We should all be feminists book review

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Feminism is such a touchy subject. You mention the word and it is often met with eye rolls and all sorts of unpleasantries (from both men and women). Unflattering stereotypes about women who are feminists are tossed around and it has often left a bitter taste in my mouth, it’s also hard to understand why it is received so negatively because it’s such a beautiful and very necessary movement. Very very necessary. I think the understanding (or lack thereof) is the root of the problem. Now I know this very well because I’ve also had a hard time grasping the concept, I’m still learning more about it each day so I completely get it. In my quest to find out more about it, I knew from the get go that although it was blurry, there was no chance I could ever be against it, not when everything about it is to support me, the woman. Now with the unlimited resources at the tip of our fingers that come with the internet and particularly social media, some of the meaning wasn’t clear for me. Social media is great but it’s also a platform to share ideas and opinions and sometimes they aren’t good ones. I’d see women say vile things to other women under the umbrella of feminism and think to myself that surely that shouldn’t be right. I’d also see a lot of contradictions that it got to a point where I wasn’t too sure it’s what I imagined it to be. I almost gave up on it all together. I then decided to do some research and kind of sum up what it at least means to ME. And then the amazing Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche (who I have to mention was a guest lecturer for one of my scriptwriting classes during my 3rd year ) wrote a book titled ‘We should all be feminists’ and I knew then and there that I had to read it. So I did. And it was a great read. Very helpful and insightful. It helped certify my own meaning and also broadened my general understanding so I’m going to review it. Not your typical review but rather speak back on it and share my thoughts and experiences with feminism, how the feminist looks like to me. It’s such an amazing book but I felt it was way too short and I just wanted to read more and more and more. It left me with a lot of feelings too, mostly good but it also saddened me a bit (not sure why). I also did a lot of nodding and shouting out ‘yes’ at least 3 times on each page ?.

It’s a short 48 page book that you will finish at one go. I love how simple it was. It was concise and straight to the point. No unnecessary frills. I enjoy those kind of reads. Less is more. Simplicity means easy to understand. It’s relatable and takes away so much confusion that comes with the use of very intellectual jargon. Topics like this are usually expressed in a ‘deep’ way which I’ve found makes people disinterested.

First and foremost, Feminism is not an attack on men. Feminists are not women who hate men. I think that’s the first thing we should all realize when we engage with this topic. The inequality of women is a human problem. It’s the results of the society we live in. It goes waaaaaaaay back to how boys and girls are raised differently from a young age and taught that they aren’t equals. Boys and girls raised by both men and women so it’s not a problem that was created solely by the man, or is it one that must be fixed by one. It’s on all of us.

Feminism isn’t about romantic relationships. It’s not about women who have been hurt by men. It’s not about women who don’t want to be domesticated and cook and clean for their boyfriends/husbands. Feminism is pro choice. Feminism means If I want to be the kind of wife who does that, that’s great. I must make those meals and bake those scones. And if I don’t, I shouldn’t be crucified. If I want to be a big career woman, not have kids then I should do just that. It’s about women being able to CHOOSE how they want to live their lives, and granted the same courtesy as men. It really is that simple. Men shouldn’t feel threatened by it. They should support it and just take a look around them a little deeper to realize that they have male privilege. They have women in their lives that they love and they should seek to bring them up to the same level, where they belong.

Woman just want to be given a fair chance at life, an equal pay for the same job they do with their male colleague, the same amount of respect and trust in the work space. We just want to stop feeling less than, BECAUSE WE AREN’T. And we shouldn’t be treated like we are.

Before I wrap up I’m going to give a dictionary description of the word and how I interpret it. I will also add a quote from the book. (there are SO many that I would have loved to include but I got a headache trying to figure out which ones because honestly the whole book is a gem and you should read it more than once).

Feminist: A person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.

Not everyone will agree with me but by virtue of the description saying ‘a person’ as opposed to saying ‘a female’ means anyone can be a feminist. (I think we should all be ️)

“Feminism is not an attack on the man. And woman have been part of and continue to add to the inequality of the genders, going back from the different way in which both girls and boys are raised. It’s a problem that has been adopted by the whole society. The main idea of this movement is that there is a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it. ALL OF US, women and men, must do better.”

2017 has been my favorite year to watch women (probably my favorite year being one, especially a brown skinned woman). I’ve watched them be unapologetic and fearless. I’ve watched women stand up for themselves and do great things in a world that often tells them to be below the man. I’ve watched them have a choice and a voice, something that hasn’t been easy over the years. I’m excited to see women evolve. I can’t wait for women to break more walls and get into these spaces that they’ve been told they don’t belong to.

 

To all the ladies, in every shape, size and colour. I support you. I’m for you. You are magic.

Do you, boo ❤️

Yours in ✍🏾
Buhle Mazibuko

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