n. feminist: a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.
“Gender matters everywhere in the world. And I would like today to ask that we should begin to dream about and plan for a different world. A fairer world. A world of happier women who are truer to themselves. And this is how to start: we must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently.”
I have just read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “We Should All Be Feminists”. What strikes me immediately is how obvious gender discrimination is embedded in her Nigerian culture. I like to think, coming from an international, mostly Western upbringing, that things for me, as a twenty-eight-year-old woman, are very different. Do I worry about the superiority of men? To be honest, it does not affect me. I do not feel obliged to get married. I do not feel that my partner is any more superior than I am. He does not get greeted in restaurants while I am ignored. We split our expenses evenly, even though in terms of family financial support he is the worse off, but better off in terms of salary. So, where does feminism come into my life? As an unemployed, unmarried female with Bipolar Affective Disorder I have thought about whether my condition, as both unmarried and a Bipolar, has been unfavourable to my working life. I do acknowledge that in most career fields it is the men that climb the ladder to management and the women who get paid less with fewer opportunities. Although I have not found this to affect my career, I do feel that there is nevertheless a gender injustice in our society. I also acknowledge that women are worse off in places like India where gang rape is a frequent occurrence, or in the Masaai tribes of Kenya and Tanzania who are traded amongst the men like cattle. All I can hope for is that, as Chimamanda says, that we raise children who are different; who are feminists.