First published on 23rd June, 2017 in The Star
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women
By Elena Favilli and Francesa Cavallo
(Particular Books, 212 pages)
Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, the creators of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, wished to address the lack of strong female role models in children’s literature. They noticed how books and popular media were full of gender stereotypes, which they felt they could challenge with their book.
Favilli and Cavallo crowdfunded their project and ended up raising over a million dollars. The result is an illustrated book featuring the stories of 100 women who have made a mark in their respective fields, be it literature or politics, sports or science. These women are “rebels” because they challenged stereotypes, overcame odds of all sorts and didn’t take “No” for answer.Read More »
First published in The Star on 9th February, 2017
By Naomi Alderman
(Viking, 339 pages)
IF you identify as feminist, you are likely tired of explaining that the women’s movement is about gender equality and not the domination of men by women. If you are a feminist you are probably sick of hearing it said that you and your ilk hate men, burn bras, and are all lesbians (closet or otherwise). If you actively oppose the oppression of women in whatever form, you will have rolled your eyes countless times in response to those who declare that feminism is a sexist movement and that they prefer being called humanists or equalists.
Feminism is not about women being better than men, but it is about and attempts to address personal, political, social and economic power disparities between the sexes. So, what if women had the power? Would it automatically result in gender equality?Read More »
When I finished reading this book, I wanted to read it all over again. I felt it opened a window wide and I couldn’t get enough of the scene it framed. I wanted to go back and pick over everything slowly, paying more attention to each detail, thinking about each situation, analysing each character.
I am planning to move to Lagos, where Sefi Atta‘s Everything Good Will Come is set. Sure, the book opens in 1971, one year after the end of the Biafran war, and ends in 1995. A lot has changed, since then. Or has it? In any case, I don’t think people change much. Skyscrapers may rise and roads may be built, but the old attitudes remain, by and large unexamined and unchallenged. This may sound pessimistic of me, but let’s just say that I don’t want to expect too much. I tell myself I should be prepared for sexism, corruption and hypocrisy. It’s very much present in the world anyway, and from what I have heard and read, rife in Nigeria. I should remember that Don (my fiance) is an exception, and not the rule.Read More »