Saturday 28 October 2023

CBR15 Book 63: "We Should All Be Feminists" by Chimamande Ngozi Adichie

Page count: 65 pages
Rating: 4 stars

CBR15 Bingo: Africa

Not going to lie, I originally planned to read Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, but as we were nearing the end of October and I had this last square to complete on my Cannonball Bingo card, I decided to be strategic and read something rather shorter instead.

Hence this essay, which I'm ashamed to say is the first thing I've actually read by Ms. Adichie. Do I own all three of her novels in e-book form? I do indeed. Should I read them to expand my horizons and learn more about the experiences of people very different from myself? Absolutely. This essay of hers about feminism started out as a Tedx-talk, and while I very much agree that we should all be feminists and that women and non-binary individuals need to achieve equal rights to men, I also live in Norway, which for all that there are still strides to be made for equal pay and the like, we are clearly a lot more progressive than many other places in the world, such as Nigeria, which Ms. Adichie speaks about from experience. 

Nevertheless, even in a socialist paradise like Norway, where everyone is entitled to parental leave, and most fathers actually spend several months taking care of their babies, women are still more likely to be in low-paying jobs or have unreliable short-term contracts, and risk being passed over for promotion or employment opportunities because they have kids (or might want kids in the future). Even in my own family, where my husband works from home and does most of the pick-ups and deliveries from kindergarten, and takes our son to the doctor and so forth, we keep having to remind our doctor's office and occasionally kindergarten staff to contact him first. The father is very rarely the stay-at-home parent, and for women to be the primary breadwinners is unusual. So the need for feminism and a continued fight for equality is necessary, not just in Africa or Asia, but also in more progressive countries in the Western world. 

Judging a book by its cover: It's not exactly eye-catching, but it has bright, clear colours and both the author's name and the title of the essay are very visible. 

Crossposted on Cannonball Read

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