This is one book I loved so much that I was afraid I would not find the right words to do it justice and fully express how much it meant to me. But I decided that I was going to try to articulate my feelings anyway, because I believe this is one book that must be made mandatory reading for everyone, men and women alike.
I know if I would have found it sooner, it would have saved me a lot of heartache & frustrating conversations with many men and women who simply failed to grasp a concept as simple as feminism. Because when it came to such people, in some cases it was ignorance, but in most cases it was just willful disregard of the feminist movement, in order to maintain the status quo.
Either way I know I would have simply gifted them this book, and saved the time, energy and words that I spent on such people and conversations. Because for the most part this book says everything that I want to say on this subject, and more articulately than I ever could.
It’s like Chimamanda Adichie took my every scrambled thought & formed it into beautiful words and articulate sentences, and presented it in a witty, conversational tone, without sounding the least bit preachy or patronizing.
Also it’s a pretty short & quick read (shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes to 1 hour) so I don’t want to go into an in-depth analysis of the book here, and make the review longer than the book. No, really!
Though I have to say that as I was reading this book, I was highlighting the things that really resonated with me, to include in my review, and at the end of it I found that I had pretty much highlighted 80% of the book. So you see what I mean when I say this book really struck a chord with me? But don’t worry, I am going to restrain myself, and not share all the highlighted passages here.
But I do urge all of you to pick up this book. Whether you believe you are a feminist or that you will never be one.
I know that the former category of folks will find validation here, but this is an effective introduction to feminism even for the ones in the latter category, who have an open mind.
If nothing else, it will answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding feminism, like the one below.
Why call it Feminism? Why not Human-ism? Or some other more inclusive ‘ism’?
Some people ask: “Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?”
Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general—but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender.
It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women. That the problem was not about being human, but specifically about being a female human. For centuries, the world divided human beings into two groups and then proceeded to exclude and oppress one group. It is only fair that the solution to the problem acknowledge that.
And more importantly, this book also clarifies the meaning of the word itself, by stating the definition, because feminism is one of the most widely misunderstood terms.
Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.
A simple enough concept, no? Not too complicated in its meaning or intent. Yet intentionally shrouded in controversy by its detractors, mostly to maintain the status quo, that serves their agenda.
But honestly I do know some others too who unwittingly confuse the meaning and intent of the word with the negative connotations intentionally associated with this term by the detractors. So to them, I feel like this book will be immensely useful.
In-fact I’d love to hear from you guys who are reading this post, if you were among the few who, in the past, did not pay much attention to the real meaning of the word or the movement – now that you know the actual definition of feminism, keeping aside all the careless and even willful misrepresentation and propaganda, tell me – Are you a Feminist?
If you still cannot or will not answer that question in the affirmative, then I guess we will simply have to agree to disagree on this subject. Because I cannot and will not discriminate against people in any way, shape or form, purely based on gender, and at the heart of it, that’s what feminism is all about.
If however, you do have an open mind, I’d urge you to pick up this book. It’s not an all inclusive guide on feminism, but it is an amazingly articulate primer on the subject. A beginner’s guide of sorts.
But honestly I even recommend this book to people who already believe in the need for feminism. Reading and then gifting this book might save you a lot of frustrating conversations and fried brain cells. I know I personally just want to buy a crate of these and distribute to every family and friend I care about who finds it hard to accept Feminism for what it is.
That’s all from my end, folks. I’d love to hear from you. Did you read this book? How did you find it? Have you read any other books by this author? I am currently reading Dear Ijeawele, the review of that coming up next on the blog.
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