I always listen to podcasts as I’m falling asleep at night, often it’s the BBC’s Woman’s Hour. Last week they did an interview with author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and instead of falling asleep I sat upright. Everything she said was right and inspiring and smart. You should totally listen to it, but here are the key parts incase you always fall asleep listening to podcasts too.
On Make- Up:
Adichie was talking to Woman’s Hour primarily because she has just linked up with Boots make-up range No. 7. She explains that when she moved to the US she internalised the idea that,
“if a woman wants to be taken seriously she can’t seem to care too much about her appearance.”
As she grew older and became more comfortable in her own skin, she began to care less what other people think and began to wear make up and take more pride in her appearance.
Adichie kept her own pregnancy private – she says she didn’t want to perform pregnancy, she didn’t want to play the game. She criticises the way women are expected to perform parenthood in a way men are not.
On Raising Feminist Daughters:
Adichie says we teach girls to mould themselves into shapes to make themselves more likeable, and that the best thing we can do to a raise feminist daughters is to reject the idea of likeability.
On Raising Feminist Sons:
If your son falls, and is hurt. Let him cry, don’t tell him to be a man. Adichie says we need to redefine masculinity.
If you believe men and women are equal, that is the fundamental starting point to feminism. Beyond that, Adichie believes, people have different kinds of feminism, or aspects which are more important to them than others.
Adichie identifies as a feminist writer, a black writer, a woman writer, an Igbo writer. She underscores that these are not single things, they all intersect with one another, and the important thing is that she gets to define them.