Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie certainly has a way with words.
On Sunday, the Nigerian feminist writer sat down with London’s Southbank Centre Senior Programmer Ted Hodgkinson to celebrate the 10th anniversary of her novel Half Of A Yellow Sun. According to BuzzFeed, the two discussed the now-iconic book and her thoughts on feminism, motherhood and female sexuality.
Adichie, who is well-known for her feminist ideas and writing, described to Hodgkinson that feminism influences every part of her life: “I’m a daughter, I’m a sister, mother now, wife. All of those things, and being a good feminist, are not mutually exclusive at all,” she said. “A feminist is who and what I am. It’s not a cloak I put on on certain days and take off on certain days.”
The 38-year-old said that her writing is one part of her life that she really feels reflects her “belief about gender.” Her writing, Adichie says, is where she’s able to create an honest depiction of female sexuality.
“I think it’s so important that female sexuality be seen as a thing that is real, and complex, and is not at all connected with shame,” Adichie said. “It manifests differently but it’s true everywhere: There is always an element of shame when it comes to female sexuality. And for me, in my writing, I want to find ways to make female sexuality the human, flawed, beautiful, sensual thing that it is.”
I want to find ways to make female sexuality the human, flawed, beautiful, sensual thing that it is. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Adichie said one of her main goals in her work is to get people talking about feminism. Her words were launched into the public consciousness when Beyoncé quoted the author in the hit song “***Flawless.” That exposure definitely helped move the feminist conversation forward, Adichie said.
“I want to live in a world where men and women are truly equal. I want to live in a world where gender doesn’t hold women back, as it does today, everywhere in the world. I think we should do everything we possibly can,” she said. “And having young people talk about feminism, even having people say that word, ‘feminist’, who would never have said it, I think it’s a good thing. Is it ideal and perfect? No. But it’s part of the journey, I think.”
Head over to BuzzFeed to read more of Adichie’s conversation.