Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: “Beyoncé’s type of feminism is not mine.”

Chimanda Ngozi Adichie

Author and feminist writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie recently shared her thoughts on her work being linked to Beyoncé. The Queen Bey took an excerpt (with permission) from Adichie’s 2013 TED talk “We Should All Be Feminists” and included it in the single “Flawless” off of her self-titled album, which came out later that year. While Adichie was pretty well-known and respected in her own right, Beyoncé introduced her to an even wider audience.

“With this song she has reached many people who would otherwise probably never have heard the word feminism, let alone gone out and buy my essay,” Adichie said in an interview with Dutch paper De Volkskrant.

Adichie also shared her thoughts on Beyoncé’s politics and style:

“Her style is not my style, but I do find it interesting that she takes a stand in political and social issues, since a few years. She portrays a woman who is in charge of her own destiny, who does her own thing, and she has girl power. I am very taken with that.”

Still, her type of feminism is not mine, as 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.

While some might interpret Adichie’s statement as “shade” or even harsh criticism, she actually exemplifies an important aspect of feminism — there are many ways to be a feminist and to engage with feminism.