I discovered this talk a few years ago, and I’ve lost count of how many times I have listened to it. A small book of the script of this talk is included in the welcome pack for new joiners to our Sherpa programme and it’s required reading on the induction course.
Chimamanda Ngochi Adiche is a Nigerian writer of fiction and non-fiction. She has a wonderful writing and speaking style and is a great storyteller. In this TEDtalk, she discusses the great injustice of gender as it is today and how we should all be angry. Not only does it diminish the ability and contribution that women could make but she also makes the key point that when you oppress one gender, you oppress all genders.
We do a great disservice to boys on how we raise them; we stifle the humanity of boys. We define masculinity in a very narrow way, masculinity becomes this hard, small cage, and we put boys inside the cage. We teach boys to be afraid of fear. We teach boys to be afraid of weakness, of vulnerability. We teach them to mask their true selves because they have to be, in Nigerian speak, “hard man!”.”– Chimamanda Ngochi Adiche, We Should All be Feminists
Chimamanda is intelligent, educated, funny, and despite the anger she rightly feels, kind. This talk also introduced me to her other TED Talk, “The dangers of a single story”. That talk resonated with me as a former CEO as became conscious of needing to hear feedback and stories from multiple sources before acting. I learned the risks of stereotyping or working on half information that is inherent in a “move fast” culture.
You could, maybe should, watch this with your family and friends. It’s a wonderful and important talk.