Prolific Feminist Author’s Comments About Trans Women’s Identity Faces Backlash
The feminist author’s argument stems from the idea trans women have been culturally conditioned to be men from birth until the point they decide to transition. Ngozi Adichie believes their male privilege fundamentally sets their experiences apart from non-transgender women.
Appearing on Channel Four earlier in the week, the Nigerian novelist said: “When people talk about, ‘Are trans women women?’ my feeling is trans women are trans women.”
“I think the whole problem of gender in the world is about our experiences,” she said. “It’s not about how we wear our hair or whether we have a vagina or a penis.”
“It’s about the way the world treats us, and I think if you’ve lived in the world as a man with the privileges that the world accords to men and then sort of change gender, it’s difficult for me to accept that then we can equate your experience with the experience of a woman who has lived from the beginning as a woman and who has not been accorded those privileges that men are.”
Although she insisted that she supports transgender people’s existence, she suggested their experiences should not be “conflated” with women’s experiences.
“I don’t think it’s a good thing to talk about women’s issues being exactly the same as the issues of trans women because I don’t think that’s true,” she said.
The acclaimed writer, who is best known for novel Americanah, was condemned for the remarks on Twitter.