Adichie needs transformation

2017-03-23 07:03

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has cultivated a good career as a young scholar and author. Indeed she has been acclaimed and celebrated over her body of work on women’s rights, feminism and equality. She is a sharp thinker and has portrayed herself as a deliberate person, careful and thoughtful beyond the horizon. Many disagree with her and this is healthy and expected.

On Channel 4 in the UK, Dr Adichie last week made a comment about a subject matter that is within her discipline and indeed she should be expected to have carefully considered and thought through. Dr Adichie told Channel 4 that trans-women are not women or have not earned the right to be called women because they experienced favour and privileges as males prior to transitioning.

So I thought, if a boy child is born with a disability that either makes them immobile or other bodily difficulty does that boy have privilege over a girl child born healthy? It seems to me that is what Dr Adichie is arguing. That by virtue of being assigned male organ by God or nature, irrespective of all other intersectional matters you are thus privileged. I also know that Queen Nzinga was female.

What about transgender people who transition to female from male? Do these (new) males hold right to be called females after transitioning? Maybe Dr Adichie would say – no, they have not earned the right to be called male cause they did not experience male privilege from birth. What about the young teens who are transgender? What life of male privilege do they know?

The biggest issue with her argument is that it attacks equality itself. It attacks self-identification, realization and freedom. It suggests male’s transition to female for other motives other than their true identities. It also would mean females who transition to male may only be after the pervasive male domination of the world and not really in need of medical intervention to be who their souls say they are. Dr Adichie simply materializes gender identification to just privilege versus lack thereof.

There are many more questions to ask Dr Adichie – like how is one a female or male? Is it on genitals? Is it on privilege experience? Is there more to being human? Are women who cannot bear children women? Do women who choose not to marry women? The intersectionality of these questions bear direct development from the statement that some women aren’t holding a right to be women. What about those born with both sexes? Or those with male equivalent testosterone levels? Is that why we need to ban certain women from women sports codes? Caster Semenya or how masculine Serena Williams looks? Where does the string end?

Intellectuals world over are getting this intellectual thing wrong in these internet industrialization times where information is microwaved. Gone are the times and images of kindle lit long night thought process without cameras clamouring over and seeking quick answers. The emergence of retail intellectualism is slowly robbing humanity of wisemen and women. If things do not change, we will be left with media credit chasers.

It is true that females are oppressed by males and that this male world has not be fair to females and the oppression is real, criminal and should end. This oppression is against all females but mostly the marginalized, poor and black/brown. The marginalized women include the disabled, the young, the rural, misgendered, uneducated, the lesbian, the transgendered and so forth.

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