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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Wants You To Label It, Say You’re A Feminist

She has always been forthright in her opinions and fierce about feminism. She has spoken openly about how Beyoncé’s feminism is not her own, as well as speaking to us about the importance of make-up in her life.

In an interview with the New York Times about her new book, ‘Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions‘ Chimamanda spoke about some people’s reluctance to call themselves feminists.

Even friends of mine — people I love — wrote, ‘why yes, we kind of agree, but why call it feminist? It’s just common sense.’ And I’m like no, it’s feminist…Or, ‘oh it’s just humanism’. Or someone said, ‘these are just democratic ideals.’ And I thought, what? It’s everything but to acknowledge the fact that gender is a problem.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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The glamorous writer (she is, look!) landed herself in hot water recently over her comments about Trans-women.

She told a journalist that,

My feeling is that Trans-women, are Trans-women. I think I’ve you’ve been through the world as a man, with the privileges the world accords to men and then sort of change, switch gender, it’s difficult for me to accept that then we can equate your experience with the experience of a woman who has lived, from the beginning in the world as a woman. Who has not been accorded those privileges that men have. I don’t think it’s a good idea to conflate everything into one. I don’t think it’s a good thing to talk about women’s issues being exactly the same as the issues of trans-women. What I’m saying is that gender is not biology, gender is sociology.

Certain people took umbrage with her statement.

 

Chimamanda has responded twice on her Facebook page to the criticisms aimed at her.

She has hoped to clarify her meaning, without being defensive.

Though, a large part of Chimamanda’s feminism is the rejection of the female need to be ‘liked’. The New York Times reported, ‘She is concerned with how society responds to powerful women across the political spectrum. ‘I don’t even like talking about it, because I get very upset,’ she said while describing the media’s focus on Mrs. Clinton’s ‘likability.’ (One of the suggestions in her book is for mothers to teach daughters to ‘reject likability.’)’

Liked or not liked, Chimamanda is an exciting voice in feminism, even if she is, like most of us, still learning and discovering how to navigate the choppy waters of gender identity.

This article originally appeared on www.elleuk.com