This tiny volume has been in my to-read list for a while, so when I saw the audio book was available via my local library (Overdrive *might* be the best thing ever), I pounced. I finished it in the hour before lunch on Tuesday (definitely the highlight of this dreaded weekday), and I’ll definitely be reading (and maybe listening to) it again. There are a lot of big ideas in this little book, and I loved Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s voice, both her melodic, reading voice and her powerful, literary voice.
Toward the beginning of the book, she tells us, “If we see the same thing over and over, it becomes normal. If only boys are made class monitor, then at some point, we will all think, even if unconsciously, that the class monitor has to be a boy. If we keep seeing only men as heads of corporations, it starts to seem natural that only men should be heads of corporations,” and this statement is at the heart of her book.
She tells another story shortly thereafter about how she tipped a cab driver once, and the driver took her money, looked at the man who accompanied her, and thanked *him* for the tip. Seriously? It was her money. She earned it. She took it out of her bag and gave it to him herself. Her companion asked why he would thank him? The man believed that her money came from him, because of course, money comes from a man.
I could easily share all of her stories, but then you wouldn’t need to read the book, and you really need to read the book. The stories are crafted around the stories as if expertly weaved until one without the other seems complete. It will take you an hour, maybe, to get through, and by asking yourself to think about things as Adichie sees them will provide you with either a fresh perspective, or more insight on things you already see in the world, and we cannot change the world unless we first evolve our perspective.