This weeks reason to smile is imported from Sweden. After the disappointing news that the UK is planning to drop feminism from the politics A-level, we were ecstatic to learn that every 16 years old in Sweden is being given a copy of We Should All Be Feminists, the internationally acclaimed TED talk (later developed into a published essay) by Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
The giveaway will be distributed by the Swedish Women’s Lobby and publisher Albert Bonniers. The Guardian reports that the lobby hopes the text will “work as a stepping stone for a discussion about gender equality and feminism.”
Adichie writes in the essay:
“My own definition of a feminist is a man or a woman who says, ‘Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better. All of us, women and men, must do better.”
Some people ask: ‘Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?’ Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general – but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded.”
In her video promoting the giveaway, Adichie says she is a feminist because she wants to live in a world that is more just.
“I want to live in a world where a woman is never told that she can or cannot or should or should not do anything because she is a woman. I want to live in a world where men and women are happier. Where they are not constrained by gender roles. I want to live in a world where men and women are truly equal. And that’s why I’m a feminist.”
The first copies of We Should All Be Feminists were handed out this week at Norra Real High School in Stockholm.
If you are not lucky enough to count yourself amount the 16 year old Swedish generation, do not fret. We Should All Be Feminists can be found online or at your local bookstore.