We Should All Be Feminists

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Paperback, 2015

Call number




Anchor (2015), Edition: Reprint, 64 pages


In this essay -- adapted from her TEDx talk of the same name -- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, award-winning author of Americanah, offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness. Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author's exploration of what it means to be a woman now -- and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.

User reviews

LibraryThing member kidzdoc
This outstanding work, which was based on a 2012 TedxEuston talk given by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, provides a redefinition of what feminism should be in the 21st century in Africa and the rest of the world, when most women in developing and developed societies continue to experience external gender discrimination and internal self doubt and feelings of diminished worth based on cultural expectations and limitations placed on them. It's a short work that can be easily read in 1-2 hours, but its observations and ideas deserve to be frequently re-examined, particularly when the rights of women are being threatened and curtailed in the United States and elsewhere by men in elected and appointed positions of power.… (more)
LibraryThing member aznstarlette
Very short read - less than sixty pages long - since it is a modified version of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's TEDxEuston talk. If you have not watched it yet, I highly encourage you, man or woman, to do so. Eloquent. Simple. But so powerful. 'We Should All Be Feminists' also inspired Beyonce's 'Flawless' - the full version directly features Adichie.… (more)
LibraryThing member Erika.D
Excellent book! I have always wanted to read something by this author and this was perfect for my first one. Well written, engaging, thought provoking and interesting. I felt like Adichie was sitting with me just talking and sharing her thoughts. Highly recommended!
LibraryThing member AR_bookbird
This is a Vintage Short. It is a modified version of of a talk the author gave in 2012 at TEDxEuston. It is short but very powerful! Feminism is described in terms of human rights and how, if we can all make small but powerful modifications in our way of thinking we can make the world better for everyone!
LibraryThing member jmchshannon
If you have not had a chance to read this short little gem of a book, then you need to drop what you are doing right now and read it. Its message of true gender equality and what that means is so simple and yet so profound. Ms. Adichie strips away the negative connotations from the word “feminist” and shines a light on its true meaning. She does so in a placatory manner, showing through her words and her mannerisms that being a feminist does not mean being a bra-burning, hate-spewing radical. Her frank speech is refreshing in not only its message but its encompassing nature. We Should All Be Feminists should be a mandatory reading assignment for every man, woman, and child on this planet.… (more)
LibraryThing member akblanchard
This very short book (I read it in about 15 minutes) is based on a TED talk Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie gave few years ago. Although some Western feminists think that the battle for women's rights has been fought and won, Adichie reminds readers that in some parts of the world, such as her native Nigeria, there is still a long way to go before women achieve any semblance of equality with men.

Adichie's thoughts on feminism are worth reading; however, I think this essay would have worked better as a chapter in a collection of essays, or even as an article in a magazine, rather than a tiny stand-alone book.
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LibraryThing member LynnB
This is a printed version of a TED talk given by the author. It presents a well argued case for the continuing importance of feminism.
LibraryThing member klburnside
This book is a modified version of a TED talk Adichie gave regarding the importance of feminism. It was nothing new or earth shattering for me, but important nonetheless.

I will say it feels like cheating to add this to my list of read books, since it only took ten minutes to read.
LibraryThing member porch_reader
This is a beautifully written essay by Adichie, adapted from her TED talk. In it, she unpacks all of the baggage that comes with the word feminist and eloquently argues that despite this, we must all be feminists. We must change culture to ensure the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.
LibraryThing member bell7
In an essay expanded from her TED talk, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie gives an impassioned plea for equality and taking the word "feminism" back from its layered and not always pleasant meanings. Excellent writing that's at once thought-provoking and a call to action.
LibraryThing member quiBee
This was a superb essay written in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's unique style. It was intelligent and well reasoned. She talks about discrimination both institutionalized and unrecognized.
LibraryThing member Narshkite
A tiny book with large print, this would be a 15 page essay if it were in standard form. This is basic information about feminism, and a good start if you know people who do not understand the meaning of that word. The slightly different pov coming from Nigerian culture were interesting. However, there is an antiquated view of gender which permeates every page. I have concerns that the idea that there is one way to be a man or woman leads some people to unhealthy decisions, rather than being a butch woman of femme man, but that is beyond the scope of this essay. Within the scope is the unfortunate choice to dwell on the characteristics that define the two historical genders, and the implicit message that binary gender is biological fact rather than a social construct. All in all a well spent half hour or so, but much of the essay rests on a flawed definition of gender.… (more)
LibraryThing member KLmesoftly
succinct but powerful, both as manifesto and as personal memoir. great feminism 101 tract.
LibraryThing member flydodofly
A short essay, to the point and on a very important topic, from yet another angle of an author from Africa. Yes, we should all be feminists, because the gender problem is still with us, it is not solved yet, and it needs every help it can get.
LibraryThing member FiLoMa
I first saw the TEDx talk video on YouTube so when the book came up as a special on Kindle Daily Deal I thought I'd grab the ebook. This short story is the exact same content of the TEDx talk and I enjoyed revisiting the information. It is very wise words that she shares and is a must read for everyone.
LibraryThing member Sheila1957
I found this book interesting but way too short. While I liked her idea of teaching our children on respecting and valuing women, I would like to have had examples on how to do it. I would have liked to see success stories of women being valued and respected. This is a very timely book. Unfortunately we have not come as far as we think and hope.… (more)
LibraryThing member bragan
This small, slim volume contains one essay, based on a TED talk the author did in 2012. In it, she talks about the unfair assumptions about and expectations of women in her home country of Nigeria and in the US, why the gender-based attitudes we raise our kids with are harmful to both girls and boys, and why "feminist" is not and should not be a dirty word.

