Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions Book Summary - Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions Book explained in key points
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Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions summary

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Empower yourself, empower your daughter

4.4 (39 ratings)
26 mins

Brief summary

'Dear Ijeawele' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a brief, yet powerful, guide on how to raise daughters as feminists. The book offers 15 practical and profound suggestions for nurturing young girls.

Table of Contents

    Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions
    Summary of 10 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 10

    You should be a full person, defined by more than just motherhood.

    Like it or not, our children will follow our example. How you see yourself will determine how your daughter sees herself. That’s why it’s important to remember you’re a full human being – being a mother doesn’t define you.

    The most obvious way to do this is to reject the idea that you have to choose between motherhood and work. In many societies, people will tell you women shouldn’t work because it’s not how things are traditionally done. But the only thing that matters is that you are happy with your decision. It’s also worth noting that the “tradition” or history of women not working isn’t that long. In some areas of Nigeria, trading was done exclusively by women, meaning Igbo families usually had two incomes. That only changed with British colonialism.

    One great example of a woman who balanced work and family is American journalist Marlene Sanders. Not only was she the first woman to report on the Vietnam war from inside Vietnam – she did it while raising her son. She believed women should never have to apologize for working, and once advised a younger journalist that loving what you do is a gift to your child.

    But what if you don’t love your job? There are still plenty of other advantages to work, such as confidence and the sense of achievement that comes with earning an income. Most importantly, you should make an effort to remain a full person by making sure your needs are met and by pursuing your passions.

    Of course, it’s hard to take care of yourself when you’re looking after a child – especially in the early weeks. You can’t do everything. But what you can do is be kind to yourself and ask for help when you need it. One way to be kind is to allow yourself to fail. There’s no one way to be a parent, and there is no shame in making mistakes. Nor is there shame in turning to friends, family or even the internet for advice.

    Finally, you should never see yourself as a woman “doing it all.” The idea of doing it all – work and parenting – is based on the sexist view that childcare and domestic work is inherently female. That said, this doesn’t mean you can’t be proud of what you do.

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    What is Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions about?

    Dear Ijeawele (2017) is a series of suggestions for raising young girls to be strong, independent women. A few years ago, a childhood friend of author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie asked her advice on a very important topic – how to raise her daughter to be a feminist. Her friend was called Ijeawele, and this book is the author’s response.

    Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions Review

    Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions (2017) is a thought-provoking book that offers invaluable insights into gender inequality and how to raise feminist children. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • It provides compelling, practical suggestions on how to empower both girls and boys, helping parents shape a more equal society.
    • Based on personal experiences and conversations, the book offers relatable stories that drive home important feminist principles.
    • With its accessible, conversational tone, the book manages to engage readers and keeps them invested in the topic of feminism.

    Best quote from Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

    Teach her that she is not merely an object to be liked or disliked, she is also a subject who can like or dislike.

    —Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    example alt text

    Who should read Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions?

    • Feminists
    • Parents of daughters
    • Men looking for insight into what it’s like to grow up as a girl

    About the Author

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian author. Her previous books include Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah. In 2012, she gave the TEDx talk, “We Should all be Feminists.” In 2014, this was published as an essay in a standalone volume. Adichie was awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant in 2008.

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    Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions FAQs 

    What is the main message of Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions?

    Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions empowers women to raise their daughters as feminists in a patriarchal society.

    How long does it take to read Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions?

    The reading time for Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions varies, but the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions is a must-read for anyone interested in gender equality and raising feminist children.

    Who is the author of Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions?

    The author of Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

    What to read after Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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