A few weeks ago, I had read two books by the Nigerian author and speaker Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. There were a lot of quotes in these two books that I loved, and I decided to share them with you guys! If you wanna check these books out, I’ve left the links.
I matter. I matter equally. Not “if only.” Not “as long as.” I matter equally. Full stop.
“Because you are a girl” is never a reason for anything. Ever.
Of course I am angry. I am angry about racism. I am angry about sexism. But I recently came to the realization that I am angrier about sexism than I am about racism. Because in my anger about sexism, I often feel lonely. Because I love, and live among, many people who easily acknowledge race injustice but not gender injustice.
Teach her never, ever to say such nonsense as “my money is my money and his money is our money.” It is vile. And dangerous—to have that attitude means that you must potentially accept other harmful ideas as well. Teach her that it is NOT a man’s role to provide. In a healthy relationship, it is the role of whoever can provide to provide.
And speaking of shame—never, ever link sexuality and shame. Or nakedness and shame. Do not ever make “virginity” a focus. Every conversation about virginity becomes a conversation about shame. Teach her to reject the linking of shame and female biology.
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.
Masculinity is a hard, small cage, and we put boys inside this cage.
We teach girls shame. “Close your legs. Cover yourself.” We make them feel as though being born female they’re already guilty of something. And so, girls grow up to be women who cannot say they have desire. They grow up to be women who silence themselves. They grow up to be women who cannot say what they truly think. And they grow up — and this is the worst thing we do to girls — they grow up to be women who have turned pretense into an art form.
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.
We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller.
If we do something over and over, it becomes normal. If we see the same thing over and over, it becomes normal. If only boys are made class monitor, then at some point we will all think, even if unconsciously, that the class monitor has to be a boy.
If we keep seeing only men as heads of corporations, it starts to seem “natural” that only men should be heads of corporations.
So, that is all for now. Did you like these quotes? If you did, you should totally check out these books on Goodreads and read them and share your thoughts with me!
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