a quotation
Gender matters everywhere in the world. And I would like today to ask that we begin to dream about and plan for a different world. A fairer world. A world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves. And this is how to start: We must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently.
LauraTLauraT added a quotation
Gender matters everywhere in the world. And I would like today to ask that we begin to dream about and plan for a different world. A fairer world. A world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves. And this is how to start: We must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently.
LauraTLauraT added a quotation
What struck me—with her and with many other female American friends I have—is how invested they are in being “liked.” How they have been raised to believe that their being likable is very important and that this “likable” trait is a specific thing. And that specific thing does not include showing anger or being aggressive or disagreeing too loudly. We spend too much time teaching girls to worry about what boys think of them. But the reverse is not the case.
LauraTLauraT added a quotation
What struck me—with her and with many other female American friends I have—is how invested they are in being “liked.” How they have been raised to believe that their being likable is very important and that this “likable” trait is a specific thing. And that specific thing does not include showing anger or being aggressive or disagreeing too loudly. We spend too much time teaching girls to worry about what boys think of them. But the reverse is not the case.
LauraTLauraT added a quotation
If we do something over and over, it becomes normal. If we see the same thing over and over, it becomes normal. If only boys are made class monitor, then at some point we will all think, even if unconsciously, that the class monitor has to be a boy. If we keep seeing only men as heads of corporations, it starts to seem “natural” that only men should be heads of corporations.
LauraTLauraT added a quotation
If we do something over and over, it becomes normal. If we see the same thing over and over, it becomes normal. If only boys are made class monitor, then at some point we will all think, even if unconsciously, that the class monitor has to be a boy. If we keep seeing only men as heads of corporations, it starts to seem “natural” that only men should be heads of corporations.
FeliciaFelicia added a quotation
I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femininity. And I want to be respected in all my femaleness. Because I deserve to be.
FeliciaFelicia added a quotation
I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femininity. And I want to be respected in all my femaleness. Because I deserve to be.
FeliciaFelicia added a quotation
What if, in raising children, we focus on ability, instead of gender? What if we focus on interest instead of gender?
FeliciaFelicia added a quotation
What if, in raising children, we focus on ability, instead of gender? What if we focus on interest instead of gender?
FeliciaFelicia added a quotation
We raise girls to see each others as competitors - not for job or accomplishments, which in my opinion can be a good thing - but for attention of men.
FeliciaFelicia added a quotation
We raise girls to see each others as competitors - not for job or accomplishments, which in my opinion can be a good thing - but for attention of men.
FeliciaFelicia added a quotation
We teach females that in a relationships compromise is what a woman is more likely to do.
FeliciaFelicia added a quotation
We teach females that in a relationships compromise is what a woman is more likely to do.
FeliciaFelicia added a quotation
Gender matters everywhere in the world. And I would like today to ask that we begin to dream about and plan for a different world. A fairer world. A world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves. And this is how to start: We must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently.
FeliciaFelicia added a quotation
Gender matters everywhere in the world. And I would like today to ask that we begin to dream about and plan for a different world. A fairer world. A world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves. And this is how to start: We must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently.