Despite having one of her TED Talks infused into Beyoncé’s song “Flawless,” award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says that while she respects the pop star icon acceptance of feminism, it’s radically different from her own politics.
“In the first place: of course Beyoncé asked permission to use my texts, and I did give her permission. I think she’s lovely and I am convinced that she has nothing but the best intentions. In addition, Beyoncé is a celebrity of the first order and with this song she has reached many people who would otherwise probably never have heard the word feminism, let alone gone out and buy my essay,” she recently told the Dutch newspaper de Volksrant.
But to Adichie, Beyoncé’s girl power seems too focused on how our lives are connected to men.
“Still, her type of feminism is not mine, as it is the kind that, at the same time, gives quite a lot of space to the necessity of men. I think men are lovely, but I don’t think that women should relate everything they do to men: did he hurt me, do I forgive him, did he put a ring on my finger?” she asked.
“We women are so conditioned to relate everything to men. Put a group of women together and the conversation will eventually be about men. Put a group of men together and they will not talk about women at all, they will just talk about their own stuff. We women should spend about 20 per cent of our time on men, because it’s fun, but otherwise we should also be talking about our own stuff,” she concluded.
However, she does appreciate that Bey is independent and stands up for what she believes:
“Her style is not my style, but I do find it interesting that she takes a stand in political and social issues, since a few years. She portrays a woman who is in charge of her own destiny, who does her own thing, and she has girl power. I am very taken with that.”
While we’re sure that the Beyhive is going to lash out for these comments, let’s just remember that feminism isn’t the same for everyone and that’s really OK. Plus, there’s nothing wrong with spending less of our time worrying about the male gaze and more time on our own personal development and happiness.
Watch Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “We Should All Be Feminists” TED talk below.