Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Aug 18, 2018

Dear Ijeawele begins with a young, new mother's question: "How might I raise my daughter to be a feminist?" This slim book is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's letter of response, acting as an encouraging and thoughtful manifesto for feminism, in fifteen funny, compassionate, and observant suggestions for loving empowerment.

Oh, I love this book, this essay, this letter. So well articulated, Adichie's work is quick and easy to read and underline. 

I am in my twenties, and it's not that I am planning on raising a girl any time soon, but it is that I am continually raising myself as a female within this world. It's that I am surrounded by women and girls every day, and it helps to be reminded how and why we may think within certain terms. Understanding this is freeing. It allows me to explore my authentic self.

I also loved this book because it made me realize how much of how feminist my upbringing really was, quite free of gender roles. I have been working on an essay for some time now about the ironic issues within the origins of feminism, mostly centering on the fact that until several years ago, multiple very influential women in my life felt uncomfortable calling themselves feminists. This was confusing to me at the time, as they appeared to be very much so (and they were!) I am thankful that feminism is more often discussed, because works like this book remind me that these women are, and always have been, true and steadfast feminists... and that they now proudly wear this label. Feminism is freedom of authenticity.

So, yes, I absolutely recommend this book to anyone who desires a quick yet thoughtful read.

PS; The one thing that did frustrate me is that when Adichie speaks of romance, she outright says that she assumes the daughter in question will be straight, though in talking of romance, the gender wasn't necessarily important to her point. The mention of straight-ness felt somewhat unnecessary.

Reviewed by Emma F.
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