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.