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Book Review- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Dear Ijeawele-A feminist manifesto in fifteen suggestions.

Have you wondered that how you want to raise you daughter? What are the values and opinions you want to instil in her? I often wonder about these things and this book came in so handy to put my thoughts in my words. This is a very slim book and something I did not read in one go. There is so much to absorb from the book that I found it unfair to gulp it down at once. I sipped it like a fine wine last week and I already feel like a better person. This was gifted to me by my sister when my daughter was born and now I think, this has been the most valuable gift.

What is it about– It is about a friend asking Chimamnda to tell her how to raise her baby girl into a strong, kind woman and make her aware from the very beginning that she is an equal gender neither superior or inferior.  In response to that the author writes her a letter which then got converted into a book (with details changed) The book is a serving map for all sorts of feminists.

What to expect– A new you, after reading this, you would wish your mom would have shared this book in your growing years. We are often told that being a mother is a greatest achievement for a woman. No one ever says that being a complete person is more than embracing motherhood. Motherhood or marriage is beautiful but not the sole definition of a complete woman.

We are often made to feel bad about chosing ourselves over others. Woman is epitome of sacrifice and generosity whereas just like any other human being, she can choose things that make her happy. Care giving and domestic works are usually female domains whereas they should be looked at as a life skill not a gender role. The book tells you that as a mother of a girl, we are constantly saying words like-“don’t do this” don’t touch, stop, be nice. This has become part of our conditioning that we have to raise poised girls and adventurous boys. Expect a lot of introspection with this book

What I like– Ijeawele writes in her response I will try following these suggestions and not that I will. I like that nothing is forced on both parties and in the end we are all trying our best as parents or more specifically as mothers. I liked the breakdown of the book in fifteen topics. The sharp prickling real life instances that almost every woman goes through in any part of the world for eg: A British newspaper described Philip May as a man who allowed his wife Theresa May- The British prime minister to shine. How even the topmost layer of so called progressive world are victims of a conditioned where women cannot share an equal stage with men.

What could be better– The idea of feminism to me is about equal rights for women. Somewhere we miss out on reaching out to men who are also stifled by patriarchy. There is no such term as “Menism” for them so I think such literature should not ignore men as victims who are made to believe that they don’t have option other than being strong.

Recommended– For every woman, every mother, every daughter and to the ones who think that feminism is about protest and candle marches!



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