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Posted under: celebrity News

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on Beyoncé's brand of feminism

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In recent years, Beyoncé has launched a crusade and upped her girl power ante by making feminism her musical platform.

Photo: MTV

Over the years, fans marveled at Bey's message of women's empowerment in anthems like "Run the World (Girls)" and "Diva". Bey continues to evolve making her voice stand out about social issues be it in song or striking visuals. With the catchy lyrics from her 2013 hit, "Flawless", Yonce brings to the forefront society's double standard between the sexes while also singing about being naturally desirable.

Photo: MTV

Immediately, the Internet became flooded with think pieces hailing Bey a feminist hero, or in the contrast, criticizing her message for its so-called oversaturation of sex.

The superstar uses bits and pieces of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's TED talk in the song.
"We raise girls to see each other as competitors. Not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. Feminist, a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes."
For the first time last week, the critically acclaimed Nigerian author openly discussed this brand of feminism. In an interview with Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant, Adichie admits Bey asked permission and was granted clearance to use fragments of her text.

"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," Adichie said.

Adichie, author of Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun, delivered the speech in a 2012 TED talk which soon captivated Beyonce's attention for her album the following year. Even with her permission, Adichie says Beyonce's usage doesn't fall in line with her own context of feminism and women's rights.

"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? 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 percent of our time on men, because it's fun, but otherwise we should also be talking about our own stuff," she said. So why now is she being candid about "Flawless"? With the wave of success from Bey's surprise album and the single itself, Adichie said the public's initial reception of her message in the song came for all the wrong reasons.

"But I was shocked about how many requests for an interview I received when that song was released. Literally every major newspaper in the world wanted to speak with me about Beyoncé. I felt such a resentment (laughs loudly). I thought: are books really that unimportant to you? Another thing I hated was that I read everywhere: now people finally know her, thanks to Beyoncé, or: she must be very grateful. I found that disappointing. I thought: I am a writer and I have been for some time and I refuse to perform in this charade that is now apparently expected of me: "Thanks to Beyoncé, my life will never be the same again." That's why it didn't speak about it much," she explained. Adichie made it very clear in the interview about her respect of Bey's craft and positive influence as a celebrity.

"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," she said.

Check out Adichie's "We Should All Be Feminists" TED talk.

How do you define feminism? Let us know in the comments.

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