I want to wave a magic wand and transport the contents of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions into the minds and hearts of mothers, daughters, fathers, and sons everywhere. The book, originally written as a letter to a childhood friend, answers the question: How do I raise my newborn daughter to be a feminist?

To give you a glimpse into the book, here are the first sentences of each suggestion:

  1. Be a full person.

  2. Do it together.

  3. Teach her that the idea of “gender roles” is absolute nonsense.

  4. Beware the danger of what I call Feminism Lite… you either believe in the full equality of men and women or you do not.

  5. Teach [her] to read. Teach her to love books.

  6. Teach her to question language.

  7. Never speak of marriage as an achievement.

  8. Teach her to reject likeability.

  9. Give [her] a sense of identity.

  10. Be deliberate about you engage with her and her appearance.

  11. Teach her to question our culture’s selective use of biology as “reasons” for social norms.

  12. Talk to her about sex, and start early.

  13. Romance will happen, so be on board.

  14. In teaching her about oppression, be careful not to turn the oppressed into saints.

  15. Teach her about difference… by teaching her about difference, you are equipping her to survive in a diverse world.

I couldn’t be happier to see Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie stand at the forefront of our global dialogue about feminism, and the conversation about what being a woman in the 21st century really looks like.

Check out Christiane Amanpour’s interview with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie covering Trump, Hillary, her novel Americanah, and so much more.
“I think everyone should be angry about the state of gender. But I also want to persuade.”