I put together a list of feminism related books that I want to read and I am very slowly starting to read them. One of the books that arrived this week and was in my list is “We Should all be feminists.” It is a book but honestly you can read it in 40 minutes. I feel like I am going to put it right next to my bed and just re-read it whenever I feel I need some words of wisdom. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the authors of We Should all be Feminists, said it all so well! It felt as if she could read my thoughts.
I laughed out loud when she discussed the views that others have of feminist women: angry, hate men, who refuse to shave their legs, don’t like to wear make up, and refuse to wear high heels. I wonder if people still have these views of feminist? I bet it is very different in different regions of the world, countries, and even within countries.
Anyways, there are three specific quotes from the book that made me nod my head and say “Yes!“:
“What struck me, with her and with many other females American friends I have, is how invested they are in being ‘liked.’ How they have been raised to believe that their being liked is very important and that this “likeable” trait is a specific thing. And this specific thing does not include showing anger or being aggressive or disagreeing too loudly.”
I have countless example of this in academia. God forbid your disagree too loudly! lol I will just leave it at that.
“We teach boys to be afraid of fears, or weakness, or vulnerability. We teach them to mask their true selves, because they have to be, in Nigerian-speak, a hard man.”
As a mother, this is an important message. How are we raising our sons? Feminism is not about a bunch of women trying to change the world, it is really about women and men working together. The way we raise our sons today, will have an impact on the type of men they are tomorrow.
“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 a happy girly. I like high heels and trying on lipsticks.”
It is truly disappointing when people think that you cannot be girly and be an academic. Wearing make up, red lipstick, and wearing a dress? It probably means you are not smart enough. I have actually heard women in academia say that the more they behave like a man, the more accepted they are in academic settings. Sad! I love embracing my femininity and I plan to continue doing just that.
There is a lot more that I can quote, but I just want to leave it there for now. I am moving on to read Audre Lorde “Sister Outsider” and I really need to finish “I am judging you” by Luvvie Ajayi (this is not a book about feminism, but about keeping it real).