If there’s any author that I’ve continuously without strain felt inclined to search for her works and endlessly wait on new works, still feel every bit of emotion i felt when I re-read a work that I’ve read before, it has got to be Chimamanda. Like man, she’s my favorite author. I find her works very easy to relate with. Like, most of her characters exhibit traits that i somehow possess at some point in my life or say something that i can say or do things that i aspire to do. They are bold and daring and somehow I’m beginning to think that her characters have bits of herself in them. So, in this book which was first a Ted talk(i love TED talks btw), Chimamanda unapologetically affirms her identity as a feminist. Hold on, don’t leave just yet. This review is aimed at one thing; for you to go get the book, read it and then decide what you want. This is going to be a brief one ’cause as always, i aim to please and not to bore. What else is a review for if not to persuade you to go get something?This review is way shorter than I’d planned for the sake of the fact that most people do not like feminism as a topic of discussion but i want them to read this post to the end. This book might not completely steer your mind off non feminists zone but it still teaches you some things i hope.
Having grown up at the time she did in a country that attaches so many unnecessary responsibilities to both genders, Chimamanda didn’t have much option than to live the way society depicts a woman should live. A woman is taught to close her legs and cover herself. Why? Because she’ll be making herself liable for rape if she didn’t. A woman is taught to always aspire for marriage as if by any chance it was some form of qualification. A woman is taught that cleaning and cooking is a woman thing and so by chance her husband helps her out, is supposed to show gratitude. A man standing with a woman is more acknowledged as if the woman is just a puff of steam from a boiling kettle.
Society has stipulated dos and don’ts for men(and women too), how to behave and how not to behave. Men are taught to be ‘men’ by masking their emotions(a reminder that we were all humans before society gave us a definition of gender. In order to be a man and feel like the man, take out bills is on you.(i really do not object to this if a guy asked me out. But if we happen to have planned a hang out, then my bill is on me except the man just wants to be a sweetheart), weakness is abhored, and so on. An excerpt from the book says,
We do a great disservice to boys in how we raise them. We stifle the humanity of boys. We define masculinity in a very narrow way. Masculinity is a hard, small cage, and we put boys inside this cage.
We teach boys to be afraid of fear, of weakness, of vulnerability. We teach them to mask their true selves, because they have to be, in Nigerian-speak, a hard man
Me not talking so much about this is because it is not our main focus. Feminism is. And for the record, it’s basically about the struggle for gender equality.
The problems of gender inequality is one that people speak up for but not enough. They want to be seen as Human Rights activists but they ignore some aspects of these human rights. No woman would want to be addressed as ‘angry’ . That explains why most of us do not openly support feminism.
Chimamanda leaves readers with no option than to be feminists and be unapologetic. I absolutely loved her persuasion with apt reasons. I loved her courage. I mostly expected that she’d run a long list of improper treatment by the society on women but she didn’t leave the men out and that kinda made me even want to go further to finish the book.
“feminism isn’t about making women stronger. women are already stronger. it’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength ”
G. D. Anderson
As regards to what I’ve learned personally from this book, culture being what it is, is subject to change. Why? Because people make culture. Not the other way round. And if it is the people’s culture for women to be subordinate then it is near possible that feminism will be a culture. At least, that’s what i learned and totally agree with. Go grab a copy or better still, get Any Books app from Google Play Store and download the book.(thank me later. The app is a ten 👌)
PS, i am not a feminist but i do have the proclivity of becoming one. Also, if you loved this review, give a shout out in the comments. Like, share and subscribe to this blog. Thank you