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Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie - Family - Nairaland

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Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by FrancisTony: 9:24am On May 30, 2015



On May 29, 2015, writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie addressed the class of 2015 at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
[size=20pt]Below, an excerpt of her remarks to the women graduating this year.[/size]

I wasn’t very interested in makeup until I was in my twenties, which is when I began to wear makeup. Because of a man. A loud, unpleasant man. He was one of the guests at a friend’s dinner party. I was also a guest. I was about 23, but people often told me I looked 12. The conversation at dinner was about traditional Igbo culture, about the custom that allows only men to break the kola nut, and the kola nut is a deeply symbolic part of Igbo cosmology.
I argued that it would be better if that honor were based on achievement rather than gender, and he looked at me and said, dismissively, “You don’t know what you are talking about, you’re a small girl.”
I wanted him to disagree with the substance of my argument, but by looking at me, young and female, it was easy for him to dismiss what I said. So I decided to try to look older.
So I thought lipstick might help. And eyeliner.
And I am grateful to that man because I have since come to love makeup, and its wonderful possibilities for temporary transformation.
So, I have not told you this anecdote as a way to illustrate my discovery of gender injustice. If anything, it’s really just an ode to makeup.
It’s really just to say that this: your graduation is a good time to buy some lipsticks—if makeup is your sort of thing—because a good shade of lipstick can always put you in a slightly better mood on dark days.
It’s not about my discovering gender injustice because of course I had discovered years before then. From childhood. From watching the world.
I already knew that the world does not extend to women the many small courtesies that it extends to men.
I also knew that victimhood is not a virtue. That being discriminated against does not make you somehow morally better.
And I knew that men were not inherently bad or evil. They were merely privileged. And I knew that privilege blinds because it is the nature of privilege to blind.
I knew from this personal experience, from the class privilege I had of growing up in an educated family, that it sometimes blinded me, that I was not always as alert to the nuances of people who were different from me

Victimhood is not a virtue.
We can not always bend the world into the shapes we want but we can try, we can make a concerted and real and true effort. And you are privileged that, because of your education here, you have already been given many of the tools that you will need to try. Always just try. Because you never know.
And so as you graduate, as you deal with your excitement and your doubts today, I urge you to try and create the world you want to live in.
Minister to the world in a way that can change it. Minister radically in a real, active, practical, get your hands dirty way.
Wellesley will open doors for you. Walk through those doors and make your strides long and firm and sure.
Write television shows in which female strength is not depicted as remarkable but merely normal.
Teach your students to see that vulnerability is a HUMAN rather than a FEMALE trait.
Commission magazine articles that teach men HOW TO KEEP A WOMAN HAPPY. Because there are already too many articles that tell women how to keep a man happy. And in media interviews make sure fathers are asked how they balance family and work. In this age of ‘parenting as guilt,’ please spread the guilt equally. Make fathers feel as bad as mothers. Make fathers share in the glory of guilt.
Campaign and agitate for paid paternity leave everywhere in America.
Hire more women where there are few. But remember that a woman you hire doesn’t have to be exceptionally good. Like a majority of the men who get hired, she just needs to be good enough.

All over the world, girls are raised to be make themselves likeable, to twist themselves into shapes that suit other people.
Please do not twist yourself into shapes to please. Don’t do it. If someone likes that version of you, that version of you that is false and holds back, then they actually just like that twisted shape, and not you. And the world is such a gloriously multifaceted, diverse place that there are people in the world who will like you, the real you, as you are.
I am lucky that my writing has given me a platform that I choose to use to talk about things that I care about, and
The only acceptable way of wasting your time on earth is online shopping.

