“I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femininity. And I want to be respected in all my femaleness. Because I deserve to be. I like politics and history and am happiest when having a good argument about ideas. I am girly. I am happily girly. I like high heels and trying on lipsticks. It’s nice to be complimented by both men and women (although I have to be honest and say that I prefer the compliments of stylish women), but I often wear clothes that men don’t like or don’t ‘understand’. I wear them because I like them and because I feel good in them. The ‘male gaze’, as a shaper of my life’s choices, is largely incidental.”
– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
If you haven’t read ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ yet, you need to get on it! ‘We Should All be Feminists’ explains all those times you knew something was off with people’s ‘it’s because you’re a girl/woman’ insinuations but couldn’t quite pinpoint why it didn’t feel right; comments from both genders incidentally. The book is a quick 20-30 minute poignant read and makes you think, and rethink, and think!
I’ll definitely let my sons read it in a few years. Although to be fair to the offspring, my older son is already a feminist in his own weird, very boy way. He doesn’t think that boys should have to hold doors for girls because they can do it themselves…insert my “frowny, why can’t you just hold the door and not have an opinion” face here. BUT, weirdly this has empowered my niece (whom he was instructed to hold the door for), to get the door for herself. I told her that if a guy holds the door for her in the future just know he’s going out of his way to be a little extra gentleman-y. She nodded and doesn’t wait for the boys anymore. If you have daughters from the tween years up, they should definitely read this book.
A snippet from the book on raising your girls:
“We spend too much time teaching girls to worry about what boys think of them. But the reverse is not the case. We don’t teach boys to care about being likable. We spend too much time telling girls that they cannot be angry or aggressive or tough, which is bad enough, but then we turn around and either praise or excuse men for the same reasons. All over the world, there are so many magazine articles and books telling women what to do, how to be and not to be, in order to attract or please men. There are far fewer guides for men about pleasing women.”
READ. THIS. BOOK.
And see if the males in your life will give it a read too. It’s food for thought for everyone.