“Marriage is Not an Achievement” – ‘Dear Ijeawele’ by Chimamanda.
If you are Woman, African, Feminist and you have not read Chimamanda’s ‘Dear Ijeawele: A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions’, where have you been? You should take a day off work, stroll to the nearest bookshop, cop a copy of the book, read it, agree with it, disagree with it, resolve to do things differently and then finally come back to this post, read it and drop a thank you comment.
Chimamanda used the vehicle of a book to discuss extensively her feminist thinking and recommendations for every parent looking to raise a child feminist. Here are SEVEN lessons we learned:
1. A marriage can be happy or unhappy but marriage is not an achievement.
2. As a human being, you are first an individual before you are anything else. Do not let the weight of gender expectations rob you of your individuality.
3. In raising kids, we need to teach them to reject likeability and people pleasing tendencies. Instead, we should encourage them to be their full self. “A self that is honest and aware of the equal humanity of other people”.
4. As women we must consciously retrain our minds and condition ourselves to ask for help, accept help and expect to be helped. There really is no prize for doing all the work alone. Also, A ‘father’ is as much a verb as ‘mother’ is. Involve your child’s father in parenting.
5. Be a full person. Motherhood is a glorious gift, but do not solely define yourself by it.
6. Give yourself room to fail. Do not assume that you should know everything, it is okay to fail.
7. When there is true equality, resentment does not exist.