We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 


Four stars, read in January 2017 (though I watched the TEDTalk it’s based on at least a couple years ago).

I hadn’t technically read this yet because it’s essentially a transcript of that TEDTalk. But we just got a few brand new copies of it at the library, so I took it home and it was nice to have a refresher. The book is so tiny, so obviously stretched out to make it even fill the space it does take, that (even though I love the tiny book) I almost feel like it should be printed on a poster instead.

The TEDTalk is around thirty minutes, but the book only takes fifteen or twenty to read. It’s mostly nothing earth-shattering, but that’s what I like about it: it just makes sense, simply, logically. It’s just a straightforward explanation of an idea that Adichie presents as pure common sense: why we should all be feminists.

This page was the one that stuck out to me the most this time around:


I think if you don’t like the word “feminist,” that means you are uncomfortable with putting women first. If you are uncomfortable putting women first, that means you have not grasped the reality of their oppression. If you don’t see why women need to be the focus, that means you don’t truly believe that it’s a bad thing for women to be held behind in the ways they have been—that when you see all the inequalities that still exist, you don’t see them as inequalities, they don’t seem like something that needs to be changed.

It also means that you are prioritizing men’s comfort over women’s recovery from the abuse that has been inflicted on them—by men—for centuries. If you think women can acquire equal rights without causing men discomfort—and that this is how they should do it, that this should be a priority for them—well, then, you are right. You’re not a feminist.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. I love her writing in general (and her TED talks as well), but I haven’t actually gotten my hands on a copy of this book in particular. Thanks for the review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gwen says:

      I adore everything she’s ever written. I’ve been waiting for a couple years now for her to write something new, and I hope it will happen soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for this review! I just bought this essay on Kindle and I’ve included it in the Feminism 101 book list I posted today. Seems like you found it valuable 🙂



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