Novelist and feminist, Chimamanda Adichie has stirred a debate by saying it is difficult to equate trans-gender females to real women.
The writer shared her view on the issue in an interview with Cathy Newmand on U.K.’s Channel 4 News, which was aired on Friday. Adichie, who is promoting her new book Dear Ijeawele Or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions was asked during the interview whether it matters how you arrived at being a woman and whether trans-women can be considered real women , she explained it wasn’t difficult to accept that trans-gender females can be equated to real women.
She said , “ When people talk about trans- women , my feeling is that trans -women are trans-women . I think that if you entered the world as a man with the privileges that the world accord to men, and then sort of switch gender , it is difficult for me to accept that we can equate your experience with the experience of a woman who has lived from the beginning in the world as a woman and who has not been accorded those privileges .
“I don ’t think it is a good thing to conflate everything into one, I don’t think it is a good thing to talk about women ’s issues being exactly as the issues of trans -women.”
Her argument appears to stem from her idea that because many trans women have been assigned and raised male from birth until whatever point they decided to transition, she believes the male privilege they may have received fundamentally sets their experiences apart from those of cisgender women.
While she did also add that she supports transgender people’s existence, saying they should be “allowed to be,” she ultimately asserts that their experiences should not be “conflated” with women’s experiences.
Adichie, who is best known for her critically and commercially acclaimed book Americanah and a guest spot on Beyoncé’s track “Flawless,” was almost immediately called out on Twitter for her comments.