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Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by FrancisTony: 9:29am On May 30, 2015
I have said a few things that have not been so popular with a number of people. I have been told to shut up about certain things – such as my position on the equal rights of gay people on the continent of Africa, such as my deeply held belief that men and women are completely equal. I don’t speak to provoke. I speak because I think our time on earth is short and each moment that we are not our truest selves, each moment we pretend to be what we are not, each moment we say what we do not mean because we imagine that is what somebody wants us to say, then we are wasting our time on earth.
I don’t mean to sound precious but please don’t waste your time on earth, but there is one exception. The only acceptable way of wasting your time on earth is online shopping.
Okay, one last thing about my mother. My mother and I do not agree on many things regarding gender. There are certain things my mother believes a person should do, for the simple reason that said person ‘is a woman.’ Such as nod occasionally and smile even when smiling is the last thing one wants to do. Such as strategically give in to certain arguments, especially when arguing with a non-female. Such as get married and have children. I can think of fairly good reasons for doing any of these. But ‘because you are a woman’ is not one of them. And so, Class of 2015, never ever accept ‘Because You Are A Woman’ as a reason for doing anything.
Finally I would like to end with a final note on the most important thing in the world: love.
Now girls are often raised to see love only as giving. Women are praised for their love when that love is an act of giving. But to love is to give AND to take.
Please love by giving and by taking. Give and be given. If you are only giving and not taking, you’ll know. You’ll know from that small and true voice inside you that we females are so often socialized to silence.
Don’t silence that voice. Dare to take.

Congratulations.
http://qz.com/415667/chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-being-a-strong-woman-isnt-remarkable-its-normal/

64 Likes 9 Shares

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by Cutehector(m): 9:30am On May 30, 2015
Feminist!

15 Likes 1 Share

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by FrancisTony: 9:32am On May 30, 2015
Cutehector:
Feminist! No wonder she isn't married...

She's married

152 Likes 11 Shares

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by tintingz(m): 9:36am On May 30, 2015
Interesting.
Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by FrancisTony: 9:38am On May 30, 2015
I wholeheartedly agree with her.

Anyone else couldn't have said it better.

She's spot on.

65 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by tintingz(m): 9:43am On May 30, 2015
I can think of fairly good
reasons for doing any of these. But ‘because you
are a woman’ is not one of them. And so, Class
of 2015, never ever accept ‘Because You Are A
Woman’ as a reason for doing anything.
This her statement is full of hypocrisy.

17 Likes

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by kelechiMarie(f): 9:58am On May 30, 2015
This thread gon be interesting.
I do not always agree with chimamanda but you can't take away the fact that's she's intelligent,smart and i do love her#nohomo. I'm with her on this one.

25 Likes 1 Share

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by bukatyne(f): 10:20am On May 30, 2015
Nice speech...

Never do anything because you are a woman...nice and true.

Remember when I was an exco in university and was washing the plates used after an event...

A lecturer of mine asked If I was doing it because I was a woman... I smiled and told him I was doing it because of my office. smiley

I believe So much in leadership by example.

Congratulations to the graduants

76 Likes 5 Shares

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by Nobody: 10:26am On May 30, 2015
She is correct.

Women have for a long time been made to feel that being powerful, being an authoritative figure or being in a positions of power isn't their right so when such happens it becomes seen as a remarkable thing, as something exceptional.

The political social and religious structures of the world have belittled the feminine gender into being seen as nothing but second to the male gender.
Men are seen as leaders, while women are seen as followers. Men are seen as rulers , while women are seen as helpers and supporters.
Men are seen as strong, while women are seen as weak.

Women are taught silence, while men are taught to speak.
Women are taught to serve men, to obey men, not to talk back at men and a lot of bullshit.
Most of our religious institutions especially ones like Islam, and christianity have a huge role to play in all this through their customs, doctrines and stories.


This has created a default mentality towards what women are supposed to be, So when people see a confident powerful woman, they become amazed. They see her as extraordinary.

Women need to see themselves differently from what they have been told and forced to believe.

64 Likes 8 Shares

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by NickiRoman: 10:30am On May 30, 2015
FrancisTony:
I wholeheartedly agree with her.

Anyone else couldn't have said it better.

She's spot on.
She inspires me,She hits the nail right on.
Women are constantly being subjected to violence, always to told to silence their voice and do things they don't want to do cause their female

We need gender equality.

27 Likes 1 Share

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by freecocoa(f): 10:32am On May 30, 2015
Great speech.

9 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by NickiRoman: 10:39am On May 30, 2015
Cutehector:
Feminist! No wonder she isn't married...
In your feeble little mind you made sense, And what If she wasn't married,does it affect you in anyway? Oh! obviously it does cause your an ignorant typical cave man.

Getting married is a choice, not everyone is desperate for marriage and feminism as nothing to do with one getting married or not,It all about gender equality.


