Chimamanda Adichie Says Her Feminism Is Different from Beyoncé’s, But the Reason May Surprise You

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Wikipedia Commons)
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Wikipedia Commons)

Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is explaining how her definition of feminism differs from Beyoncé’s.

In a new interview published Friday ahead of the Dutch translation of her TED Talk, the acclaimed novelist credited Bey for opening up the concept of feminism to new audiences.

On her 2013, self-titled album, Beyoncé’s song “Flawless” incorporated Adichie’s TED Talk, “We Should All Be Feminists.”

“With this song, she has reached many people who would otherwise probably never have heard the word feminism,” Adichie told Netherlands newspaper De Volkskrant, “let alone gone out and buy my essay.”

Still, Adichie balked at the idea that her star power had risen thanks to the 35-year-old singer. The Americanah writer also explained the two have very different takes on feminism.

“Her type of feminism is not mine,” she explained to the paper. “It is the kind that… gives quite a lot of space to the necessity of men. I think men are lovely, but I don’t think that women should relate everything they do to men: did he hurt me, do I forgive him, did he put a ring on my finger? We women are so conditioned to relate everything to men.”

Comparatively, Beyoncé told Elle magazine in April being a feminist simply means wanting the same benefits for both genders.

“It’s very simple. It’s someone who believes in equal rights for men and women. I don’t understand the negative connotation of the word,” she said. “Or why it should exclude the opposite sex. If you are a man who believes your daughter should have the same opportunities and rights as your son, then you’re a feminist.”

But as Bey connected feminism to men, Adichie pointed out males don’t discuss the opposite gender as frequently as women chat about men.

“We women should spend about 20 percent of our time on men, because it’s fun,” she said. “But otherwise, we should also be talking about our own stuff.”

Still, Adichie said she found it “interesting” that Bey speaks out on human and civic affairs.

“She portrays a woman who is in charge of her own destiny, who does her own thing, and she has girl power,” the writer stated. “I am very taken with that.”

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