we should all be feminists-chimamanda ngozi adichie

“What if, in raising children, we focus on ability instead of gender? What if we focus on interest instead of gender?” (36)

the house of gourmet doesn’t play. neither does adichie. i am in full hibernation mode, catching up on library materials, but i can’t lie-that little sliver of a book was so irresistible to me as i decided to make a brief foray out to run a few errands after days of being at home napping with the cat.

based on her ted talk (and sampled by beyonce in the most puzzling fashion), it is concise and exquisitely written (like everything else in her catalogue), and i finished it before i even got off the streetcar.

i rarely have nothing to read or listen to, but i welcomed the chance to eat without any other focus other than my food. i believe i first came to the house of gourmet with matty and james years ago, for their snack special. i was there most recently with amarfy after the dreamboat, er, joseph boyden talk at the ago. i had pledged to return because i wanted that dang hot hk milk tea, and got a giant plate of curry chicken and rice and free soup to boot. it was the singapore vermicelli that i wanted, but that was the later special, and i had intentions on being home for another nap.

“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.” (27)

“We teach females that in relationships, compromise is what a woman is more likely to do.” (31)

the tables were full to the hilt, and i was seated at a giant round one with other assorted loners. there were a few women and a few old men. the diners changed over a few times before i could finish my plate. i mildly regretted not having a distraction because the old man to my right kept making this motoring groaning sounds, not unlike the cat.

“(Why, by the way, do these hotels not focus on the demand for sex workers instead of the ostensible supply)” (19)

“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 gneral-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 should acknowledge that.” (41)

“And that is part of the problem. That many men do not actively /think/ about gender or notice gender. That many men say, like my friend Louis did, that things might have been bad in the past but everything is fine now. And that many men do nothing to change it. If you are a man and you walk into a restaurant and the waiter greets just you, does it occur to you to ask the waiter, ‘Why have you not greeted her?’ Men need to speak out in all of these ostensibly small situations.” (42-3)

and, blow. making feminism is for everybody look like bitch, i’m madonna.


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