Jola Naibi

Writer and amateur photog. I seek to inspire and inform with the words I write and share and the photos I take. I have written a book of short stories: Terra Cotta Beauty, and I am working on a lot more. Reading and writing fuel my energy. In reading, I explore this vast and diverse world, in writing, I employ my over-active imagination and address the 'what-if' questions that life often throws at us.

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Wishful Dreaming: Ms. Adichie Speaks at Inbound 2018

By on September 13, 2018

In many of her speeches, Ms. Adichie often validates some my sentiments as a Nigerian living in these United States. She manages to do that again in her keynote address at the 2018 Inbound Conference held this month in Boston, Massachusetts.

A few nuggets:

We are all vulnerable to stereotypes. Oppression walks in complicated ways. To be a member of an oppressed group does not mean that you are sanctified. You do not become a saint by being oppressed. 

If you live in a world that devalues women, you are likely to devalue women

Patriarchy is an old human habit. Men benefit from patriarchy. they also suffer for it. We can tell a different story about gender roles.

Masculinity is a small, tight, ugly cage. We should break up that cage and rebuild it.

People who think women will make this world a utopia have not been to an All Girls’ Boarding School

If we as a society are going to judge cheating, we have to judge it equally for both men and women. Men don’t get a pass because they are men.

A man would do something and be described as confident. A woman who does the same thing is described as arrogant, a label that society sees as deserving censure.

Being angry about something does not make you an angry person. Dismissing someone as angry is just a made-up and empty idea used to close conversations. Anger is a valid human emotion, but women are judged a lot more harshly for demonstrating anger. Many women, especially women of color hold themselves back because they do not want to carry the label of ‘angry woman’.

Racism is a strong word that makes everyone uncomfortable.

In the body of a young Black American boy, what could be considered a child-like act is deemed threatening and disruptive.

We can remake the world we live in if we begin to re-imagine it.

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