It all started from the BBC interview where Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s transphobic ideas sparked a controversy on social media and her support for JK Rowling in The Guardian interview was a cherry on top. “Trans women are trans women,” she said in the interview when asked about trans feminism. “It’s difficult for me to accept that then 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 that men are,” she further added.
Author of Americanah, Half a Yellow Sun, and an acknowledged feminist, Adichie accused her student- Akwaeke Emezi, who is a non-binary transgender, as being an opportunist. The young novelist criticized Adichie for her comments and said that she “hates trans people.” On the other hand, Adichie shared Emenzi’s emails where they appeared apologetic and she asked Emezi to remove her name from their novel and slammed them on the essay on her website. “You use my name (without my permission) to sell your book AND then throw an ugly tantrum when someone makes a reference to it?” she wrote. Emezi took instagram to counterattack and said the essay was titled to “incite hordes of transphobic Nigerians to target me.”
According to NPR, “In the ‘It Is Obscene’ essay, Adichie also dives back into her frequent criticisms of social media and cancel culture — positions that for some observers denote an age divide.” Adichie noted that youngsters are scared to voice out their opinions on twitter, “they read and re-read their tweets because they fear they will be attacked by their own.”
Where trans people are still fighting for representation and acceptance, this war on social media does not only addresses the “transphobic hordes” but also the cancel culture embedded in the system. Where Adichie presents herself as a victim of cancel culture Emezi says that, “You can’t ‘both sides’ oppression. You can’t ‘both sides’ when one party has power and is punching down at a more marginalized party.”
featured image via daily mail