A Feminist Manifesto

I really enjoyed Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s first novel, Americanah.  It is about the life struggles of an African immigrant living in America.  Insightful look into racism, love, immigration and growing up in America.

I picked up her recent book, Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions.  It has been sitting on the coffee table in our family room.  Over the course of a month, I would pick it up and just read a chapter at a time when I had a few minutes of down time before going somewhere.  I plan on reading this book again and again.

Ths book is a letter to a friend who wants to make sure her children are feminists seeking her advice.  Her advice is rich in simplicity yet unapologetic, authentic and deeply thoughtful.  In many ways, the book is pure common sense but I only wish that many parents had this type of common sense.

One of the tidbits that really stuck with me was how her male friend whose wife left him with two young children to raise who tells Adichie that he now has the role of a mom.  He meant is in a loving way but she says to him, in a warm yet firm tone, that no he is just a father doing his job.  I just loved this.  Those “roles” are perceived from the minute are children come out of the womb and it has to shift.

This is a book that everyone must read.  I plan on giving it to each of my children when they have kids of their own.  It is a manifesto to live by.