We Should All Be Feminists Quotes

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We Should All Be Feminists We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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We Should All Be Feminists Quotes (showing 1-30 of 234)
“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“Some people ask: “Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?” Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general—but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“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.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femaleness and my femininity. And I want to be respected in all of my femaleness because I deserve to be.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“A woman at a certain age who is unmarried, our society teaches her to see it as a deep personal failure. And a man, after a certain age isn’t married, we just think he hasn’t come around to making his pick.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“My own definition is a feminist is a man or a woman who says, yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better. All of us, women and men, must do better.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“We teach girls shame. “Close your legs. Cover yourself.” We make them feel as though being born female they’re already guilty of something. And so, girls grow up to be women who cannot say they have desire. They grow up to be women who silence themselves. They grow up to be women who cannot say what they truly think. And they grow up — and this is the worst thing we do to girls — they grow up to be women who have turned pretense into an art form.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“Masculinity is a hard, small cage, and we put boys inside this cage.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“Gender as it functions today is a grave injustice. I am angry. We should all be angry. Anger has a long history of bringing about positive change. But I am also hopeful, because I believe deeply in the ability of human beings to remake themselves for the better.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“And then we do a much greater disservice to girls, because we raise them to cater to the fragile egos of males. We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls: You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man. If you are the breadwinner in your relationship with a man, pretend that you are not, especially in public, otherwise you will emasculate him.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“I am angry. We should all be angry. Anger has a long history of bringing about positive change.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“A Nigerian acquaintance once asked me if I was worried that men would be intimidated by me. I was not worried at all—it had not even occurred to me to be worried, because a man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the kind of man I would have no interest in.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“I often make the mistake of thinking that something that is obvious to me is just as obvious to everyone else.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“I am trying to unlearn many lessons of gender I internalized while growing up. But I sometimes still feel vulnerable in the face of gender expectations.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“If we do something over and over, it becomes normal. If we see the same thing over and over, it becomes normal.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“A world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves. And this is how to start: We must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“The late Kenyan Nobel peace laureate Wangari Maathai put it simply and well when she said, the higher you go, the fewer women there are.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“I looked the word up in the dictionary, it said: Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. My great-grandmother, from stories I’ve heard, was a feminist. She ran away from the house of the man she did not want to marry and married the man of her choice. She refused, protested, spoke up when she felt she was being deprived of land and access because she was female. She did not know that word feminist. But it doesn’t mean she wasn’t one. More of us should reclaim that word. The best feminist I know is my brother Kene, who is also a kind, good-looking, and very masculine young man. My own definition is a feminist is a man or a woman who says, yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better. All of us, women and men, must do better.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“But by far the worst thing we do to males—by making them feel they have to be hard—is that we leave them with very fragile egos. The harder a man feels compelled to be, the weaker his ego is.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“What struck me—with her and with many other female American friends I have—is how invested they are in being “liked.” How they have been raised to believe that their being likable is very important and that this “likable” trait is a specific thing. And that specific thing does not include showing anger or being aggressive or disagreeing too loudly. 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.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“What if, in raising children, we focus on ability instead of gender? What if we focus on interest instead of gender?”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“Gender matters everywhere in the world. And I would like today to ask that we begin to dream about and plan for a different world. A fairer world. A world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves. And this is how to start: We must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“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.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“Some people ask: “Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?” Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general—but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women. That the problem was not about being human, but specifically about being a female human. For centuries, the world divided human beings into two groups and then proceeded to exclude and oppress one group. It is only fair that the solution to the problem acknowledge that.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“The first time I taught a writing class in graduate school, I was worried. Not about the teaching material, because I was well prepared and I was teaching what I enjoyed. Instead I was worried about what to wear. I wanted to be taken seriously. I knew that because I was female, I would automatically have to prove my worth. And I was worried that if I looked too feminine, I would not be taken seriously. I really wanted to wear my shiny lip gloss and my girly skirt, but I decided not to. I wore a very serious, very manly, and very ugly suit. The sad truth of the matter is that when it comes to appearance, we start off with men as the standard, as the norm. Many of us think that the less feminine a woman appears, the more likely she is to be taken seriously. A man going to a business meeting doesn’t wonder about being taken seriously based on what he is wearing—but a woman does.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“I like politics and history and am happiest when having a good argument about ideas.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
“The sad truth of the matter is that when it comes to appearance, we start off with men as the standard, as the norm. Many of us think that the less feminine a woman appears, the more likely she is to be taken seriously. A man going to a business meeting doesn’t wonder about being taken seriously based on what he is wearing—but a woman does.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

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