There are two things I unequivocally love in life: Beyoncé and Ted Talks. Apparently, Queen Bey loves Ted, too! ***Flawless, on her recent unorthodoxly released self-titled album, boasts a triumphant sample of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Ted Talk on feminism that made me think. I never considered myself a feminist, actually I’m pretty sure I believe gender roles are part of our human design and, when activated properly, can be useful relational constructs. But, I found myself surprisingly intrigued by Adichie’s definition of feminism,
“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, ‘you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man.’ Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support, but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors – not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing –but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. Feminist: the person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.”
Hell yeah, Chimamanda! I’m all about questioning cultural indoctrination. Life can be pretty dangerous when groggy masses of society simply resign to go with the flow, and never step back to investigate the helpfulness (or destructiveness) of conventional “wisdom.” Instead of blindly identifying with the outdated belief purported by Darwin — that women are simply biologically inferior to men — I urge you to focus on the unique strengths and capabilities women do have, and notice where your subconscious cultural brainwashing is limiting you and keeping you small.
Remember, smart is sexy. Freethinking, badass bitches run the world.
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