Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book “We Should All Be Feminists” discusses the social constructs defined by gender as well as her own personal experiences as a female. This text didn’t necessarily teach me, but more so made me think about my own experiences and thoughts towards feminism. Before coming to college, I believed the negative thoughts that are commonly associated with feminists. For instance, the author used the examples you hate men, you hate bras, you think women should always be in charge, you don’t shave, etc. Those are all thoughts I had as a teenager when I heard the word “feminist.” Thankfully, college has taught me that these things are not true, and just like Chimamanda I am having to unlearn many lessons of gender I was taught growing up.
One thing that struck with me in the text was the idea of teaching children how to be fair towards gender. Over the summer I watched two children, one boy and one girl, a year apart in age. The boy was always given the outside chores (feeding the chickens, walking the dog, pulling the weeds, etc.), while the girl was always given the household chores such as doing the laundry and dishes. I always felt as though this wasn’t right, and whenever I would ask them to do something the other usually does, they would fight it. The boy even said to me once, “I don’t do household stuff like laundry. I’m a boy so I need to go outside.” Although I couldn’t fix this over one summer, I can take these lessons with me as I become a teacher. I don’t want to tell the girls in my class that they can’t be class monitors because that’s a boy’s job. It’s important to me that my future students get equal opportunities in all parts of the classroom, and that they learn from a young age that gender does not equal ability.