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“I think the world in general has complicated feelings about women in authority”- Chimamanda Adichie on how Hillary Clinton is Portrayed in the Media



Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

In a chat with People magazine, Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie gets very vocal about her thoughts on the ongoing politics in America especially the faceoff between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the part the media has played in it.

See what she had to say below.

On why she is so concerned about American politics: What happens in America, just by virtue of being really the most powerful country in the world, will in some ways affect other people who are not necessarily Americans.

On the frustrating news coverage of the 2016 elections: It’s sad reputable media houses have to say things like, ‘We have to make sure that President Obama did not found ISIS.’ There’s a part of me that wishes that Hillary Clinton had a proper opponent that she could really debate. It’s a disservice to her intelligence.

On how Hillary Clinton is scrutinized in the media: People complain about Hillary not being charismatic, or say that she’s robotic – I think it’s her reaction to how she’s been treated, and a large portion of that treatment has been because she’s female. There’s a lot of talk about, ‘Oh, Hillary Clinton is so disliked.’ And I just keep thinking, ‘Well, she’s won all of these elections. Why are we not asking the question of who likes her and why she’s liked?’. I think the world in general, both men and women, has complicated feelings about women in authority and women in power. They say she doesn’t smile, they say she should laugh. There’s a lot that goes into the way that the public engages with her that would not happen if she weren’t a woman.

On her June short story for NYT called “The Arrangements”: I don’t think [Trump] thinks of women as full and equal beings, so I wanted to kind of poke fun of that. It’s the women in his life who have their own motivations, who kind of humor him, and who know him more than he thinks he knows himself.

On the effects of Donald Trump’s controversial comments about women: I think it’s perfectly fair to disagree with Clinton on her policies. But to call her a bitch? To talk about her being murdered? Even to talk about her personal life and her marriage, I just find it deeply misogynistic. And it’s not just making others to be comfortable in their misogyny – what it does is that it gives them an opportunity to say, ‘It’s not because we’re misogynistic. It’s not because she’s a woman.’ And that’s even more troubling.

Read more here.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Janette Pellegrini


  1. FasholasLover

    August 20, 2016 at 11:41 am

    It is sad indeed but, l believe there is no contest really. She is on her way to the white house. Except of course my niece who is 14 is right when she said “there are a lot of foolish people in America” meaning, Trump might just win.

  2. Mannie

    August 20, 2016 at 11:48 am

    The issue has to do with the nature of the organisational structure that is embedded in the offices of authority. Offices of authority are designed to encourage an impersonal relationship between people, and thus suits the self-centered alpha male type we witness mostly in such offices. It’s the reason why we see politicians who can ‘hate’ one another without feeling the need to settle disputes.

    This is mainly because of how large our human society is in comparison with other mammals who live in communes. For instance, Chimpanzees -who live in smaller communes- tend to have female heads in communes because they are responsible for taking care of the young. To do this, they have to rely on assistance from other females; thus having a more social and personal organisational structure of authority. Besides procreation and security, the male does not require collaboration to be effective, thus is mostly self-centered.

    I’m not arguing that women can only lead in small communities; nor am I arguing that men are/can not be social in offices of authority. Instead, I argue that we need to clearly re-define the roles of government in society (I would like to discuss what that can be), and encourage an environment where people learn to collaborate not strictly based on a barter of agreements, but on a knowledge the fundamental truth that underlies the reason for a society’s existence.

  3. ElessarisElendil

    August 20, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Has Hilary Clinton’s actions in any way benefited Nigeria?

    Have her actions had bad consequences on Nigeria?

    Those are the only questions that should matter to Nigerians. People have a problem with Hilary because she has connections with shady people and repressive regimes, has an iffy history with the truth and is trigger-happy with American military might.

    Where are our complicated feelings with Merkel, Park, Sirleaf et al???

    • Mannie

      August 20, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      As secretary of state, her relationship with Nigeria,especially dealing with the boko haram issue has created consequences which are debatable.
      If she becomes president, then her relationship with Nigeria will also be scrutinised. Thinking that Obama never visited Nigeria in his 8 years, was -to me- an indication that Nigeria did not matter much to the US (even despite the security issues we face which could affect them in the future).

    • nnenne

      August 20, 2016 at 3:24 pm

      My answer is, “somewhat! ”
      Nigerians live in the US and whatever affects their lives should matter to Nigerian natives, living in Nigeria.
      If you are talking about policies, then. , my answer to that would be, elect the right Nigerians in office.
      Remember, that each person must care for its own. Nigeria is not America’s responsibility. Nigeria must take care of Nigeria.
      Make no mistake about it.

