Thursday, February 16, 2017

we should all be feminists

My oldest gave me their copy of We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi, to read. Its an essay, based on a TED talk Adichi gave a while ago, published as a little soft-cover book. I read it in about an hour, maybe less.

Adichi is smart, dedicated to her cause—you can hear it in her voice—and her argument is simple, and commonsense driven. What I appreciated the most was her definition of feminism; its simply the belief that women and men should have equal rights, not just in the law, but in practice, in society. All societies.

She also understands that changing minds is difficult, and is therefor not focusing her attention on changing the way people act today, rather, she is advocating that we teach our children to be different than we are. Its a good argument.

Anyone who believes that equality will make tomorrow better for all, and decides that it may be easier for them to raise their children to be different than they are, without necessarily having to change their own behavior, may see this as a more achievable goal. Not having to give up their own prejudices and behavior may (at first) seem easier to swallow. But once they’ve agreed to this, then it may only be a matter of time before they begin to adopt these behaviors, as they guide their children, if only a little bit.

Ask your daughter to shovel snow or mow the grass. Ask your son to wash the dishes or the laundry. Speak to them both about sports, money matters, and responsibility. These strategies are simple, but give both sexes a more equal footing, and doesn’t presume that there are certain tasks, stations, or primacy better suited to one or the other.

Yeah, read this book.

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