Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

9780008241032

So I just finished reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s latest book and it was fantastic. It is a response to a question her friend asked her about how she should raise her daughter so she would have feminist values. The book is a 15 point letter explaining, from her own experiences, what knowledge this new mother should impart on to her new born baby. The book is really short and can easily be read in an hour, in fact this is probably the best way to ensure the book retains its powerful message. It is really personal piece, sharing images from Adichie’s childhood, her own experiences as a mother and what tools a girl needs to become a woman filled with confidence and her own personality. Her tips are varied and provide an insight into the difficulties and social divide that separates boys and girls from a very young age.

Why are girls encouraged to wear pink and other pale colours? Why is marriage seen as the highest achievement a woman can encounter? Why are girls objectified and forced to conform? These are some of the questions she answers and really they highlight the difficulties that girls must face. She also looks at the image of beauty that is advertised across the world and how it is endangering young girls to conform. As I read through the pages of this book, I realised how grateful I was for the wisdom my mother had passed onto me. How she had always encouraged me to be myself and pursue my dreams no matter what. So if you want to read a personal letter, filled with laughter, honesty and passion this is certainly one I can personally reccomend.

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