This is an incomplete list of books I’ve read which have helped me understand what it means to be “other,” based on skin color. They make my heart ache, and think more deeply about my own privilege of being white.
Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general – but to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problems of gender. … It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women. (p. 41)
This is a little book I want to send everyone I know. But especially the young women. It’s also hard to choose just one quote to use in a review. I found myself wanting to quote the entire essay.
Based on her TedTalk, Adichie’s essay is rich and powerful. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s perspective is that of black woman who has experienced sexism in both her home country of Nigeria, and in America. She addresses herself to the men she encounters and explains what it feels like to be looked upon as an object, especially by those who have experienced other forms of oppression – like racism.
I identify as a white woman born to a certain amount of privilege because of my whiteness. There was much to learn from Adichie about being a black woman. And many things she says about sexism and the need for feminism resonate deeply.
This essay touches on the many ways sexism is normalized in all parts of society; from schools appointing only boy class monitors to corporations with mostly men on their boards and how marriages can be affected by this normalization.
This little book is something I’ll be reading again, and again. Adichie’s eloquence is something to savored, and thought over as we continue to confront the issues of gender equality around the world.