  4. bruno

    August 20, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    chimamanda I love u so much but u are very misinformed about hillary Clinton. people are not criticising her because she’s a woman people are criticising her cause she is corrupt to the bone. we have seen it many times. from cheating senator sander in getting the democratic ticket to invading persecution by the fbi. or is it collecting money from big companies and banks. the clintons are corrupts. how much did our very own daft former president pay bill clinton when he spoke in nigeria.

    besides there is another 3rd party candidate who is a woman, jill stein, if u want to support a woman pls support jill stein not hillary.

    this woman hillary, has invaded persecution time and time again. from the 4 citizens killed in bengahzi to the email server scandal. besides if u are innocent why will u delete 3000 emails? who deletes 3000 emails if u are not hiding something. she is robotic cause she is a lair. she has practiced and rehearsed what she’s going to say over 100 times thats why.thats how liars are.

    nobody os voting for hillary Clinton cause she has wonderful ideas on how to move america forward, they are voting for her cause they are afraid of trump. at least trump is the enemy u know. The worst kind of enemy is the enemy u dont know or the enemy pretending to be ur friend thats hillary Clinton.

    another upside to trump is nobody can buy him.he is a billionaire, he doesn’t need ur money unlike hillary Clinton who has already been bought by big banks and big companies. when she becomes president she has to do these people lots of favours inreturn cause they funded her campaign.

    • nnenne

      August 20, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      @bruno… Hilary has no idea of how to move the country forward?
      Did I miss anything?
      Did you watch both conventions? Democratic and Republican?
      Apart from insuring Hilary, what ideas did Trump put on the table?
      I thought that Hillary not only had proposals but also explained how she intend to get those things done.

      If you missed the conventions go back and watch it on YouTube, again.

      From the look of things so far, Trump is the one without ideas and experience. My humble opinion.

  5. kezhia

    August 20, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    I am all for a female president, but not her. Someone else but her.

  6. bruno

    August 20, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    chimamanda u have disappointed me today. u are clouded with sentiment.

    ” There’s a
    part of me that wishes that Hillary Clinton had a
    proper opponent that she could really debate. It’s
    a disservice to her intelligence.”

    hillary Clinton debated against bernie sander, he trashed her thoroughly. she couldn’t even defend her self properly all she did was smile that her fake smile. he blasted her and highlighted how she is so unfit to be POTUS. he won her in that debate

    she is lucky that she is debating trump. who is not very smart. go and watch her debate against obama back when obama was running for president in 2007 or 2008. obama gave her good lashes during that debate. he dealt with her thoroughly.

    u better be happy she is going to debate someone like trump who is not very smart.

    • Mirele

      August 20, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      Bruno I’m sorry but you are notting more than a fantastical nameless, genderless self hating troll whose whole social life revolves around making shitty little comments on bella blog( you anit got a life) chimamanda on the other hand ( notice how her name isn’t auto corrected becos it’s recognised) People actually listen to what she’s got to say. She is PAID for interviews and conferences . You on the other hand spend your valueless time making up useless trivial illogical MONOLOGUE in your schizophrenic bipolar head ( i dont believe anyone has the time to actually have a CONVERSATION with you) and then you type your rubbish on bella blog. Well done. U don eat, u don baff. Abeg who you Epp.

    • James

      August 20, 2016 at 4:57 pm

      Mirele, Is it that you hate Bruno because he is a man or that he has opposing views from that of Adichie, your idol. Bruno listed reasons why he doesn’t think Hillary is the best candidate for the presidency. You, on the other hand haven’t said anything except ramble on, spitting out vile, name calling and hating. Grow up.

    • Mr. Egghead

      August 20, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      @Mirele . . . You’re the reason why some people say they never argue with women.
      You raise no counter-point and just excel at insulting people.

      If pesin box that your foul mouth na, you will say men are wicked.

    • Robot

      August 20, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      Mirele tell me you’re a man abeg. Don’t say you are female. We are smarter than this abeg. People just follow genera trends without using their God-given brains to think!! Bruno, like him or hate her, has said his or her piece and you are not even constructive on your criticism. All you’re doing is spew bile like a spoiled child. Please go and READ. Make up your mind on the candidates based on what information you’ve garnered and come back and try to convince people based on your convictions with reason this time. Stop being a douchebag. Thanks.

  7. ..

    August 20, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    The truth is there is no real opponent in this race Hilary is horrible so is Donald.

  8. tiana

    August 20, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    this woman has come again………………please go into politics if you want more women in politics and you have a lot to say.

    • The Real Oma

      August 20, 2016 at 11:12 pm

      Sweetheart she has not “come again” as you put it, her opinions were sought in an interview and she gave them…don’t worry, when you become ‘big’ like her, the media would also ask your opinion on varying subjects, including politics!

  9. Anon

    August 21, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Trump is an unapologetic charismatic racist. He has the power to invoke the dormant spirit of racism in every white Americans. He Is a Dangerous man. Chiamanda is spot on. He is Pretty much like Hitler but more because he got money. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Hillary is the lesser evil by farrrrrrr. It’s amazing how people are willing to cut off their noses to spite their faces by trying to make hilary look like the bad one here. Hummmmmm. Any black person, ethnic minority who endorses Trump is a traitor to their race . People need to stop talking cramp analysing rubbish and Read history. History has a sneaky little habit of repeating itself were people forget to open a damn book.

  10. Ify

    October 1, 2016 at 5:51 am

    I just love this woman so much and I always agree with that she says.

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