One of Nigeria’s foremost renowned writers, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie feminism game has gotten tighter as she asked former US presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, why her Twitter bio begins with ‘wife’, rather than her career achievements.
The two were talking at a PEN World Voices Festival lecture at the Cooper Union in Manhattan on Sunday.
“In your Twitter husband’s Twitter account, and the first word was not ‘husband.’” Adichie asked the former FLOTUS while interviewing her., the first word that describes you is ‘Wife.’ And then I think it’s ‘Mom,’ and then it’s ‘Grandmother. And when I saw that, I have to confess that I felt just a little bit upset. And then I went and I looked at your
Bill Clinton’s Twitter biowith, “Founder, Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States.”
Adichie wanted to know if it was Clinton’s choice to first be identified in relation to her husband, and if so, why.
“When you put it like that, I’m going to change it,” she laughed; before adding that women should be able to celebrate both their personal and professional achievements.
Clinton went on to quote the late former First Lady Barbara Bush, who said: “At the end of the day, it won’t matter if you got a raise, it won’t matter if you wrote a great book, if you are not also someone who values relationships,” Jezebel reports.
Clinton added that the subject matter of female identification wasn’t so clear cut; “It shouldn’t be either/or. It should be that if you are someone who is defining yourself by what you do and what you accomplish, and that is satisfying, then more power to you. That is how you should be thinking about your life, and living it. If you are someone who primarily defines your life in relationship to others, then more power to you, and live that life the way Barbara Bush lived that life, and how proud she was to do it.
“But I think most of us as women in today’s world end up in the middle. Wanting to have relationships, wanting to invest in them, nurture them, but also pursuing our own interests, Clinton concluded.