Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has become known as a champion of feminism, and now she tackles feminist parenting.
The 39-year-old writer received a letter from Ijeawele, a reader looking for advice on how to approach motherhood and raise her newborn as a feminist.
Adichie responded to the new mother, and shared it as an essay on Facebook, last week.
"Your feminist premise should be: I matter. I matter equally," she began. From there she wrote an eloquent message with 15 suggestions for mothers looking for ways to introduce their kids to ideas about equality and empowerment for women.
Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie reads from one of her novels during the Washington Ideas Forum (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Her first suggestion elevated working mothers.
"Be a full person," Adichie writes. "Motherhood is a glorious gift, but do not define yourself solely by motherhood. Be a full person. Your child will benefit from that."
Whether you're following your passion, or working, it allows you to set an example of independence and self-fulfillment for your child.
The author also noted that sharing parenting roles between the mother and father is necessary and shouldn't be considered "helping" or "babysitting" but a fatherly duty. And in general, parents should teach their kids that gender roles are "absolute nonsense."
"Your feminist premise should be: I matter. I matter equally."
Teaching children to question language was another tip from Adichie. Be aware of the words you use around kids and the underlying impressions they might hold. Don't describe a mechanic as a "lady mechanic," for example, she's a mechanic.
The rest of her tips went over: the dangers of "Feminism Lite," the importance of books, how to engage with her appearance and likeability, marriage and addressing sex and romance early on.
The essay struck more people than just the mother to whom the letter was addressed.
It has been shared more than 6,500 times on Facebook and garnered hundreds of comments from readers.
Many said they didn't necessarily agree with all of her points, but the message urged them to start adding feminist lessons into their parenting.
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