Nigerian-born award-winning author and novelist Chimamanda Adichie believes there are different types of feminism and that one size doesn’t fit all. According to Fader Magazine, the 39-year-old, self-professed feminist and women advocate recently declared that she doesn’t think pop superstar Beyoncé is a feminist in the same way she is.
In a recent interview with Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant, Adichie is careful not to call Beyoncé’s level of feminism into question, referring to Queen B’s approach to women empowerment as a different kind of feminism altogether.
On Beyoncé’s 2014 Platinum Edition album, an excerpt of Adichie’s TED talk titled “We Should All Be Feminists,” was sampled on the track “Flawless.” Adichie’s appearance on the track introduced her to a brand new audience, many of whom had previously never heard of her or her work.
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“In the first place, of course Beyoncé asked permission to use my texts and I did give her permission,” Adichie told de Volkskrant. “I think she’s lovely and I am convinced that she has nothing but the best intentions. In addition, Beyoncé is a celebrity of the first order and with this song she has reached many people who would otherwise probably never have heard the word feminism, let alone gone out and [bought] my essay.”
But then Adichie sought to make a clarification between the two of them when she told the newspaper,
“Still, her type of feminism is not mine. It is the kind that, at the same time, 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. Put a group of women together and the conversation will eventually be about men. Put a group of men together and they will not talk about women at all, they will just talk about their own stuff. We women should spend about 20 percent of our time on men, because it’s fun, but otherwise we should also be talking about our own stuff.”
Adichie emphasised that she considered Beyoncé a feminist and respected her every achievement, describing her as a woman “who does her own thing.”
In a 2013 interview hosted by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Center in Harlem, New York, Adichie had decried attempts to make light of Beyonce’s brand of feminism just because the singer was comfortable with being a feminist and a sex symbol. Adiche slammed what she considered the double standard that prevented a woman of color from being smart, sassy, and pretty, stressing that “the white version of Beyoncé wouldn’t [receive] that kind of response.”