Chimamanda Talks Feminism – Nigerian Women Are Obsessed With Marriage

Award winning author Chimamanda Adichie was at London’s Royal Festival Hall last Sunday to celebrate the 10th anniversary of her acclaimed novel, Half of a Yellow Sun.

During her visit, Adichie had a near 90-minute conversation with chair Ted Hodgkinson where she discussed her work and several other things she’s passionate about.

On feminism in Nigeria, Adichie said, ”I think for people who have a hostility to the idea of gender equality, they will say things like, ‘You cannot be feminist and have a husband, actually,’ [laughs] ‘If you want to be a feminist, be a feminist in your husband’s house,’ [laughs] and it’s nonsense really.”

“I feel like younger Nigerian women are actually less progressive than even my mother’s generation. It’s not a question of blaming them, I think it’s a product of the society we live in and the messages they’re getting. And so people who are 23 are just obsessed with marriage, as the end-all and be-all. It’s very interesting to me.”

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“I also think there’s a kind of viciousness that underlies that obsession, and a kind of misogyny. I find that there’s actually a strong strain of misogyny in the young generation of Nigerian women. It’s very worrying. It’s the young women who police women, even more than men. It’s part of the same thing. In the end, for me, it’s ‘who does the system benefit?’ and it benefits men. Even if women are participating in it, it benefits men.”

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