First Beyoncé, now Sweden? Yes, please.
Sweden is making sure its teenagers understand what an equal world looks like.
The Swedish Women's Lobby, together with publishing company Albert Bonniers Förlag and the UN Association of Sweden, just announced that every high school sophomore will be given a gift: a copy of the book "We Should All Be Feminists" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
It's not your typical high school reading, but perhaps it should be. The gesture could greatly benefit Sweden's future — its health, economy, happiness, the whole shebang (yeah, she-bang seems about right). That's exactly why they're doing it.
The 52-page book written by Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is an adaptation from the incredibly popular TED Talk she gave in 2013. Which, if you didn't see it, was so powerful that Beyoncé herself sampled it in the beginning of her song "Flawless."
(That's when you know you've made it.)
So far, 100,000 copies of the book have already been handed out, and many more are still to come.
In the book, Adichie explores the complexity of feminism, what it's like being a woman in today's world, and why we must think about the ways we treat each other in order to live in a fully productive society.
"Our hope is that the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie text will open up a conversation about gender and gender roles, starting from young people's own experiences," said Albert Bonnier publisher Johanna Haegerström at the press conference.
You won't find any preachy, "blah, blah, blah" moments in the book. It's personal, easy to digest from all backgrounds, and a sensible call to action. And it's short! With only 52 pages, it goes by fast, but its words are quick to strike a cord with many.
In a time where some still cringe at use of the word "feminism," and famous feminists get asked not to use the word in speeches ON the topic of feminism, it's clear that we're not all on the same page ... yet.
But when it comes down to it, the majority of people agree: Women and men should be treated equally. That's the entire basis of feminism.
Sweden is already considered one of the best countries to be a woman through its health and education outcomes. Now, if every 16-year-old girl (and even if every 16-year-old boy) were given a copy of Adichi's book, who knows? Sweden could see gender parity in the next generation or two.
Props to Sweden on grabbing the word "feminism" and holding it up for the rest of the world to see with pride.
With open minds and better understanding, countries that embrace women's and men's equal rights are much better suited to succeed than those that don't.
Sweden is on the right side of history.