BOOK REVIEW – DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO.

Dear Ijeawele or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions is written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

The title of the book Dear Ijeawele or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions is a letter addressed to her friend Ijeawele on how to raise her daughter Chizalum as a feminist. It is an elaboration of We Should all be Feminists also written by her.

The book is a short and fun read, you can finish it in 30 minutes if you won’t check your phone every 2 minutes while reading.

The book package is enticing, the purple cover, the orange and yellow used to inscribe the name of the writer and title of the book.

The 63 pages book gives different suggestions about how a parent can raise up their daughter a feminist. It talks about how parents shouldn’t impose a toy, chore or idea on their child based on their sex. It opposes the “doll for girls, cars for boys” “pink for girls, blue for boys” mentality.

It treats the issue of sex and sexuality as well, how to make girls embrace the hormonal changes in their body and not made to see it as something abnormal. The need for parents to educate their female children on sex the way they would educate the male child.

It also treat the issue of gender roles and how parents shouldn’t stop their daughter from doing certain things just because “she is a girl”.

Dear Ijeawele delves into culture, society, family, ideas and education. It sets the record straight about the misinterpretation of feminism and feminists as people who “hate men, hate bras, hate African culture, hate makeup, think women should always be on charge, don’t have a sense of humour or use a deodorant”. The book encompass being a woman and being an African woman at the same time with it treatment of the issue of natural hair “… Make chizalum’s hair loose – big plaits and big cornrows, and don’t use a tiny-toothed comb that wasn’t made with our hair texture in mind.” imagine if our mothers had read this letter? perhaps we wouldn’t need to play hide and seek when it was time to go and meet the Onidiri, the women that plait hair in makeshift shops, perhaps toddlers with blooming kinky hair wouldn’t cry the whole time as the Onidiri Jenks the hair as she combs it roughly with a tiny-toothed comb, perhaps our mothers wouldn’t have to spend so much on candies, chewing gums, coconut candies and all sort of sweet stuff just to stop the tears. Perhaps weekends wouldn’t be a day of dread to girls because of their hair.

The book is not just a letter addressed to a Dear Friend. It is a stepping stone to what feminism is according to Adichie, if you think you know nothing about feminism, Dear Ijeawele is a good read.

You can get your copy of Dear Ijeawele at Amazon.

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