It sounds odd to say that I have been thinking about feminism lately, but it's true. I feel like it is too massive of an ideology to casually have on your mind the same way other random, fleeting thoughts pass through. Like when I seriously consider going out to get BBQ every time I watch House of Cards. I kid—not about the cravings, that's legit—but obviously something as important as feminism occupies the more substantial portion of my mind.
I have been reading even more than usual lately and one of the books that I recently finished is Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The book was highly recommended by Baratunde Thurston via Twitter so I decided to give it a read. Adichie is a Nigerian author and her book is steeped in her roots and tells the story of a young African woman who emigrates to America and makes a bold decision to return to her home in Lagos after building a life that many would call successful. The novel chronicles the lead character's struggles adjusting to a new culture and her process of coming to terms with being an African in America—a unique position that differs from being African-American. Americanah was how I became familiar with Adichie, but I soon learned that her decision to write strong female characters and her 2012 TED talk "We Should All Be Feminists" has brought her attention for her position on feminism, along with her writing. Even though there are countless activists, actresses, female professionals that I deeply respect for their stance on observing how women are viewed, I connect with Adichie's specific position that both men and women need to stand up and advocate for equal rights. I have never understood why women, in particular, are reluctant to align with such a simple and basic notion. Feminism often has such a negative stigma that causes too many well-meaning and intelligent people to do everything in their power to distance themselves. I was reminded of this when I read an article where a young and well-known actress, awkwardly, made it clear that she wanted nothing to do with it. I make a point to mention and link to this article, not in a mean-spirited manner to callout the actress, but to respectfully use her as an example of how there is too much misinformation floating around. I don't think that everyone needs to stand up and choose a side. I'll never agree with the feminists versus non-feminists position. That being said, I think we will never be able to have open, honest and constructive conversations on the topic if we don't even know what we're discussing. Let's keep talking and make sure everyone knows all are invited to the table.