Thursday, June 17, 2021

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie sparks outrage with controversial essay

Award-winning Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has come under fire for an essay on her official website titled “It Is Obscene” published on Tuesday.

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In the three-part essay, Adichie addressed two unnamed authors whom she took under her wing, who later criticised her for transphobic comments made in a 2017 interview where she said “trans women are trans women”.

She was widely criticised by members of the LGBTQI+ community for the comment, with it labelled as transphobic and her feminism described as lacking intersectionality

Adichie recently shared a message of support for Harry Potter author JK Rowling, after she defended Rowling’s transphobic comments in her anti-trans essay last year.

Twitter users called Rowling a TERF – a trans-exclusionary radical feminist – and soon after, "JK Rowling is a TERF" started trending.

One of the authors Adichie addresses in the essay is Akwaeke Emezi, who is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns.

In the lengthy post on her website, Adichie details how she took Emezi under her wing after they attended one of her workshops in 2015, as she saw them as a “bright young Nigerian feminist“.

However, things went in sour in their relationship in 2017 after Adichie’s comments in an interview on Channel 7 about trans women, where she also said that “of course they are women, but in talking about feminism and gender and all of that, it’s important for us to acknowledge the differences in the experience of gender”.

Emezi and the other unnamed author called Adichie out for her comments on social media and shared alleged private emails from Emezi where they apologised for their comments and wanted to find a way to fix their relationship.

In addition to this, Adichie had asked Emezi to remove her name from the bio of their novel “Freshwater”.

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