09 March 2017
Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a dear friend from childhood, asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie's letter of response.
Here are fifteen invaluable suggestions--compelling, direct, wryly funny, and perceptive--for how to empower a daughter to become a strong, independent woman. From encouraging her to choose a helicopter, and not only a doll, as a toy if she so desires; having open conversations with her about clothes, makeup, and sexuality; debunking the myth that women are somehow biologically arranged to be in the kitchen making dinner, and that men can "allow" women to have full careers, Dear Ijeawele goes right to the heart of sexual politics in the twenty-first century. It will start a new and urgently needed conversation about what it really means to be a woman today.
A follow-up of sorts to We Should All be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has published her response to a friend's request for advice. Specifically, how to raise a little girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is a beautiful essay in 15 points, both specific and general in its advice. Adichie has beautifully thought-out responses to the request for advice, but sprinkled throughout are many instances of a wonderful female friendship.
(And yes, all our favorites are problematic, as Adichie has recently made some troubling remarks about trans-women, but the specific points made in this book are quite good.)
Dear FTC: I received a digital galley of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss.