Book Review: WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie



Published February 2015

My own definition of a feminist is a man or a woman who says,
“Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better.”

As my year of reading diversely continues, I had to add WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS to my list – I’ve been hearing about it for months, all of the buzz has been incredibly positive, and as a proud feminist, of course it was getting added to my bookshelf. It arrived on my doorstep the other day and although I have a ton of other things to do, as soon as I opened the Amazon box, I knew I would not be able to resist it for very long. So when The Pup woke me up at 5:43 am today, I didn’t even get pissed because I knew I would have the morning to myself to dig into this little gem.

And wow – what a gem it is.

My notes are copious, my book is marked up and annotated everywhere because Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS is damn near perfect and should be on everyone’s summer reading list.

“We have evolved. But our ideas of gender have not evolved very much.”

It’s feminism and the belief that all people should be treated equally, broken down into brilliant, evocative, thought-provoking vignettes on what it means to be a woman around the world today and what we need to do to improve the state of womanhood.

“We spend too much time teaching girls to worry about what boys think of them…We make [girls] feel as though by being born female, they are already guilty of something.”

It’s so well-written, interesting, and important, especially in this day and age of misinformed and misguided young women taking to social media to state “I am not a Feminist”. It explains in the simplest, most human of terms why there is nothing wrong with being a feminist and there is nothing dirty about the word feminism.

“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. I like politics and history and am happiest when having a good argument about ideas. I am girly. I am happily girly. I like high heels and trying on lipsticks…I wear them because I like them and because I feel good in them.”

Thank you so much, Ms. Adichie, for this excellent read – you are SO right, we should all be feminists.



4 thoughts on “Book Review: WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

  1. I haven’t read the book but this review and your excepts resonate with me because I have never been ashamed of being black but I have been ashamed of being a girl. It wasn’t until I had a daughter that I fully embraced being a woman because I didn’t want her to be ashamed of being a girl. But then she started junior high and all of her training disappeared, and she still ended up being ashamed.

    • That’s so interesting, Constance, because I have never once felt ashamed of being a woman, but it took me quite a long time to be comfortable in my brown skin. That girl pride comes from my mom – she’s amazing and for as long as I can recall, has always told me I can do anything boys do, I didn’t have to get married if I didn’t want to, I could have kids on my own (!!) or I didn’t even have to have them if I didn’t want them (she’s totally ahead of her time), and all kinds of other fabulous, girl-power tidbits. In her older age, she’s toned down some of that but she’s still pretty fierce. Her twin sister, my aunt, is another one – girl power all the way.

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