Dear Ijeawele

Dear IjeaweleDear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Published 2017 by Knopf Publishing Group
63 pages. eBook
Source: Library
Genres: Nonfiction, Social Sciences
Reading Challenges: 2018 Library Love Challenge

When Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie recevied a letter from her friend, Ijeawele, asking for advice on raising a feminist daughter, she wasn’t sure where to begin. This is a version of the letter she sent to her friend, containing fifteen suggestions for breaking the cycles of how we instill gender roles in children.

I did so much highlighting in this book! I need a copy for myself that I can write in and go back to again and again. Like her lecture, We Should All Be Feminists, Adichie explains the basics of feminist theory so plainly and perfectly. She really explores how we teach sexism to our children daily when they are only toddlers. She also explores how we let men get away with not being full parents to their children. It’s certainly a great book for anyone who is having children or just had children, but it’s so much more than advice for parents. There were things I came across that I need work on with myself. It helped me confront the ways in which I’m perpetuating the problems with gender roles and casual sexism in my own life. It made me hold myself accountable for the small ways that I allow myself to sink into the gender barriers that were introduced to me when I was a child. I think that’s what makes it so powerful. I could read it all over again next year and find even more ways that I can be better and do better. While there’s no one way to be a feminist–no set guidelines to follow–I think Adichie’s suggestions are a great starting point for anyone beginning to explore feminism.

TL;DR: A powerful must-read for anyone exploring feminism or looking for ways to raise feminist children.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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