With their careers, a woman’s work is

With
every new technological advancement, new law passed, and new social reform, the
world is progressively moving forward while the expectations for women in society
have been consistently stagnant. Despite the vote, a women’s a opinion is still
secondary to a man’s; despite their careers, a woman’s work is somehow worth
less than their male coworker’s (around 20 cents less than his dollar to be
exact) Yet, the feminist movement rages on. The insistence of this movement is
precisely what feminist activist and writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, meant
when she defined feminism in her Ted Talk “We Should All Be Feminists” as
recognition of the gender gap and firmness in the fact that a change needs to
take place. Adichie also writes an article, “Why can’t he just be like everyone
else?” in which she delineates the abuse that a gay boy in her class
experienced in school and denounces the current Nigerian policy of accounting
homosexuality as a crime. In both cases, Adichie is making the claim that our
differences, whether they are in gender or in sexuality, cannot be a basis for
inequality.  Feminism, and virtually any
human rights campaign, is a struggle for equality among all members of the
human race and an achievement of freedom to conduct a life without anybody
else’s personal opinions impeding your personal journey in life.

Activism
seems to be the key to change for Adichie, as shown in her statements on
feminism and the current Nigerian laws that incriminate homosexuals. Just as
she defines feminism as acknowledgment of an issue at hand and a refusal to
allow it to continue, she strongly comes out in favor of change in the Nigerian
laws. The best way to gain support for activism of an issue is to show the
public the reasons why the issue is worth taking action against. To do so,
Adichie breaks down the definition of a crime and then rationally points out
the absurdity in applying the same definition to a same-sex relationship. A
crime must have a victim, somebody who is losing out or personally effected. A
relationship between two individuals certainly does not cause somebody else to
become a victim. Rather, as Adichie notes, there are actual crimes being done
when gay citizens in Nigeria
experience abuse, like Adichie’s childhood school mate did. While people do
have a right to their personal opinion, a clash of opinions cannot justify a
legal law that applies to an entire country. In this way, I think that Adichie’s
definition of feminism is similar to my own. I firmly believe that another
individual’s point of view on something like a personal relationship has no
right to dictate your life.

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             This entire argument of human equality and
human differences really comes down to respect. When people judge others based
on their gender, sexuality or race it really is simply a lack of respect and
recognition of their equal work and effort in life.

One critique I have
of Adichie’s Ted Talk is when she provided the story of her friend thanking her
husband for taking care of the baby. Adichie’s response was that the “thank
you” should not have to be said because men caring for their children should be
normalized. As a girl from a community who emphasizes marrying young and building
a family, I highly appreciate and agree with her comment about men becoming
more involved in the child raising. However, I don’t think the problem is in
the fact that the woman said “thank you”. I think the problem lies in her
husband’s lack of a “thank you”. A big part of feminism to me is that there is
a mutual respect between all people, male or female. A simple “thank you” as a
recognition of hard work should be passed between people frequently, a symbol
of their respect and gratitude for one another. While all people are different,
hard work is universal. The belittling of hard work, such as a wage gap, or a
husband not recognizing the effort it takes to raise a family and care for a
household, is a real injustice.  I think
that Adichie would agree with me on this because she believes strongly in a
women receiving respect. Adichie told a story of a time that she tipped a
worker and he thanked her male friend standing beside her, as if any money she
had belonged to this man accompanying her. He disrespected her hard work in
earning that money when he just assumed that a woman is incapable of having her
own money.

            The world is in constant motion, moving
forward in a rapid pace. The place of a woman in society too, then, must move
forward and detach from the traditional beliefs of the past. Ultimately, inequality
of any kind is irrational, and it is as plain and simple as that. What is “supreme”
in society should not be so concrete, because our differences that stray from
the norms are what make us human.

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