Dear Ijeawele, Or A Feminist Manifesto In Fifteen Suggestions is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s latest book. The book is dedicated to two special women in Chimamanda’s life, Uju Egonu and Ogechkwu Ikemelu, Chimamanda’s baby sister. The book is a reply to a letter from the writer’s childhood friend on how to raise a baby girl as a feminist.
The reply to the letter which came in the form of a Facebook post in October last year gave 15 steps on how to raise the girl child. The response was well received on social media. The book is a continuation of the letter.
According to Penguin Random House, here are 15 invaluable suggestions–compelling, direct, wryly funny, and perceptive–for how to empower a daughter to become a strong, independent woman. From encouraging her to choose a helicopter, and not only a doll, as a toy if she so desires; having open conversations with her about clothes, makeup, and sexuality. It debunks the myth that women are somehow biologically arranged to be in the kitchen making dinner, and that men can “allow” women to have full careers. Dear Ijeawele goes right to the heart of sexual politics in the 21st century. It will start a new and urgently needed conversation about what it really means to be a woman today.
Many of Chimamanda’s fans posted pictures of themselves holding banners with quotes from the book, accompanied with the hashtag #weshouldallbefeminists.
According to a recent interview with the Guardian, the new book explores double standards, including those governing the images of motherhood and fatherhood. Chimamanda was further quoted as saying, “I think we need to stop giving men cookies for doing what they should do.” She went on to explain that her husband, who needs less sleep than her, tends to get up in the night to tend to the baby. “On the one hand, I realise that my husband is unusual; on the other, I feel resentful when he’s overpraised by my family and friends. He’s like Jesus.” She further added, “I did all the physical work to produce her! There’s something fundamentally wrong with the way we’ve constructed what it means to be female in the world.”
Chimamanda has become a major voice in gender and sex issues.