Nigerian author, Chimamanda Adichie, who came under heavy criticism over the question she asked former U.S presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton has reacted to the condemnation that trailed the question.
Adichie has come under heavy criticism for questioning Clinton on why she described herself in her twitter bio as a “Wife”.
But in her response to the criticisms, the writer said “I felt quite emotional when I met her. Having read and followed her for years, it was moving to see her: the warm, human, observant, present, thoughtful person (and looking wonderful, with her hair and makeup on point!).
She said she had read my books and I restrained myself from doing cartwheels.
“Is there anything you don’t want to talk about?” I asked backstage.
“Ask me anything,” she said.
“Towards the end of our conversation, I told her how, having read her writing about her own life, I think she has a great love story with Bill Clinton. A wonderful friendship. I said I feel irritated and protective of her when people dissect her personal life, but I also confessed to having an interest myself, particularly about her public Twitter profile. (I first noticed it when I was researching a piece about her during the presidential campaign). I was upset that the first word used to describe her was ‘wife.’ Was it a choice she had made or was it something done for her campaign and, if it was a choice she had made, did she think my reaction to it was fair?
“Her response was very thoughtful.
“I was too excited, emotional, slightly nervous, to be on stage with this remarkable woman. Had I kept in mind how easily outrage-mongers would jump on a headline, I would have phrased my question better. I would not have made it about my being upset, because it can come across as navel-gazing”
Speaking on the question she asked Clinton the renowned author said “But the truth is that we were supposed to be having a ‘conversation,’ the context of our conversation was personal and warm, I had made the decision to speak from the heart, and it would be dishonest to pretend that I had not reacted personally to so many issues around Ms. Clinton, whose life has become a kind of crucible of all the questions that affect women.
“We all react personally to public figures. And I WAS upset that the Twitter bio of a woman who is the most accomplished person to run for President of the United States, would begin with ‘wife.’ And considering her personal history, it just didn’t seem to fit.
“I felt that ‘wife’ was used as an attempt to placate all the men and women who will not vote for a woman unless they are able to see her FIRST in domestic terms.
“Yes, it’s just Twitter. But it matters. It’s a public platform. It’s where people go to hear directly from her.
“And there is context to consider.”
“I completely stand by my question and by my conviction that it is a subject that matters.
I had a truly enlightening evening on that stage with Ms. Clinton, and was once again awed by her grit, her humanity, her sparkling intelligence.
After the conversation, Ms. Clinton told me, “It was like talking to a friend.” She is now my Aunty For Life.” She added.
SaharaReporters, New York