Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: “You Do Not Become A Saint By Being Oppressed.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: “You Do Not Become A Saint By Being Oppressed.”

“To be a member of an oppressed group does not mean you’re sanctified. If you’re part of an oppressed group, then you’re just that – oppressed. You do not become a saint by being oppressed. So, a white feminist woman who is fighting misogyny can be an anti-black racist. A black person fighting racism can be homophobic. A gay person who suffers from homophobia can also be an anti-Arab racist. I’ve learned that oppression works in complicated ways. I’ve learned that we are all vulnerable to stereotypes. We are all guilty of absorbing stereotypes. If you live in a world that devalues a particular group of people, you are likely to grow up devaluing that group of people whether or not you’re a member of that group.

“And so, a woman being misogynistic should not be a reason to discredit the important work of fighting sexism. The systems of oppression, the cultural and societal ideas and institutions that perpetuate these various injustices are what we need to remake.”

 – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s words during her keynote speech at the INBOUND 2018

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  1. Black Dynasty
    May 04, 06:25 Reply

    100% agree. I’ve also noticed that oppressed populations tend to have a good chunk of people who also oppress. An example being racism, body shaming, “femphobia” etc in the LGBT community…. heck there’s homophobia too.

    One would think the most oppressed would have the most empathy; it’s a shame that this isn’t often the case.

    May 04, 08:50 Reply

    Oppression works in complicated ways. That’s the summary here. Hence, the oppressed oppress.

  3. Lizzy
    May 04, 08:57 Reply

    That you are LGBTIQ does not make you a saint. You can be LGBTIQ and still be oppressing people that you see different in the LGBTIQ community.

  4. Higwe
    May 04, 10:08 Reply

    No truer words have been spoken .

    The self acclaimed “true gays ” vs the TBs ..

    Masculine gay men vs the effeminate ones ..

    The “elite ” gay man vs the presumed dumb, muscled IG model.

    The conventional gay men vs the sides , bisexuals ,asexuals and pansexuals.

    The free sex giving gay men vs the money requesting gay men.


    It’s an unending circle of judgement and hypocrisy.

    Funnily enough , everyone finds a way to justify their own hypocrisy ?.


    “Being oppressed does not make you sanctified” ????….some people honestly need to hear this more often.

    I was watching an interesting series the other day ” dear white people ” …..the lead female character – Samantha White …. is an especially curious case .

    There you have a very beautiful,confident , bold and assertive black girl ……. but then strip Samantha White off her ” racial segregation movement” , and you’ll have a very bland, half- white girl (not categorically a good person ) caught in a love triangle between two very boring men.

    Many people are building their world on the back of a movement rather than their actual selves.

    Bellwethers are important ; self is importanter .

    Leave yourself empty and you’ll end up exactly like what Chimamanda said – just an oppressed . Nothing more , nothing less.

    To Whom It May Concern ….Victimhood is not a virtue. ?

  5. Mandy
    May 05, 07:19 Reply

    People like Bisi Alimi will keep trying to sanctify their victimhood, all the while sneaking some real oppressive bad behaviour behind the saintliness. We see you, you hypocritical buffoon. We see you. ??

  6. Delle
    May 05, 17:56 Reply

    This is apt. Probably the reason I have a problem with people who think a gay man CANNOT be misogynistic or sexist because the truth is, he can. Is it acceptable? Perhaps not. But is it possible for a gay men to be very much in tune with his male privileges as to ignore what should be gender equality or abhor gender patronisation? Hell yeah.

  7. D
    May 05, 18:24 Reply

    I feel like many are missing the point. She’s not saying this to imply ‘every one oppresses, hypocrisy abounds, it’s all the same’. Listing all the ways or groups (you know) that discriminate is not the heart of this. What you need to take from this is that while being an oppressed minority doesn’t sanctify you, you should honor that minority, that rareness, by respecting other forms you may be tempted to despise. It absolutely does not mean you shouldn’t judge, it just means you shouldn’t be a bully. Basically, don’t punch downwards: if you’re doing something for a ‘moral’ reason, there has to be a real victim whose rights you are fighting for. Don’t judge people for things that don’t affect other people

  8. Eddie
    May 06, 20:22 Reply

    Higwe lol…
    Apparently,the Library is now open lmao…

  9. pankar
    June 04, 08:32 Reply

    Point is quit oppression and discrimination. Respect other persons differences

  10. Limitless
    November 11, 08:56 Reply

    We’re all guilty of this. Being oppressed does not mean we are saints, no!

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