Dear Ijeawele, or, A feminist manifesto in fifteen suggestions
written by Chimamauda Ngozi Adichi
I read this book during one sitting (about 45 minutes). Do not let the simplistic text and small size fool you. This book is beautiful and can be used as a reference for life. Brilliant. Recommended reading for ANYONE (regardless if you are raising a girl, a boy or raising yourself to become more aware). The excerpts below are all the author's words, notes I took while reading this book:
I matter equally. Full stop.
Be a full person.
...what matters is what you want for yourself, and not what others want you to want.
Give yourself room to fail.
...when there is true equality, resentment does not exist.
Do not ever tell her that she should or should not do something.
...question the idea of marriage as a prize.
"Gender-neutral" is silly.
Do not measure her on a scale of what a girl should be. Measure her on a scale of being the best version of herself.
"Allow" is a troubling word. Allow is about power.
We have been so conditioned to think of power as male.
If she were not to go to school, and merely just read books, she would arguably become more knowledgeable than a conventionally educated child.
...what you say to your child matters.
I do not believe that marriage is something we should teach growing girls to aspire to.
Her job is to be her full self.
Teach her that she is not merely an object to be liked or disliked, she is also a subject who can like and dislike.
Give (her) a sense of identity.
Don't think that raising a feminist means forcing her to reject femininity.
I cannot overstate the power of alternatives.
Social norms are created by human beings and there is no social norm that cannot be changed.
It's not enough to say you want to raise a daughter who can tell you anything; You have to give her the language to talk to you.
To make sure she doesn't inherit shame from you, you have to free yourself of your own inherited shame.
The shame we attach to female sexuality is about control.
Every conversation about virginity becomes a conversation about shame.
In a healthy relationship, it is the role of whoever can provide to provide.
Make difference ordinary. Make difference normal.