Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: ‘Can people please stop telling me feminism is hot?’

Emma Brockes in The Guardian:

FemThe success of We Should All Be Feminists has made Adichie as prominent for her feminism as for her novels, to the extent that “now I get invited to every damned feminist thing in the whole world”. She has always been an agony aunt of sorts, “the unpaid therapist for my family and friends”, but having the feminist label attached has changed things, and not just among her intimates. “I was opened to a certain level of hostility that I hadn’t experienced before as a writer and public figure.”

…In response to her new book, a reporter emailed her the question: “Why not humanism?” (instead of feminism). To which, she says, “I thought, what part of the fucking book did this person not read?”

It’s like the people who go around saying All Lives Matter, I say, in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. “Right, which I find deeply offensive and very dishonest. Because we have to name something in order to fix it, which is why I insist on the word feminist or feminism.” This, she says, in spite of the fact that many of her friends, particularly black women, “resist that word, because the history of feminism has been very white and has assumed ‘women’ meant ‘white women’. Political discussion in this country still does that. They’ll say, ‘Women voted for…’ and then, ‘Black people voted for…’ And I think: I’m black and a woman, so where do I fit in here?” As a result, “Many of my friends who are not white will say, ‘I’m an intersectional feminist’, or ‘I’m a womanist’. And I have trouble with that word, because it has undertones of femininity as this mystical goddess-mother thing, which makes me uncomfortable. So we need a word. And my hope is we use ‘feminism’ often enough that it starts to lose all the stigma and becomes this inclusive, diverse thing.”

More here.