by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
First sentence: “Okoloma was one of my greatest childhood friends.”
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Content: There’s really nothing objectionable; my 12 year old has read it. It’s in the sociology section of the bookstore.
I wasn’t going to write a review of this one, mostly because it’s so short and simple, but I decided I needed a record of having read it.
It’s basically an extended, written version of Adichie’s Ted Talk on the same subject, an exploration of the value of feminism. I read this over Christmas, after I heard a that Sweden gave this book out to every 16 year old in the country. I know I’m not really the target audience (neither are my girls, to whom I gave this book for Christmas) already self-identifying as a feminist, but I wanted to see what Adichie had to say.
And she had a lot to say, actually. A lot of it was directed toward African culture — it’s very male — but I think that it’s relevant even in America. The fact that women do experience sexism, the fact that men don’t notice gender, the fact that things are easier for men, and so on, is important. It’s important to have discussions about gender and equality, to raise boys so that they understand the value of women, to raise girls to speak their minds without fear. It’s important, to say, as Adichie writes, “Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better.”
I may not be the target audience for this one, but it was definitely worth my time.