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Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Top 10 Best Quotes

“Teach her that if you criticize X in women but do not criticize X in men, then you do not have a problem with X, you have a problem with women.”

“Your feminist premise should be: I matter. I matter equally. Not “if only.” Not “as long as.” I matter equally. Full stop.”

“The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina.”

“Teach her that the idea of 'gender roles' is absolute nonsense. Do not ever tell her that she should or should not do something because she is a girl. 'Because you are a girl' is never reason for anything. Ever.”

“People will selectively use “tradition” to justify anything.”

“Because when there is true equality, resentment does not exist.”

“Teach her about difference. Make difference ordinary. Make difference normal. Teach her not to attach value to difference. And the reason for this is not to be fair or to be nice but merely to be human and practical. Because difference is the reality of our world. And by teaching her about difference, you are equipping her to survive in a diverse world. She must know and understand that people walk different paths in the world and that as long as those paths do no harm to others, they are valid paths that she must respect. Teach her that we do not know – we cannot know – everything about life. Both religion and science have spaces for the things we do not know, and it is enough to make peace with that. Teach her never to universalise her own standards or experiences. Teach her that her standards are for her alone, and not for other people. This is the only necessary form of humility: the realisation that difference is normal.”

“Teach her to question language. Language is the repository of our prejudices, our beliefs, our assumptions.”

“Because you are a girl” is never a reason for anything. Ever.”

“If she likes makeup, let her wear it. If she likes fashion, let her dress up. But if she doesn’t like either, let her be. Don’t think that raising her feminist means forcing her to reject femininity. Feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive.”

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Book Keywords:

diversity, equality, inspirational, resentment, gender-roles, feminism

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