Book Review: Dear Ijeawele, Or A Feminist Manifesto In Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Adichie

Going through an unexpected 34 pages of Dear Ijeawele, sees the author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, share her thought on feminism.

Her convictions as she always expressed throughout the country through her speeches and books.

The book is slightly in a relation with the version of a letter she wrote as a Facebook post on October 12, 2016.

It was written mainly in response to a friend seeking advice from her, on building the feminist values in her newborn daughter, Ijeawele.

Supposedly to the short length of the book, I easier made quick understanding of it. With one and an hour, I went through it’s entirety.

Notwithstanding, in brevity, Dear Ijeawele still manages to be understanding, helping to shine light, explains and offer clarity on some issues.

Some issues that remains unknown to feminism. Maybe of ignorance.

For a person, who is trying to understand the quality, purpose and freedom of a feminism. I guess this book is ready to be of offer.

It’s as usual and known to majority that Chimamanda is a strong advocate of feminist values.

Besides, praising the diversifications that exist in the feminist school of understanding, Chimamanda ensures to make us comprehend to the feminist values she upholds.

Citing convincingly, the influences that have, over time, in enlightenment in her resolve on some of the suggestions in the book.

Besides, I should easily point out and disclose that on the moral and religious grounds stated in the book, I didn’t particularly agree with them in the manifesto.

Honestly, I respect how well laid out the suggestions were on the arguments, which were actually drawn from a place of deep conviction.

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I honestly wish every other argument in the manifesto that  I would have to engage into would be very intellectually sound and objective.

But, then I come into realization that not everyone will be Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Meanwhile, Dear Ijeawele, further stated and emphasis on how feminism shouldn’t be a tool driven by their angst and a thereby, may call for a retribution in the process.

But, as Chimamanda shows, the reasons for equity needs to be driven by  majority in the society. Maybe only calls for needs to be intellect and not mere emotions.

Mostly, such dependence on emotion is dangerous in the face of the system of  oppression that stems from the mechanism of patriarchy.

With the strong conviction and belief of our dear Author, I would have to say this book worth a reading for feminism.

Some favorites quote on the book;

If we don’t place the straight jacket of gender roles on children, we give them space to reach their full potential.

What are the things that women cannot do because they are women? Do these things have cultural prestige? If so, why are only men allowed to do things that have cultural prestige.

Teach her that if you criticize X in women but do not criticize X in men, then you do not have a problem with X, you have a problem with women.

The Book Details;

BOOK: Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

AUTHOR: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

PUBLISHER: Knopf Doubleday

Publishing Group


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