This is a topic whose discussion can and does fill a small library's worth of books, but Adiche pares the whole thing down to its essentials. The things she has to say are, at heart, pretty simple, but they're simple things that need saying, and she expresses them well. Definitely worth reading, whoever you are and whatever your thoughts about feminism.
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LibraryThing member mmoj
This was a non-confrontational introduction to feminism. I want to buy copies and pass them out to everyone. If you have a knee jerk response to the word feminism or are interested in finding out what it all means but don't want to read a tome this will give you a short, personal story of what feminism is. I agreed with everything that Ms. Adichie writes. What I think hits home for me the most is that this is a world-wide issue that, while it may be tied to economic or race issues it is separate and therefore needs to be addressed on it's own.… (more)
LibraryThing member greeniezona
I could not resist this little book. I mean, first of all, the title, right? But also, I've heard a lot about Adichie, and this seemed like a good way to check her out.

The book is an adaptation of a talk Adichie gave at a TEDx conference about Africa. Adichie is a native of Nigeria who splits her time between the U.S. & Nigeria. This book uses examples from her life in both countries to illustrate how both cultures are in need of more feminist voices. She reminds us that we, the people, make culture, and if that culture is not serving us well, it is time to make culture anew.

A fast, fresh read.
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LibraryThing member hemlokgang
Ms. Adichie, as always, writes clearly and well. Given the current status of women in Nigerian culture specifically, and cultures at large, it would be interesting to know more about her personal path in life. This essay on feminism does not necessarily reveal any new, earth shattering sociological information, yet I set it down feeling that this is an excellent primer for young people, boys and girls. I will acknowledge that I had fallen into the habit of thinking of myself as a humanist, wanting equal rights for all. However, using the author's cited definition: "a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes", I am a feminist. Adichie notes that as long as significant inequalities persist, this term remains relevant. Sold!… (more)
LibraryThing member bness2
Short and right on target. The title says it all. We should all be feminists, because inequality between the sexes hurts both sexes. It is about time we recognized that and did something about it.

Notable quote from the book:

"Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture."… (more)
LibraryThing member BenKline
This is a very quick (obviously) read, based on one of her TEDx talks. (It reads exactly like a talk, so I can see how this was taken from a conference talk).

While I absolutely agree with her main idea and issue (gender equality, etc.), and I find myself agreeing with many of her points, there are a few (very few) that I do disagree with. I also find the talk/book to be.... interesting in that it is very (very) heavily anecdotal. No stats are given, no real "news/sources/information" is given. Its (nearly every new section starts this way) very "I have a friend who" or "I know someone who" or "this one girl told me" or "this one woman wears a wedding ring BECAUSE" and some of that.... is problematic. Especially for instance, the story of the woman who wears a wedding real _because_ __SHE__ feels that its the only way to get respect. Which, COULD very well be... but we don't know for SURE that thats true. We're not told (IF) if she ever tried NOT wearing the ring to see how people would take her. And its then a bit disingenuous now on that woman's part, because if any person attempts to have conversations with her (she wears the ring at her workplace to appear more credible), say about marriage, married life, her husband (not to be exclusionary, or her wife), she has to either lie then, or come clean that she only wears the ring for a purpose, which predisposes people then to view her in a different light.

While much of her points are very good, and I agree with them. Things like that are a bit skewed and bias driven. Also, the one anecdote of the two colleagues who are married; they have the same degree, same job, and are married to each other. But that when they get home, the woman is assumed to do all of the house work, (ie. cleaning/cooking/etc.). Now, this anecdote is brought up to point out how they both work and have the same job and money, but the woman is made to do the extra work of the cleaning/house work. No talk of how much work the man does as well. Which presumably is, yard work, car maintenance, general "fix-this" around the house stuff. Which she might even take, to her point of how women are brought up to do house work and men are not, which if thats the case, and the two are obviously educated colleagues/spouses working together, isn't it just as much on that wife to not assume she has to do the housework and he has to do the fix-this masculine tasks of the house? Whose to say maybe he wouldn't bestow her the housework if she didn't assume it? Or isn't it presumptuous to assume he should do the yard-work, fix-this chores? Again, who knows, for all I know, the guy could come home from work, veg out in front of the TV and drink. But we're not told anything other than 1) they both work together at the same job, with the same degree, and everything is the same, 2) they come home, she has to do housework. That's all we're told, and then we're told why this is wrong. Nothing else, and all very vague and generalizations. (Obviously so this fits in with her theme, and the biasness there-in).

But like I said (and not to nitpick or over-critique minor things) much of her points are definitely things I agree with (especially as a husband and father of three daughters), but just reading this, it comes across as overly anecdotal and that is a bit off-putting. It seems well presented outside of the anecdotal-ness to it, and I will definitely have to search YouTube for the actual talk clip to watch, to see if there's more she let out (or visual presentations as well).

Still definitely worth the read, and makes me even intrigued to read her fiction works.
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LibraryThing member lycomayflower
Slim (adapted from a TED Talk) discussion of feminism. An excellent distillation of what ought to be self-evident about women in the world but isn't. I especially enjoyed her points about why we should think about gender, about why saying things like, "but I don't think about gender at all" is not helpful.
LibraryThing member JillianJ
This book is almost word for word the same as her TED talk on the topic, and I recommend watching that (free on YouTube!) rather than reading it in book form.

"Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not in our culture, then we can and must make it our culture."… (more)
LibraryThing member sturlington
An essay based on a TED Talk given at a conference with an African focus, this rallying cry feminism is aimed primarily at Nigerian or African audiences who do not share the history of Western feminism. To readers who have been steeped in feminist theory for decades, it may seem a bit basic, but it is clearly and strongly written and would make a good gift for young women who may not know what feminism really means. I especially appreciate how Adichie tackles the negative connotations associated with the word "feminist" and her use of anecdotes to support her points.… (more)




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