The potential of this theme ‘Women & their work’ is only just revealing itself to me. Until now, I have mostly covered normal everyday women. Why not someone famous? Have you heard of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie? Well, I fell in love with her voice and her ideas when I happened to chance on her TED talk. Have you read or heard something whose every single word struck a chord in your heart? Something that made you laugh and resulted in a sprained neck(from nodding too quickly and for too long)? That is what her words did to me.

Feminism is something I have started slowly identifying with but only recently. Till then, I associated it with something negative. If feminism is considered a “bad” word, should we just go ahead and replace it with Equalism instead?(credits for the idea: dearest husband). Because that is what it is at its core anyway. What I find difficult is voicing my feminist opinions in front of everyone. The reason? It is considered impolite(and Namratha, my name means humility and politeness, so… ). Walking the talk is even more difficult. That is why I want to acknowledge voices like those of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie(whose name I still can’t pronounce correctly), who are self-proclaimed feminists and are proud of it. This is how she describes herself:

“A ‘Happy’ ‘African’ feminist who does not hate men and who likes lipgloss, who wears high heels for herself but not for men”.

(What to know why and laugh a little? See the 2:00 to 3:41 of the video)

She is the author of a number of books including Americanah, Half of an Yellow Sun, The Thing Around Your Neck & more. All have gone into my reading list because I loved this letter to her friend on how to raise a feminist daughter: “DEAR IJEAWELE, OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS“.

Chimamanda is the face of feminism in Africa. India is yet to find an icon for feminism(as aptly put by Chandni). We do hope more famous as well as common Indian women(men are invited to join the party) begin to advocate feminism, not only for the promotion of their movies or political goals, but for true gender equality.

Feminist: A Voice: #AtoZChallenge
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27 thoughts on “Feminist: A Voice: #AtoZChallenge

  • April 7, 2017 at 8:43 am
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    Very interesting post. Adiche is very charming and strong, I identify a lot with her , proud to be feminist.

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    • April 7, 2017 at 11:46 am
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      Thanks Pooja:) Adiche is dynamic!

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  • April 7, 2017 at 12:59 pm
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    Hello, fellow A-to-Zer! I am returning your visit, and I am so glad I did! What an interesting woman– I did not know about her before. Great stuff! I will be back for more.

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    • April 7, 2017 at 4:33 pm
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      Thanks for visiting and glad you liked it:)

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    • April 7, 2017 at 4:47 pm
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      Maybe it will be better received:)

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    • April 8, 2017 at 10:07 am
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      Yep! We should definitely all dress up as feminine as we want to be, and just for ourselves and not for all the world.

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  • April 7, 2017 at 9:28 pm
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    Unfortunately, you are right at the end.. we don’t have the ‘right’ kind of feminist face yet here in India. The Chimamanda or Maya Angelou … we just don’t seem to be able to get that winner. How sad is that? 600 million and we can’t get the equation right.

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    • April 8, 2017 at 10:05 am
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      Love Maya Angelou as well. Yes, we are yet to find a face to represent feminism here.

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  • April 7, 2017 at 9:58 pm
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    Great post. Feminism is mostly a misunderstood topic. Most people who consider themselves feminist don’t even understand what it actually stands for. Proud of you. Keep at it.

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    • April 8, 2017 at 10:06 am
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      Thanks. I am still slowly comprehending what it practically stands for.

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    • April 8, 2017 at 9:59 am
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      Thank you. Will definitely visit yours.

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  • April 8, 2017 at 12:06 am
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    currently everyone claims to be a feminist without even knowing what feminism is! She fits the bill though!

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    • April 8, 2017 at 9:59 am
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      Yes. She is truly one of the voices of feminism.

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    • April 8, 2017 at 11:53 am
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      Thank you Tina. I love how well she drives home the point with simple examples derived from everyday life. Will surely take a look at your blog

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  • April 8, 2017 at 3:26 pm
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    Feminism is not understood well still, sadly. It is not about male bashing but about equality. I like what Chimamanda said about liking lip gloss and wearing high heels for herself.

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    • April 8, 2017 at 10:09 pm
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      Yes Shilpa. Feminist do not ask for more, just for their equal share. Equal rights, equal respect, equal pay and the like. Which is construed as too extreme.

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  • April 8, 2017 at 4:45 pm
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    Thanks Namratha, your words are like you took them out of my mouth. Adichie is amazing and I had seen the video and loves it, somehow i also used to be confused about the conotations of the word feminism and all that it holds, but have just started to embrace it fully, it is diff for all of us, but i think in the end it is about equalism. I am writing short stories for the #atozchallenge, do stop by if you can https://smitasangle.wordpress.com/2017/04/08/b-is-for-bangles-a-tale-of-a-bride-dowry-atozchallenge/

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    • April 8, 2017 at 10:10 pm
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      A kindred spirit! Will surely stop by Smita:)

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  • April 13, 2017 at 8:06 pm
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    A few years back, Emma Watson gave a speech at the U.N. to kick off her “He for She” campaign to get more men involved in feminism. I still think “He for She” is a silly name, but I very much appreciated the sentiment behind it and behind Watson’s speech. That was sort of a turning point for me, as a man, to start saying, “Yes, I am a feminist,” because sexism in our society hurts all of us, not just women.

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    • April 15, 2017 at 11:15 am
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      Even with the ‘silly’ name, we could always use more voices. And when men talk on behalf of women the message is better received!

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      • April 15, 2017 at 8:33 pm
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        It really seems to take people by surprise when I, as a man, describe myself as a feminist, as though a male feminist is a contradiction in terms. I hope that the surprise is enough to make some people rethink their assumptions about feminism.

        So I set aside some time last night to watch the Adichie video (it’s a longer video, so I wanted to make sure I had time to watch it uninterrupted). Her comments about how boys are discouraged from learning to cook really made me smile.

        This is a woman I will be paying more attention to in the future. Watson touches on some of the same issues, but I really appreciate how Adichie went into so much more detail and made her stories so much more personal.

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        • April 15, 2017 at 9:41 pm
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          I totally admire male feminists. I have met a couple of online bloggers like yourself who identify with the term. Always happy to know one. And I am glad you took the time to watch the Adiche video: it is long but she makes great daily life references which really drives home the point.

          Reply

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