A thought provoking and wonderfully written essay about views on gender and why feminism matters.
I remember when I was 13 or so and I said I was a feminist to my parents. My mum sighed and acted like it was a dirty word. It was something apparently I shouldn’t say. Fast forward 6 years and I am definitely a far more proclaimed feminist, and my parents understand.
Honestly, Adichie’s focus is what I personally focus on when I think/talk about feminism. Feminism is not a dirty word. It does not mean a man hating, angry lesbian. It means that I merely believe in the equality for the sexes, socially, economically and politically.
One quote really stood out for me:
The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are.
I’m not overly feminine, and a small part of me doesn’t feel female. Call it what you will, but to me by gender is very much a box that I like hanging out in, but it doesn’t define me. I am far more than being female. And that small part of me that doesn’t prescribe to a gender really has me struggling with the limits we place on ourselves when we discuss gender. Luckily, we’re getting better. But there is a part of me that is still lost and frustrated in a world that labels me as female, and therefore prescribes how I should be and act.
I wish Adichie would write further on this. I’ve had Cordelia Fine’s Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference on my to-read list forever, and this essay has just pushed it far up the list.
THINGS I LOVED: a clear simple view of feminism and the associations of it
THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE: would love for it to be longer