A Feminist is Who and What I am - Chimamanda Adichie Sparks Outrage Over Comments About Nigerian Women
In a 90-minute exclusive interview with London's Southbank Centre senior programmer, Ted Hodgkinson, multi-award winning Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who appeared at London’s Royal Festival Hall before a sell-out crowd on Sunday, August 7, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of her acclaimed novel, 'Half of a Yellow Sun', has sparked an outrage with her controversial comments over feminist campaign and Nigerian women.
Below are some highlights from the internationally-known feminist's interview we culled from Buzzfeed;
“A feminist is who and what I am. It’s not a cloak I put on on certain days and take off on certain days. I just did not get the memo that men and women are not equal. I did not get that memo. I’m a daughter, I’m a sister, mother now, wife. All of those things, and being a good feminist, are not mutually exclusive at all.”
On Beyoncé quoting her work in her album:
On feminism in Nigeria:
“I think for people who have a hostility to the idea of gender equality, they will say things like, ‘You cannot be feminist and have a husband, actually,’ [laughs] ‘If you want to be a feminist, be a feminist in your husband’s house,’ [laughs] and it’s nonsense really.
“I feel like younger Nigerian women are actually less progressive than even my mother’s generation. It’s not a question of blaming them, I think it’s a product of the society we live in and the messages they’re getting. And so people who are 23 are just obsessed with marriage, as the end-all and be-all. It’s very interesting to me.
“I also think there’s a kind of viciousness that underlies that obsession, and a kind of misogyny. I find that there’s actually a strong strain of misogyny in the young generation of Nigerian women. It’s very worrying. It’s the young women who police women, even more than men. It’s part of the same thing. In the end, for me, it’s ‘who does the system benefit?’ and it benefits men. Even if women are participating in it, it benefits men.”
“I still look at her [daughter] in absolute wonder. And I think, You’re really here and you’re really mine. And she is just the most beautiful human being in the world. Having her I’ve realised how love really can manifest as anxiety. So I just worry about my child. I want to make sure everything is fine with her.
“I want her to live in a world where borders are not as policed as they are. It’s very easy to move capital, but very difficult to move labour and people. I want that to change. I want her to live in a world where men and women have the same opportunities, where gender does not hold women back. I want her to live in a world where she’s never told ‘you cannot do this because you’re a woman’. I want her to live in a world where it’s possible to have a normal job and not have to worry about what you’re going to eat. I want her to live in a world where healthcare is a human right.”
On female sexuality:
“I think a lot of my work is infused with my belief about gender. I think it’s so important that female sexuality be seen as a thing that is real, and complex, and is not at all connected with shame.
“It manifests differently but it’s true everywhere: There is always an element of shame when it comes to female sexuality. And for me, in my writing, I want to find ways to make female sexuality the human, flawed, beautiful, sensual thing that it is.”
Click here to read the full interview on Buzzfeed.