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Feminism with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian women, who, growing up, did not even realise she was a feminist. Her need to practice as a feminist without even realising the existence of the concept speaks to the fact that inequality, on whatever level, still intersects the lives of all of us. She speaks of ideas that are really important when thinking about what feminism really means, and the way in which it crosses our lives.

She points out that her experience of being a feminist started out quite differently. She was told that being a feminist is controversial, and ironically, a stance only taken by those who ‘have not found a husband.’ This interpretation of feminism is paradoxically then, un-feminist.

Feminism, for some people, is a hard concept to grasp. However, it is important to be a feminist for this very reason. Those who do not have the lived experience of identifying as female scarcely recognise the intricacies of inequality; a feminist voice works to unveil these. ‘There is a difference to know intellectually and to feel it’ (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)- being a feminist allows people to share the way they feel the patriarchy.

Adichie astutely points out that the person more likely to lead, is not the most assumed biologically strong. Feminism asks that our roles should be based on merit, rather than this social construction. Indeed, it is not the individual male that is the so-called problem. The patriarchy is a product of this social construction of a society which has allowed and facilitated, their dominance. Mona Eltahawy defines the patriarchy as an ideology, a system of oppression that privileges male dominance, systems such as capitalism, class, and faith.  

Being a feminist can work against this. An active mindset and way of life that works against the patriarchy ideology has the power to begin undoing these social norms, especially by bringing up children with the attitude that they are equal, allowing them to notice systems of domination, and avoid them. Being a feminist allows people to act freely on their own agency, without feeling constrained by the patriarchy; instead of allowing women to ‘turn pretence into an art form’.  


Jasmin Arciero

K College '21

I am a Liberal Arts Student, majoring in Geography, studying in London.
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