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Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions Kindle Edition
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A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a childhood friend, a new mother who wanted to know how to raise her baby girl to be a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie’s letter of response: fifteen invaluable suggestions—direct, wryly funny, and perceptive—for how to empower a daughter to become a strong, independent woman. Filled with compassionate guidance and advice, it gets right to the heart of sexual politics in the twenty-first century, and starts a new and urgently needed conversation about what it really means to be a woman today.
A Skimm Reads Pick ● An NPR Best Book of the Year
From the Publisher
“I love this book so much, for many reasons. Chimamanda is one of my favorite authors.” —Amber Tamblyn, GQ
“Adichie epitomizes and epistolizes our potential in Dear Ijeawele." —Sloane Crosely, Vanity Fair
“Personal and urgent. . . . Adichie is passionate about equality. Her new book offers 15 ways that we can encourage girls to be strong, to plant seeds of feminism. But more than that, Adichie hopes the book will help ‘move us toward a world that is more gender equal.’ Doing so means knocking down ingrained assumptions about how men and women think and behave.” —The Washington Post
“Adichie’s suggestions are logical and stated clearly, full of her dry wit, and range from the obvious (‘Do it together’) to the bold (‘Reject likeability’). . . . As much as this is a book written to mothers of daughters, fathers of daughters would benefit from reading it, too; parents in general would do well to try to raise children who won't have to grow up and read it at all. . . . Powerful and life-affirming, offering wisdom for everyone.” —The Village Voice
“Adichie has partly written Dear Ijeawele to reclaim the word feminism from its abusers and misusers. Her advice is not only to provide children with alternatives—to empower boys and girls to understand there is no single way to be—but also to understand that the only universal in this world is difference. Adichie is a brilliant novelist and a serious thinker, and she is also someone who makes no apology for her own trivial interests. Her understanding of feminism is intertwined with her understanding that we all want to be more than one thing.” —The Guardian
About the Author
CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE's work has appeared in numerous publications, including The New Yorker and Granta. She is the author of the novels Purple Hibiscus; Half of a Yellow Sun, which won the Orange Prize; Americanah, which won the NBCC Award and was a New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Year; the story collection The Thing Around Your Neck; and the essay We Should All Be Feminists. A recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she divides her time between the United States and Nigeria. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B01N9J24Q7
- Publisher : Vintage (March 7, 2017)
- Publication date : March 7, 2017
- Language : English
- File size : 2467 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 66 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #183,837 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on May 28, 2019
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Top reviews from the United States
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My father was always the first one the wake up in the morning, by 5 am the latest. He will take his torch, a broom and sweep the compound. Then he will fetch water and store it in the two big jars. He will warm up some water for the bath of all family members. By the time we wake around 6 am, he had his bath and would start listening to news with his old radio. During weekends, he will get firewood. Our neighbours would always treat my father as too weak because "he was doing household chores reserved to my mother". But my father didn't care at all. He kept sweeping, fetching water, and getting firewood because for him it was his duty as husband and as father.
As I grew up, I started "copying" my father's exemple. I would sweep the compound, fetch water, get firewood etc.. My friends were always mocking at me but, but as my father, I didn't really care. My single childhood regret was the fact that my mother banned me access to the kitchen. For her, the kitchen belongs to women and bring bad luck to boys. As you can see, my mother wasn't a feminist; not her fault, but the fault of the culturally constructed gender roles in our societies.
Looking back, my father was a great help for me. He, consciously or unconsciously, rejected the idea of gender roles (the third suggestion of Chimamanda to her friend Ijeawele.
Reading this "manifesto" comfort me: my father was right; our neighbours were wrong. I wish this book was published earlier and that I had read it before getting married and having children. I would have raised my two boys differently.
Nevertheless, I've raised them to respect girls (and boys) not because of their sex or gender identity but because they are human beings with rights and dignity that must be respected, promoted and protected by all means and by all costs.
This book reinforced my conviction.
This book is derived from a letter the author of the book Ms. Adichie wrote her friend, Ijeawele, when Ijeawele had her first baby. Ijeawele reached out to her friend for advice on raising her daughter. Among the 15 beautifully packaged pieces of advice Ms. Adichie gives her friend, the following themes resonated with me. I've taken the liberty of paraphrasing in my own inartful way.
-Be a full person yourself, but ask for help when you need it.
My interpretation: Don't be ashamed to work outside the home. Your kid will be fine.
-Raise your child together with your partner - women shouldn't be relegated just to the female roles.
My interpretation: You are both equal parents. Dad doesn't need a standing ovation when he changes a diaper - he should be doing this.
-"Because you are a girl" is never a reason for anything. Ever.
No interpretation needed.
-Teach her to reject likeability. Teach her to be brave, kind and to stand up for herself.
My interpretation: "You do you!" Being kind, brave and assertive are not mutually exclusive things.
Overall, lots of very good advice in an easily readable format.
Top reviews from other countries
Adichie never claims to be an expert in what she talks about, but I loved her ideas, especially when it came down to choice and equality. Children should be able to CHOOSE what they want to play with. Boys and girls alike. The same applies to clothes, shoes, activities and dreams. Having worked in a kids shoe shop, I know I used to cringe when I heard mothers steer their little girls towards the pink sparkly pumps and away from the dinosaurs and train patterns that they claimed were 'meant for the boys'. Some girls LIKE dinosaurs and trains. I used to see plenty of boys wanting to wear the bright and shiny shoes and THAT'S OKAY. Let them be a princess if they want to, there is nothing more beautiful than a child's imagination! My only niggle was that because it was a letter, it included a lot of names and stories that I couldn't fully relate to. But I kind of liked that about it too. It was a letter that gave me hope and made me smile, and that was enough.
I think the main thing I love about this book is that it started off as a letter to her friend on how to raise a feminist daughter; the book evolves slightly from that but essentially at it's core it is that letter. It's the sort of letter that I wish I was given growing up, that I wish everyone is given growing up. We aren't asking people to be perfect or non-judgemental, we're just asking people to have opinions and question things and just try to be a little bit better. I love the way that Adichie writes; there is something that is so effortless and the writing just flows.
I especially love the messages in this book about the language we ascribe to fathers "helping out" or "babysitting" - please see biggest eye roll from me ever. It is one of my biggest hates when fathers say they are babysitting their own children... you cannot babysit your own child. So much of what she writes I relate too, and I just want to go and explore the rest of her writing.