Stuart C. Wilson

You have to go to Chimamanda’s Facebook page right now.

Toni Akindele
Oct, 13, 2016

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie casually dropped “a new piece” on her Facebook page.

In a series of “fifteen suggestions,” Adichie unveiled a “feminist manifesto” on how to raise a child. Written as if responding to an advice column, Adichie lays out the must-read-now commandments that every parent needs to raise a little feminist – girl or boy.

“Dear Ijeawele,” the letter starts, congratulating her friend on her newborn daughter, Chizalum. Adichie then premises the manifesto with two “Feminist Tools” as a starting point – one’s premise and role reversal – before diving into the suggestions:

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"Be a full person; Do it together; Teach her that ‘gender roles is absolute nonsense; Beware the danger of what I call Feminism Lite; Teach Chizalum to read; Teach her to question language; Never speak of marriage as an achievement; Teach her to reject likeability; Give Chizalum a sense of identity; Be deliberate about how you engage with her and her appearance; Teach her to question our culture’s selective use of biology as ‘reasons’ for social norms; Talk to her about sex and start early; Romance will happen so be on board; In teaching her about oppression, be careful not to turn the oppressed into saints; Teach her about difference."

But that’s just the surface. Each suggestion comes with in-depth advice exploring the facets of her recommendation, making this piece poignant, nuanced and so necessary. Read the manifesto – “DEAR IJEAWELE, OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS” –  in full, here.

You’re welcome.