Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Slammed For Defending JK Rowling’s Anti-Trans Essay
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said JK Rowling's essay slamming trans people for existing was "‘a perfectly reasonable piece."
November 17, 2020 at 8:38 pm
Some fans of author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie have expressed dismay about her recent comments in support of a controversial essay from literary icon JK Rowling.
The Harry Potter author courted controversy earlier this year when she defended a woman accused of transphobia and wrote a lengthy essay that exposed criticisms of trans peoples' right to exist. Mirroring comments from many Republican lawmakers, she said governments were "playing fast and loose with women’s and girls’ safety” by allowing trans people to use bathrooms, compared being trans to mental illness and said trans men were "escaping womanhood."
For months, trans activists and others have slammed Rowling for using her massive, global platform to spread conspiracy theories and hatred about trans people. Rowling has since continued to express her anti-trans thoughts and has not backed down from her comments, claiming trans people support her criticism.
This week, Adichie decided to bring up Rowling's essay unprompted during an interview with The Guardian while discussing her Winner of Winner’s award.
We are so excited to reveal that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been crowned your 'Winner of Winners.'
— Women's Prize (@WomensPrize) November 12, 2020
The widely adored feminist author took time out of her interview to criticize liberal Americans for alleged "self-righteousness" and criticized those who tried to educate her in 2018 when she was under fire for her own comments on trans women.
"There’s a sense in which you aren’t allowed to learn and grow. Also forgiveness is out of the question. I find it so lacking in compassion. How much of our wonderfully complex human selves are we losing? I think in America the worst kind of censorship is self-censorship, and it is something America is exporting to every part of the world. We have to be so careful: you said the wrong word you must be crucified immediately,” she said.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Feels "Trans Women Are Trans Women"
— SLAY TV (@slaytvnow) March 10, 2017
After her own controversial comments about trans people, Adichie told The Guardian that she was interested in reading Rowling's essay and thought it was "a perfectly reasonable piece.”
“Again, JK Rowling is a woman who is progressive, who clearly stands for and believes in diversity,” Adichie said, adding that she thinks criticism of Rowling's transphobia is “cruel and sad."
"And in terms of ideas, it is fundamentally uninteresting. The orthodoxy, the idea that you are supposed to mouth the words, it is so boring. In general, human beings are emotionally intelligent enough to know when something is coming from a bad place,” Adichie said.
While many online defended her right to make the comments and support her anti-trans remarks, the comments reignited some of the criticism her fans have leveled against her in recent years.