Introduction This is a modified version of a talk I delivered in December 2012 at TEDxEuston, a yearly conference focused on Africa.
Okoloma was one of my greatest childhood friends.
These are little things, but sometimes it is the little things that sting the most.
Masculinity is a hard, small cage, and we put boys inside this cage.
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.
And then we do a much greater disservice to girls, because we raise them to cater to the fragile egos of males.
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.
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.
In this essay -- adapted from her TEDx talk of the same name -- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, award-winning author of Americanah, offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness. Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author's exploration of what it means to be a woman now -- and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.… (more)