Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie questions lack of compassion in cancel culture as she backs JK Rowling

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie questions lack of compassion in cancel culture as she backs JK Rowling

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, whose novel Half of a Yellow Sun has been hailed as the women’s prize ‘winner of winners’, has weighed in on the trans controversy surrounding JK Rowling.

Back in June, in response to the backlash that accused her of transphobia, the Harry Potter author posted an essay on her website that explained her stance as being gender critical and not transphobic. While Rowling states that “trans people need and deserve protection”. She expressed her worry that about “the new trans activism” and how their call for gender identity would greatly impact the rights of cisgender women.

And Adichie has thrown her weight behind Rowling, speaking of her essay as “a perfectly reasonable piece.”

Speaking to The Guardian, Adichie said she was interested by “all the noise” sparked by Rowling’s article on sex and gender, saying of The Ickabog author: “Again JK Rowling is a woman who is progressive, who clearly stands for and believes in diversity.”

She went on to blame social media for this rush to censure, something that she finds both “cruel and sad. And in terms of ideas, it is fundamentally uninteresting. The orthodoxy, the idea that you are supposed to mouth the words, it is so boring. In general, human beings are emotionally intelligent enough to know when something is coming from a bad place.”

Chimamanda also reflected on the backlash she faced when she made her own views on trans people’s identities public in 2017.

During an appearance on Channel 4 News while promoting her book, Dear Ijeawele, Adichie was asked if “trans women are women”, to which she replied: “Trans women are trans women.”

The feminist and acclaimed author went on to say that based on the experience trans women have had with male privilege, she doesn’t “think it’s a good thing to talk about women’s issues being exactly the same as the issues of trans women because I don’t think that’s true.”

Following the backlash that ensued, Adichie doubled down on her comments, saying, “Of course [trans women] are women, but in talking about feminism and gender and all of that, it’s important for us to acknowledge the differences in experiences of gender. That’s really what my point is.”

Speaking to The Guardian about the furore, Adichie said: “There’s a sense in which you aren’t allowed to learn and grow. Also forgiveness is out of the question. I find it so lacking in compassion. How much of our wonderfully complex human selves are we losing?”

She added: “I think in America the worst kind of censorship is self-censorship, and it is something America is exporting to every part of the world. We have to be so careful: you said the wrong word you must be crucified immediately.”

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  1. Tristan
    November 16, 10:41 Reply

    Should we even debate this? Trans women are trans women. That doesn’t make them less valid.

    • Ken
      November 16, 13:55 Reply

      That’s not what they are saying. Don’t simplify everything.

  2. Mitch
    November 16, 11:15 Reply

    I no dey stan nonsense!!!!
    👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

  3. Ken
    November 16, 14:01 Reply

    Tbh the society we live in is seriously f**ked up. In nigeria many of us in the cities think we have problems, from loneliness to police brutality to unavailability of the desired shagging partner. But all this pales in comparison to the trauma of that sissy boy born in the village to an all machismo hetero-strongly patriarchal-gay hating society. He’s trapped with zero chances of survival let alone happiness. Many run mad or develop one type of psychological problem or the other.

    Ok I know I may be blabbing a little, but all this is informed by an event I witnessed in the village recently. Being overtly gay or feminine is a cursed for those doomed to be trapped in the village. Let us be thankful for the little peace we have.

  4. Realme
    November 16, 14:46 Reply

    What exactly is Adichie scared of?

  5. SMOG
    November 16, 19:09 Reply

    It’s so sad that Chimamanda and JK Rowlings think trans women are an attack to cis womanhood. I don’t know why they feel trans women are competing against them in some way when in reality, (black) trans women are in the bottom of the barrel of humanity. You never hear them bash trans men who are also transgender people, their negative opinions are only for transwomen😩😩😩

  6. Peaches
    November 18, 13:27 Reply

    I do not intend to pick on anybody, but I think their statements explain themselves. Nobody ever mentioned being “threatened” in their feminity. Transwomen are women, yes, but do not forget that the transwomen have enjoyed male privileges, and as such, transitioning does not erase that. It is something they’d have to accept and love themselves as regardless. just like masculine women, feminine men, even transmen.

    • Delle
      November 18, 23:33 Reply

      Transwomen are Transwomen. Not women. Period.

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