We Should All Be Feminists

We Should All Be Feminists

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


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The highly acclaimed, provocative New York Times bestseller from the award-winning author of Americanah, “one of the world’s great contemporary writers” (Barack Obama).

In this personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from the much-admired TEDx talk of the same name—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 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 deep 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101911761
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/03/2015
Pages: 64
Sales rank: 14,997
Product dimensions: 4.40(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the author of award-winning and bestselling novels, including Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun, and the short story collection The Thing Around Your Neck. A recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she divides her time between the United States and Nigeria.

Read an Excerpt

We Should All Be Feminists

By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Random House LLC

Copyright © 2015 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-101-91176-1


This is a modified version of a talk I delivered in December 2012 at TEDxEuston, a yearly conference focused on Africa. Speakers from diverse fields deliver concise talks aimed at challenging and inspiring Africans and friends of Africa. I had spoken at a different TED conference a few years before, giving a talk titled 'The Danger of the Single Story' about how stereotypes limit and shape our thinking, especially about Africa. It seems to me that the word feminist, and the idea of feminism itself, is also limited by stereotypes. When my brother Chuks and best friend Ike, both co-organizers of the TEDxEuston conference, insisted that I speak, I could not say no. I decided to speak about feminism because it is something I feel strongly about. I suspected that it might not be a very popular subject, but I hoped to start a necessary conversation. And so that evening as I stood onstage, I felt as though I was in the presence of family – a kind and attentive audience, but one that might resist the subject of my talk. At the end, their standing ovation gave me hope.

* * *


Okoloma was one of my greatest childhood friends. He lived on my street and looked after me like a big brother: if I liked a boy, I would ask Okoloma's opinion. Okoloma was funny and intelligent and wore cowboy boots that were pointy at the tips. In December 2005, in a plane crash in southern Nigeria, Okoloma died. It is still hard for me to put into words how I felt. Okoloma was a person I could argue with, laugh with and truly talk to. He was also the first person to call me a feminist.

I was about fourteen. We were in his house, arguing, both of us bristling with half- baked knowledge from the books we had read. I don't remember what this particular argument was about. But I remember that as I argued and argued, Okoloma looked at me and said, 'You know, you're a feminist.'

It was not a compliment. I could tell from his tone – the same tone with which a person would say, 'You're a supporter of terrorism.'

I did not know exactly what this word feminist meant. And I did not want Okoloma to know that I didn't know. So I brushed it aside and continued to argue. The first thing I planned to do when I got home was look up the word in the dictionary.

Now fast-forward to some years later. In 2003, I wrote a novel called Purple Hibiscus, about a man who, among other things, beats his wife, and whose story doesn't end too well. While I was promoting the novel in Nigeria, a journalist, a nice, well-meaning man, told me he wanted to advise me. (Nigerians, as you might know, are very quick to give unsolicited advice.)

He told me that people were saying my novel was feminist, and his advice to me – he was shaking his head sadly as he spoke – was that I should never call myself a feminist, since feminists are women who are unhappy because they cannot find husbands.

So I decided to call myself a Happy Feminist.


Excerpted from We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Copyright © 2015 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Excerpted by permission of Random House LLC.
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We Should All Be Feminists 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
DraconisRW More than 1 year ago
By defining feminism and what it is to be a woman in the world, Adichie sends forth both comfort and a challenge. Once when I was young, my great-grandmother told me about our city before pavement, and how they were sure cars would never last because they were impractical. Had the world listened, instead of putting down pavement, we'd all still be walking or riding horses. Women today too often accept the dated definition of what it is to be female, and content themselves with walking the dirt roads when there is a better way. It requires changes. It isn't easy. It will never be easy. The day we think it is, we will have forgotten how much was given to have it. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is NOT a chapter from another work. Pay attention to what you are reading! This is taken from a lecture she gave on Feminism. Well written, easy to understand, brilliantly stated. ~*~LEB~*~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A perfect way of saying what I have been thinking all this time. She takes the very definition of feminism and explains it. Many can understand what it means to be a feminist and why it is so important just by reading this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book is great video on youtube more profound
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good read for people who are just stepping into the conversation on femenism.
TulaneGirl More than 1 year ago
Yes. We should all be feminists. And, really, that's all that must be said. But of course, there's nuance and Adichie provides it in this beautiful essay. Loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brief, precise, fantastic piece.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very easy read. It easily explains what 'feminism' actually means rather than what the world has corrupted the word to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lovely and thought-provoking. Everyone should read this.
smg5775 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We shoukd
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just a chapter from a bigger book? I am panning every "vintage short" I see.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago