Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie casually dropped “a new piece” on her Facebook page.
In a series of “fifteen suggestions,” Adichie unveiled a “feminist manifesto” on how to raise a child. Written as if responding to an advice column, Adichie lays out the must-read-now commandments that every parent needs to raise a little feminist – girl or boy.
“Dear Ijeawele,” the letter starts, congratulating her friend on her newborn daughter, Chizalum. Adichie then premises the manifesto with two “Feminist Tools” as a starting point – one’s premise and role reversal – before diving into the suggestions:
“Be a full person; Do it together; Teach her that ‘gender roles is absolute nonsense; Beware the danger of what I call Feminism Lite; Teach Chizalum to read; Teach her to question language; Never speak of marriage as an achievement; Teach her to reject likeability; Give Chizalum a sense of identity; Be deliberate about how you engage with her and her appearance; Teach her to question our culture’s selective use of biology as ‘reasons’ for social norms; Talk to her about sex and start early; Romance will happen so be on board; In teaching her about oppression, be careful not to turn the oppressed into saints; Teach her about difference.”
But that’s just the surface. Each suggestion comes with in-depth advice exploring the facets of her recommendation, making this piece poignant, nuanced and so necessary. Read the manifesto – “DEAR IJEAWELE, OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS” – in full, here.
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