A few days ago in an interview with Channel 4, Chiamanda Ngozi Adichie expressed her thoughts about how we address trans-women. Since then there has been an uproar in response to her statement.
She said: “From the very beginning, I think it’s been quite clear that there’s no way I could possibly say that trans women are not women. It’s the sort of thing to me that’s obvious, so I start from that obvious premise. Of course they are women but in talking about feminism and gender and all of that, it’s important for us to acknowledge the differences in experience of gender. That’s really what my point is.”
It seems that people are really missing her point. She hasn’t dismissed the existence of transwomen, in fact she acknowledged them and their experience, she could’ve just merged trans-women and women together but that would be denying experience. Should we ignore experience and deny its importance?
Trans-women don’t all agree when it comes to how they want to be identified. Kate Bornstein, also a trans-woman and friend to Caitlyn Jenner said””I don’t call myself a woman…”
In saying that, would Chiamanda offend trans-women who don’t want to identify as women , if she called them women? We live in a pluralistic society where there are many identities as well as perspectives. Chiamanda’s perspective on gender is her own and she can only genuinely convey her own view of women and the world we live in, without inciting hatred.