In a recent interview with Hillary Clinton– the 2016 presidential candidate of the United States of America, against Donald Trump the present president-, Chimamanda Adichie has made news for the statement she made to Hillary concerning her twitter bio data which states “Wife, mom, grandma, women+kids advocate, FLOTUS, Senator, SecState, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, 2016 presidential candidate”. She expressed that she was a little ‘upset’ having seen Hillary’s first description of herself to be ‘wife’.
A lot of criticisms have been published as regards her statement which only envisages her stance as a feminist. Personally, I believe that having to tell Hilary she was “upset” was uncalled for. I do believe she has principles, a stance and a theory which she lives by as a feminist, and I respect that. I do also believe that having to impose or pressurize people into accepting your values is in itself disrespectful. It is showing no respect for others’ values or culture.
To start with, advocating for equality doesn’t mean a woman cannot and should not be wife, mother, or more while also reaching the peak of her career. Her opinion about this I believe arises from the stereotypic gender role socialization. The fact that the society has grown to attach certain expectations and roles to people based on their sexes in determining how much of a man or a woman they are, which has, in turn, affected how these people construct their reality. The concept of femininity or masculinity, however, shouldn’t be misconstrued as being male or female. Gender and sex are not the same things. A mother is a mother. A father would remain a father.
Barrack Obama, the former president of the United States of America also has on his status “Dad, husband, President, citizen.” I do not see any criticism or displeasure being expressed for this. I believe Chimamanda overreacted. Values should not override judgment. Wanting to celebrate family before celebrating career is something anyone can do regardless of their sex. There’s no need to be upset about the choices people make. Reading an unnecessary meaning to a harmless action is what she has done. Of course, the little things do matter, in the same light the small actions do.
Feminism is a theory and a movement that I do very much respect. Understanding that people have been socialized differently in variation to their societal standards and as such can’t have the same principles over a particular course of action is however eminent. In the end, we should see reason in a bigger picture, gender equality: equity, not for one or some, but for all.