10 Quotes On Feminism By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie That You Need To Read Today

Today on her birthday, I would like to share 10 of my favorite quotes by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie that will make you feel all Feminist-y. 

Female Authors Non-Fiction Wellness

I first read Adichie back in 2013, when the world was still getting used to strong female characters as the protagonist. Everything about her books makes you want to read non-stop and question the world that we live in. It makes you re-evaluate your stance on race, feminism, and identity. Today on her birthday, I would like to share 10 of my favorite quotes by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie that will make you feel all Feminist-y.

 

Image via Bookstr

 

Some people ask: “Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?” Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general—but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women.

We Should All Be Feminists

 

 

We spend too much time teaching girls to worry about what boys think of them. But the reverse is not the case. We don’t teach boys to care about being likable. We spend too much time telling girls that they cannot be angry or aggressive or tough, which is bad enough, but then we turn around and either praise or excuse men for the same reasons. All over the world, there are so many magazine articles and books telling women what to do, how to be and not to be, in order to attract or please men. There are far fewer guides for men about pleasing women.

  We Should All Be Feminists

 

We teach girls shame. “Close your legs. Cover yourself.” We make them feel as though being born female they’re already guilty of something. And so, girls grow up to be women who cannot say they have desire. They grow up to be women who silence themselves. They grow up to be women who cannot say what they truly think. And they grow up — and this is the worst thing we do to girls — they grow up to be women who have turned pretense into an art form.

We Should All Be Feminists

 

“Your feminist premise should be: I matter. I matter equally. Not “if only.” Not “as long as.” I matter equally. Full stop.”
Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

 

“Teach her that the idea of ‘gender roles’ is absolute nonsense. Do not ever tell her that she should or should not do something because she is a girl. ‘Because you are a girl’ is never a reason for anything. Ever.”
Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

 

 

“The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are.”
We Should All Be Feminists

 

We teach girls to be likeable, to be nice, to be false. And we do not teach boys the same. This is dangerous. Many sexual predators have capitalized on this. Many girls remain silent when abused because they want to be nice. Many girls spend too much time trying to be “nice” to people who do them harm. Many girls think of the “feelings” of those who are hurting them. This is the catastrophic consequence of likeability. We have a world full of women who are unable to exhale fully because they have for so long been conditioned to fold themselves into shapes to make themselves likeable.

Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

 

If the justification for controlling women’s bodies were about women themselves, then it would be understandable. If, for example, the reason was ‘women should not wear short skirts because they can get cancer if they do.’ Instead the reason is not about women, but about men. Women must be ‘covered up’ to protect men. I find this deeply dehumanizing because it reduces women to mere props used to manage the appetites of men.

― Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen

 

“You must never behave as if your life belongs to a man. Do you hear me?” Aunty Ifeka said. “Your life belongs to you and you alone.”

Half of a Yellow Sun

 

Image via Bookstr

 

 

But here is a sad truth: Our world is full of men and women who do not like powerful women. We have been so conditioned to think of power as male that a powerful woman is an aberration. And so she is policed. We ask of powerful women: Is she humble? Does she smile? Is she grateful enough? Does she have a domestic side? Questions we do not ask of powerful men, which shows that our discomfort is not with power itself, but with women. We judge powerful women more harshly than we judge powerful men.

Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

 

Feature image via Feminism in India