Sunday, March 4, 2018

Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions-Book Review

All the fifteen suggestions
I am a huge Chimamanda fan and have over the years read most of her books.I have read and loved, Americanah,Half of  a Yellow Sun,Purple Hibiscus,The thing around your neck and even watched Half of a Yellow Sun the movie.I have also watched so many of her videos on YouTube,now when I read her books or articles she has written, I read them in her voice.Last year when I heard she has published a new book, I knew I must read the book.

'What joy.And what lovely names Chizalum Adaora.She is so beautiful.Only one week old and she already looks curious about the world.What a magnificent thing you have done,bringing a human into the world.''Congratulations'' feels to slight'-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This book is a letter to her childhood friend,who had asked for her advise on how to raise her daughter a feminist.The book is excellent,only 46 pages,I cannot recommend it enough for people who have daughters,nieces or young girls around them.

I love this book,because all the suggestions are easy to do and therefore many parents will be able to use them hence raising empowered girls,who will in turn run the world in a few short years.There are 15 suggestions on how to raise a feminist in this book, all very important and eye openers.The suggestions I loved the most and think that are likely to have the highest impact if one actively implements or tries to do them are:

Teach her to love books

Knowledge is power and the more one knows the better able there are to make good decisions.Reading things that aren't school related makes your young one curious and ultimately a very informed person which is a very good thing.If by chance your young ones don't love to read pay  them/incentivize them to read 😀😀.

Teach her about difference

We live in a diverse world and eventually children will interact with other children that are different from them and increasingly these interactions are happening really early because of school.Teach them to know that not everyone is like them and that this doesn't make them better or worse than the other person.Teaching them this when they are young will help them navigate adulthood because no two people are the same and somehow we all have to co-exist peacefully.

Gender Roles

Teach your daughter that there is nothing she has to do because she is a girl and there is nothing she can't do because she is a girl.The sky is the limit,also cleaning and cooking are learnt skills and she can learn them as these are important life skills but not because she is a girl.Children I hear copy what their parents do so the father has to take an active role in raising his child/children(beyond finances),this way the children will know both mommy and daddy can cook,clean and change diapers.

Teach her to reject likeability

 'All over the world, girls are raised to be make themselves likeable, to twist themselves into shapes that suit other people. Please do not twist yourself into shapes to please. Don’t do it. If someone likes that version of you, that version of you that is false and holds back, then they actually just like that twisted shape, and not you. And the world is such a gloriously multifaceted, diverse place that there are people in the world who will like you, the real you, as you are'-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Wanting to be liked,is the female curse.You keep quite,let people walk all over you because you want them to like you.Imagine a world where young girls know that they can express their ideas and thoughts freely without thinking about who they will offend.Now encourage each of the young girls in your life to express their opinions,to understand difference and to not care who likes them as long as they aren't being abusive or outright disrespectful.
Give Chizalum a sense of identity 

Teach your young ones about their culture,let them know the good parts of their culture,their history and teach them religion from an early age.Let them know all about their identity, this way when they grow up they will be strongly rooted and will not be swayed/misled easily.

If you are looking for an easy read,that you will learn a lot from and will help you hit your book reading goals quicker, PICK THIS BOOK.

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