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The author behind the We Should All Be Feminists TED Talk is giving a talk in Dublin next month

Book your tickets now to see Beyoncé’s favourite feminist speak.

SO YOU MAY have watched Beyoncé’s killer performance as the first black female headliner at Coachella this past weekend.

She reunited with her Destiny’s Child bandmates, for the first time since the Superbowl in 2013, and as Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams rose up to the stage alongside Beyoncé, excerpts from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s speech, “We Should All Be Feminists‘ were blasted out.

If you haven’t heard the speech before, you *need* to listen to it now and have your mind blown.

Source: TEDx Talks/YouTube

Since 2013 there has been a feminist awakening in frankly discussing issues that are pertinent for female equality, including sexual equality, reproductive rights, and sexual harassment. (Here’s hoping the next movement will focus on childcare.)

So where does Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie fit into this feminist awakening?

Well, Chimamanda’s eloquent but straight-talking speech hit a nerve with millenials who were ready to embrace the label of ‘feminist’ again after Chimamanda’s beautiful summation of it as:

Feminist: the person who believes in the social
Political, and economic equality of the sexes.

After hearing Chimamands’s definition, how could you not say that you’re a feminist?

Sweden, one of the world’s leading lights in gender equality, has deemed her speech so important that a copy of the speech is given to every 16-year-old student in the country, with the hope that it will “work as a stepping stone for a discussion about gender equality and feminism”.

Chimamanda’s speech also sparked last year’s slogan tee of the year.

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I ❤️️@dior

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

For her premier show, Maria Grazia Chiuri, the first female creative director of the fashion house Dior, created a white t-shirt bearing the statement ‘We Should All Be Feminists’. It was seen on an assortment of celebrities from Rihanna to Jennifer Lawrence to Natalie Portman, and retailed for a whopping $700.

Chimamanda’s thoughts on feminism were further amplified when Beyoncé included a segment of her speech in her song ****Flawless.

Source: beyonceVEVO/YouTube

Watch from 1:22 – 2:21 to hear Chimamanda parts, including this stellar segment:

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

These lyrics probably speak to every woman. So many girls that their currency of worth is based on how they looked (read how attractive they were to boys), and they’re not wrong. An Irish Times study this year said that girls in secondary school still feel that to be ‘popular’ as a girl, you need to be pretty, but for boys it’s based off of personality.

Heartbreakingly, studies show that at the age of six, girls already believe that they are less intelligent because of their gender.

Feminism is not teaching men to respect women, but teaching all of society that females are worthy, females are intelligent, and females are worth more than what they look like during their peak fertile years.

The overall impact of Chimamanda’s speech is hard to fully grasp.

Pre-2013, the word ‘feminist’ had very negative connotations and was a dirty word, with people wrongly dismissing it as someone who despised men (the word for someone who is prejudice against men is misandry btw, not feminist).

Taylor Swift, when asked by a journalist in December 2012, refused to consider herself a feminist saying:

I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life.

Source: Javier Rojas/Pi

Her response is classic example of neo-liberal ‘postfeminism‘ i.e. someone who incorporates traditional feminist ideas (equality regardless of gender) into their philosophy whilst simultaneously dismissing feminism as not needed or irrelevant.

Postfeminism was a sentiment that emerged after the groundbreaking social changes that emerged in the 1960-70s. As women were now allowed to enter professions, could control their fertility through contraception or abortion (in most developed countries), many people believed that feminism as a movement was no longer needed: i.e. that equality had been achieved.

Even Taylor Swift came round to realising that she was a feminist, saying:

As a teenager, I didn’t understand that saying you’re a feminist is just saying that you hope women and men will have equal rights and equal opportunities. What it seemed to me, the way it was phrased in culture, society, was that you hate men. And now, I think a lot of girls have had a feminist awakening because they understand what the word means.

So why else should you go see Chimamanda in Dublin?

Apart from the success of We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamanda is an award-winning author whose books have been translated into over 30 languages, and her other TED Talk, The Danger of A Single Story, is one of the top ten most-viewed of all time. Her phenomenal book Americannah, one of the best books about racism in the 21st century, is set to be turned into a mini series with Oscar-winner Lupito Nyong’o.

So, if you’re looking for some inspirational words from an eloquent feminist author the week before the referendum, book your tickets now to go and see her at the International Literature Festival in Dublin on 16th May.

Sure what else would you be doing with yourself on a Wednesday?

P.S. Chimamanda’s Instagram account is the definition of the red dancing woman and flame emoji.

This woman knows how to rock a bold colour! It’s fashion porn for you if you love a good print and flamboyant details.

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Dress: Wanger Ayu @wangerayu #MadeinNigeria

A post shared by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (@chimamanda_adichie) on

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