Book Review: “We Should All Be Feminists” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

We should all be feminists: A controversial statement that shouldn’t be controversial.

This very short book by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie certainly packs a punch. In this book, she gracefully tackles the concept of feminism and the stigma that surrounds it.

With many personal and relatable anecdotes, Adichie takes down the criticisms of feminism (both as a word and as a concept) one-by-one. I also found that there were many indirect connections to the arguments surrounding the BLM movement, which I liked! In the classroom we call that a text-to-world connection; I thought it was great that I was able to learn and think about so many things in such a short amount of time.

Spoiler-Free Review: “We Should All Be Feminists” is a short but powerful rebuttal to those who have misconceptions about the concept of feminism. In this quick manifesto, Ngozi Adichie shares many anecdotes that contradict the many different ways in which people criticize or outright attack feminism/feminists. For instance, many people complain and say, “Well, if you want equality, then why don’t you call it egalitarianism?” This really reminded me of the “All Lives Matter” response to the BLM movement. If we want equality, we have to first acknowledge where the inequality exists. That’s why we call out the female and black experiences in each of these respective terms. If you can’t even acknowledge a problem, then how do you expect to fix it? With that being said, while the anecdotes were powerful, I do worry that those who are not yet on-board with feminism will not be convinced. I was moved by these examples because I’m educated on the subject and can relate to many of the stories. However, I think including a variety of reliable statistics and facts would have strengthened the argument even more. Overall, I liked that it was short and didn’t go on for too long (something else that would deter an audience not previously in agreement with the subject matter). I also loved how Ngozi Adichie so unapologetically embraces feminism and being a feminist, as this is something that I know will be empowering for many women (and men!). I do consider myself to be a feminist, and after reading this book I feel inspired and aim to be this unapologetic about fighting for gender equality. This is a quick read that is well worth the (short) time it’ll take you to get through it!

“We Should All Be Feminists” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
We Should All Be Feminists: Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi: 8601420281936: Books
  • Year of Publication: 2014
  • Genre: Nonfiction
  • Summary:

What does “feminism” mean today? That is the question at the heart of We Should All Be Feminists, a personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from her much-viewed TEDx talk of the same name—by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun.

With humor and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century—one rooted in inclusion and awareness. She shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviors that marginalize women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics. Throughout, she draws extensively on her own experiences—in the U.S., in her native Nigeria, and abroad—offering an artfully nuanced explanation of why the gender divide is harmful for women and men, alike.

Argued in the same observant, witty and clever prose that has made Adichie a bestselling novelist, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman today—and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.

Format: Paperback

“Bingeability”: High. It’s so short I read it in about 20 minutes before going to bed one night!

Recommendation: Yes, I absolutely recommend this book. It’s such an important topic and this book is so powerful and well-written. I would recommend it for those well-versed in the subject as well as those wanting to learn more.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Year of Publication: 2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Summary: See above.
Recommendation: Yes
4 out of 5 stars

Thank you for reading my review! Leave a comment letting me know if you’ve read this one or have any questions about it, and keep an eye out for my next review!

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