By the way she's married, are you?

70 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by FrancisTony: 10:48am On May 30, 2015
NickiRoman:
She inspires me,She hits the nail right on.
Women are constantly being subjected to violence, always to told to silence their voice and do things they don't want to do cause their female

We need gender equality.
I'm a male and an adherent of egalitarianism. grin

I concur!

22 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by NickiRoman: 10:54am On May 30, 2015
FrancisTony:
I'm a male and an adherent of egalitarianism. grin
I concur!
grin grin

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Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by missterious(f): 11:01am On May 30, 2015
Because of the world we're born into, it's a natural thing to undermine females. I personally am guilty of it sometimes. I apologize for seeing my period, for being female. A random guy tells me men don't like ladies who use dark lipstick & I stop using it. I automatically assume touchmeder (one of the best writers on nairaland) is male because she writes so well.

But feminism creeps in on you. You begin to wonder why even a stranger on the street tells you to "smile, you're a woman". Seriously? -__- Is there like a gene for smiling specially installed in females? You watch an extremely sexist movie that basically says men are gods & should be worshipped & "catered for" whether you feel like it or not. I'm not your f*cking slave.

And for those that will mention marriage now, marriage is not a gateway to heaven.

86 Likes 11 Shares

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by FrancisTony: 11:07am On May 30, 2015
missterious:
Seriously? -__- Is there like a gene for smiling specially installed in females?
It's just like one of those things you wrote in your diary long time ago.

A woman(?) told you to go out a lot, na market you be. grin

1 Like 1 Share

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by thorpido(m): 11:16am On May 30, 2015
I agree with her words here.I don't agree with every statement of hers though.

Isn't it contradictory that women shouldn't do some things because they are women,yet they want political offices in Nigeria because they are women and should be given the opportunity.
As per doing some things because you are a woman,well who should stay with a breas.tfeeding baby?The woman because she is a woman or the man?
I believe man and woman are equal,they are just not the SAME.Like some silly girls (and men) started the free the nip.ple campaign.

Ladies should be taught to aspire towards their best and deserve all that men can get too.

18 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by missterious(f): 11:17am On May 30, 2015
FrancisTony:

It's just like one of those things you wrote in your diary long time ago.

A woman(?) told you to go out a lot, na market you be. grin

Lol. Yeah. It's just like an accepted African norm for ladies to strive towards marriage & men to strive towards wealth. Personally, I'd rather be rich than married if I had to choose. lipsrsealed

30 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by missterious(f): 11:24am On May 30, 2015
Thorpido, women have been marginalized for thousands of years. At this point, we have to ACTIVELY fight to have an equal voice. For example, to make a poor man a millionaire like his neighbour, you give him a million naira. And you give the neighbour nothing. It's a crude example but it's basically what women want now.

8 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by JoeCutie(m): 11:30am On May 30, 2015
missterious:


Lol. Yeah. It's just like an accepted African norm for ladies to strive towards marriage & men to strive towards wealth. Personally, I'd rather be rich than married if I had to choose. lipsrsealed
undecided
Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by JoeCutie(m): 11:32am On May 30, 2015
Cutehector:
Feminist! No wonder she isn't married...
Bro, calm down, she's married...with kids sef. cheesy tongue

6 Likes

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by thorpido(m): 11:41am On May 30, 2015
missterious:
Thorpido, women have been marginalized for thousands of years. At this point, we have to ACTIVELY fight to have an equal voice. For example, to make a poor man a millionaire like his neighbour, you give him a million naira. And you give the neighbour nothing. It's a crude example but it's basically what women want now.
I'm for equality and i support the movement that empowers women, protects them and ensures they have a voice in the society.

What I just disagree with is the movement that wants a woman to do whatever a man does.An example is the free the nip.ple movement that some are promoting.Just because some men do not wear a shirt in public(not that it is right), a woman also should do the same.
Another example;in the home,if it's time for dinner and food is to be cooked,should there be a need to throw a dice to pick who should do the cooking?I'm not saying it has to always be the woman who should do the cooking or that she should even cook if she is not in a good position to do so but to say because she's a woman she shouldn't have to do it will be ridiculous to me.

