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February 1, 2015

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Feminism has a new spin and it’s gone beyond the bra-burning movement of the sixties or armpit hair- growing sensibility of the seventies. Welcome Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who on the surface appears to be the antithesis of the feminist stereotype.  Not only is she very smart, she also happens to have a great sense of humor and brands herself a Happy African Feminist Who Does Not Hate Men and Who Likes to Wear Lip Gloss and High Heels For Herself and Not For Men.

Jenny Javier, We Should All Be Feminists, Feb2Long before her TedxEuston talk entitled “We Should All Be Feminists” went viral (no small thanks to its inclusion in Beyonce’s single entitled ***Flawless), the Nigerian-born author had reaped great acclaim in academic circles. She graduated summa cum laude from Eastern Connecticut State University, and earned advance degrees and fellowships from Princeton, Yale and Harvard.  Her second novel, Half A Yellow Sun, received the Orange Prize for Fiction and has been turned into a movie starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton. In the same year, Americanah, her third novel, was selected by the New York Times as one of the best books of 2013.

The book is a slim volume (clocking in at 64 pages) and can be finished in one sitting. Sure, you can go online and watch the thirty-minute talk on Youtube as I did. But for those who wish to savor the content in print; to be pored over and analyzed, underlined and passages committed to memory, this little volume is for you. Consider these passages: “We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, “You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you will threaten the man.” And my favorite: “We spend too much time teaching girls to worry about what boys think of them. But the reverse is not the case. We don’t teach boys to care about being likeable. We spend too much time telling girls that they cannot be angry or aggressive or tough, which is bad enough, but to turn around and either praise or excuse men for the same reasons.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s message bears repeating.  Her unique definition of feminism offers an expanded view for the twenty-first century, one that is rooted in inclusion and awareness. To make the change, not only does she advocate raising our daughters differently. The same must be done for our sons.

WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS is on sale on February 3, 2015. Available in select bookstores.

Penguin Random House is the world’s first truly global trade book publisher. It was formed on July 1, 2013, upon the completion of an agreement between Bertelsmann and Pearson. Penguin Random House employs more than 10,000 people globally across almost 250 editorially and creatively independent imprints and publishing houses that collectively publish more than 15,000 new titles annually. Its publishing lists include more than 70 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors.

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One Comment on “We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie”

  • Agnes says January 1, 2016 at 6:49 am


    I’ve stumbled upon Adichie’s work precisely because of that feature by Beyonce. Can you direct me to any of the select bookstores stocking the book? Gems like these are hard to come by.




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