Week 43: Oatmeal Chocolate Coconut Macaroons and "We Should All Be Feminists"
I am featuring Oatmeal Chocolate Coconut Macaroons and "We Should All Be Feminists" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda discusses gender and feminism in Nigeria and the problems around gender expectations. Her examples are based on her experience in Nigeria however the examples can be seen around the world around expectations of boys and girls. She shares how at 14 years old she was called a feminist. She didn't know what it meant but she knew it wasn't a compliment. She proceeds to share how different people would provide her feedback on how “bad” the word feminist was because it meant you were sad and couldn’t find a husband so she called herself the “happy feminist”. She proceeds to share how she would add additional words to describe herself and that she was now a “Happy African Who Likes Men and Wears Lipstick Feminist.”
She talks about how we need to raise our boys and girls differently. We teach our boys to mask their feelings and boys are required to pay for things and be “hard”. For girls we tell them to be smaller and have ambition but not too much ambition or else you will emasculate your male partner. In Nigeria it is expected that girls need to aspire to be married but boys don't have that same expectation. Her examples are practical and thought provoking.
I highly recommend this book and talk for men who want to show up as an ally. The book is only 52 pages and her TedX talk is 30 minutes long.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.