17 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by missterious(f): 11:43am On May 30, 2015

2 Likes

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by JoeCutie(m): 11:46am On May 30, 2015
missterious:


undecided
You wanna join them feminists? Rich feminist!
Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by kandiikane(m): 12:08pm On May 30, 2015
thorpido:
I agree with her words here.I don't agree with every statement of hers though.

Isn't it contradictory that women shouldn't do some things because they are women,yet they want political offices in Nigeria because they are women and should be given the opportunity.
As per doing some things because you are a woman,well who should stay with a breas.tfeeding baby?The woman because she is a woman or the man?
I believe man and woman are equal,they are just not the SAME.Like some silly girls (and men) started the free the nip.ple campaign.

Ladies should be taught to aspire towards their best and deserve all that men can get too.

I believe you confused yourself, it was quite straight forward.

thorpido:
I'm for equality and i support the movement that empowers women, protects them and ensures they have a voice in the society.
What I just disagree with is the movement that wants a woman to do whatever a man does.An example is the free the nip.ple movement that some are promoting.Just because some men do not wear a shirt in public(not that it is right), a woman also should do the same.
Another example;in the home,if it's time for dinner and food is to be cooked,should there be a need to throw a dice to pick who should do the cooking?I'm not saying it has to always be the woman who should do the cooking or that she should even cook if she is not in a good position to do so but to say because she's a woman she shouldn't have to do it will be ridiculous to me.

She is right, you do not have to cook because you are a woman, you cook because you are human, you guys are hungry and need to eat. If you don't feel like cooking and the guy is at home, he can do the cooking because he is equally human, hungry and needs to eat. What exactly is ridiculous here?

34 Likes 1 Share

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by Nobody: 12:36pm On May 30, 2015
kandiikane:


I believe you confused yourself, it was quite straight forward.



She is right, you do not have to cook because you are a woman, you cook because you are human, you guys are hungry and need to eat. If you don't feel like cooking and the guy is at home, he can do the cooking because he is equally human, hungry and needs to eat. What exactly is ridiculous here?

grin shocked shocked
How dare a woman say she is not in the mood...hehehehe...is she not a woman!!! grin

13 Likes

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by kandiikane(m): 12:40pm On May 30, 2015
mathdiva:


grin shocked shocked
How dare a woman say she is not in the mood...hehehehe...is she not a woman!!! grin

grin grin cheesy

4 Likes

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by 5minsmadness: 12:41pm On May 30, 2015
That means all these "weak" women around us are abnormal! grin


Foolish girl, just because she managed to get small opportunity and became famous other women won't hear word again.

13 Likes 1 Share

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by 5minsmadness: 12:47pm On May 30, 2015
The only acceptable way of wasting your time on earth is online shopping
undecided undecided undecided

1 Like

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by smileysmiles(f): 12:55pm On May 30, 2015
thorpido:
I agree with her words here.I don't agree with every statement of hers though.

Isn't it contradictory that women shouldn't do some things because they are women,yet they want political offices in Nigeria because they are women and should be given the opportunity.
As per doing some things because you are a woman,well who should stay with a breas.tfeeding baby?The woman because she is a woman or the man?
I believe man and woman are equal,they are just not the SAME.Like some silly girls (and men) started the free the nip.ple campaign.

Ladies should be taught to aspire towards their best and deserve all that men can get too.

Isn't it contradictory that women shouldn't do some things because they are women,yet they want political offices in Nigeria because they are women and should be given the opportunity..

Not because they are women; because they are humans who want to serve.. and it shouldnt be an "opportunity" makes it sound like its a "favor" of some sorts to a 2nd class citizen.

10 Likes

Re: Being A Strong Woman Isnt Remarkable, It's Normal - Adichie by thorpido(m): 1:13pm On May 30, 2015
smileysmiles:


Isn't it contradictory that women shouldn't do some things because they are women,yet they want political offices in Nigeria because they are women and should be given the opportunity..

Not because they are women; because they are humans who want to serve.. and it shouldnt be an "opportunity" makes it sound like its a "favor" of some sorts to a 2nd class citizen.
Isn't it what the women portray?They say the men don't give them a chance and that they should be given the opportunity.Some of the women in these position are there just because they are women,not because they got the votes.

1 Like

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