TED talk “We should all be feminists” made by a Nigerian activist and writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is about how hard is to achieve equal rights for men and women in our society. While the author shares her experiences of facing gender-based discrimination and those of her friends and family in Nigeria, the issues presented in the book are still universal in the sense, people across the world can relate to them.
Feminism is often considered as an idea that tries to brainwash females to exert power over males. When you say I’m feminist, it’s some kind of provocative statement. Often society strictly judges you for being a feminist or just saying that you are one. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie shared an incident when she was called a feminist in her childhood by her male best friend. “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.’”
Lot of people argue today about feminism. Almost everybody knows what women should do, when they should get married and have kids, but society never talks about what men should do, because society is more likely to judge women, not men – it’s believed that men always know what to do but women need to be learnt. The real question is why? Why women should be told about what to do and how to live?
There are lot of examples of how women suffered from society’s wrong views. Even in our century there are lot of cases of forced marriages, the glass ceiling at work is only beginning of sexism and non-equal rights between men and women. Women in the North Caucasus, especially in its eastern republics of Dagestan, Chechnya and Ingushetia, routinely have their freedom limited and their potential suppressed. Bridal kidnapping and child marriages are realities that threaten the lives of many girls and women
Some people believe that feminists are the women who hate men, the idea of marriage, their culture and jokes. Other assumptions include that feminists are always angry; they do not want children and they hate makeup.
There are two aspects of understanding feminism. The stereotypical idea of feminism and real definition of it.
To my mind, feminism helps not only women but men too. Equality is not only for a women, we are all human beings and all of us deserve equal rights.
Feminists believe in the freedom of choice – which can be extended to marriage, to have children or not, to wear makeup or not, etc. Adichie lives her principles and her story every day through the way she dresses up, carries herself and tells her stories.
The shocking truth is that even though 52% of world population are women, highly paid jobs mostly are taken from man. Chimamanda shares her story about incident in primary school when despite of the fact that she got highest score in the test, teacher chose her male classmate to be class monitor only because he was male. So, incidents like this doesn’t happen only when you are at primary school. It continues even after primary and high school, and it’s called “Glass Ceiling”. Glass Ceiling is a metaphor referring to an artificial barrier that prevents women from being promoted to managerial- and executive-level positions within an organization. Kenyan Nobel peace laurate Wangari Maathai put it simply and said “The higher you go, the fewer women there are.”
A few days ago I watched Netflix TV series named as ‘Queens Gambit’. Its about an orphan girl who is a chess prodigy. Main character named Beth faced lot of contrarieties for being good at playing chess. In the early years of her career she was judged from people around, because chess was not considered as a game for women. This show is a great example of true feminism and it shows that gender doesn’t matter when it comes to intelligence. So, the only thing we have left is to normalise that women can be smart, women can be successful and there is no gender barrier doing and being your best.
We need to raise awarness about equal rights and true feminism to make a world a better place for all of us.