Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie uses her personal life, in Nigeria, throughout We Should Be Feminists to illustrate her feminist experience. Her stories allow the reader to relate to her. Starting with her childhood and moving into her adult life, Adichie offers her hopes for the world. Adichie talks about gender expectations society has for children both male and female , women and men in the workforce, and she touches on gender expectations in everyday life.
Many things stuck out to me in this short book. Her experience with the waiter in the restaurant in Nigeria was eye opening to me. She says, ” The waiters are products of a society that has taught them that men are more important than women”(Adichie,20). She follows that with her reaction, ” …I feel invisible” (Adichie, 20). This instance stuck out to me because it was such a small event, but she remembers it; it affects her today.
Adichie’s tone throughout is very light hearted but she she firmly gets her points across. She is also able too see both sides of the coin and refute her arguments well. “In a literal way, men rule the world, and this made sense a thousand years ago. Because human beings lived in a world in which physical strength was the most important attribute for survival […] we have evolved, but it seems to me that our ideas of gender have not evolved.” (Adichie, 2).
By bringing up gender roles, Adichie highlights the problems we face today in everyday life and society as a whole. By highlighting her experiences, she is allowing people to relate to her, rather than spewing facts and statistic as if she has more knowledge than the reader
This entire book reminded me of the Speech Emma Watson gave in 2014, at a United Nations HeforShe event. She touches on many of same subject as Adichie. The both shared the experience during adolescence of feeling like a their was and time in their childhoods were they had a goal but culturally, it was a males goal. Emma states in her speech, “I started questioning gender-based assumptions when at eight I was confused at being called “bossy,” because I wanted to direct the plays…but the boys were not”.
This book has impacted me a lot. I have never considered myself a feminist until now. I think this is because I have never been truly educated on the meaning of the word.