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“I want girls to reject likeability” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speaks on How to Raise a Feminist at the Women in the World Summit | Watch on BN TV



In this video by Women in the WorldPlanned Parenthood president Cecile Richards and celebrated Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie share their thoughts on the new wave of feminism – even in the Trump era, at the Women in the World Summit in New York City.

On Rejecting Likeability

There’s a terrible dangerous cultural mindset that says to women, you need to be liked,” says Adichie. “It’s nice to be liked, men want to be liked, but it’s the idea that women need it,” says Adichie. “Women who are sexually assaulted, they’re afraid of coming out about it because they’re afraid of not being liked. I want girls to reject likeability.”

Richards said in the words of her late mother, Texas Governor Ann Richards: “If you’re not pissing anybody off, you’re doing something wrong.”

Involve men and boys in the fight for feminism

Richards, who has three children, says her son Daniel “is every bit as feminist as his [two] sisters.”

“He was the Vice President of the Reproductive Rights group at his college. I see so many fathers and grandfathers marching for women’s rights, things are changing in the way men think about feminism, I think.”

Reject ‘Feminism Lite’

‘Feminism Lite’ is “the idea of conditional female equality”, says Adichie.  “It’s that you’re not equal to a man, a woman’s wellbeing depends on the benevolence of a man. “That’s more dangerous than not being a feminist, I think.”

Change the way we think about masculinity

“We need to deconstruct the way we think about masculinity and femininity,” adds Adichie. “Feminism is for men, too. Masculinity is also a cage that limits men — what if we raised them to think of masculinity as very different? What if we raised them to be ashamed of macho behaviour?”

Teach your kids to stand up and fight

“Women are ‘woke’ in this country and it’s awesome to see,” said Richards. “Women didn’t just march. Women have a sense of self-worth and women are more engaged like I have never seen in my lifetime.”

“Feminism cannot be a passive identity,” adds Adichie, “It has to be something we stand up and fight for.”

Watch the Video


  1. I need answers please

    April 7, 2017 at 3:51 am

    I fell in love with this guy and i told my parents about him but they objected to the relationship because he is a Holy grail worshipper (not a christian). I told him about it and we decided to end it as he was not willing to change his religion.
    We still communicate once in a while and now he is very serious about us getting married next year as i have not found love and neither has he. He has been asking me to discuss the issue one more time with my parents as he believes there might be a change of mind since they are already telling me to bring a man home.
    I am scared of talking to my parents about it again because the last time we had this discussion my father was already very angry at me a Christian falling in love with a holy grail worshipper as he believes they are Eckankar. I am really confused at what to do now because for me the boy is very a responsible person and his family is very nice and accepting and i see a future with him but i don’t want to marry someone that is not approved of by my parents. Please what do i do in this case.
    People that have been in such or similar situations how did you come out of it. Your sincere replies will be much appreciated.

    • looters

      April 7, 2017 at 9:08 am

      My dear, I read your story and I just kept on smiling. I was in the exact same position 3 years ago. I am Christian, met a Cross Bearer (Grail Message). We simply fell in love, he was a stand-up guy who adored me like no other. He proposed marriage and gave me the avenues to understand his faith i.e I read the 1st volume of ‘In the light of truth’ and attended their worship which is unheard of for a non cross bearer. After delving into his faith, I found out it contradicted so much with mine. In short, it denounces the core of our Christian faith which is Christ’s death and resurrection as Salvation for all mankind. It was tough, but I had to call it off. He is married now. My dear, if you really do understand your faith, you wouldn’t venture into this. If you don’t understand your faith, please grab every means to understand it; it is a gift from God. There is no way your marriage will be peaceful with him because both faiths are contradictory to the core. If you do get married, what faith will your kids be raised in? Remember that the kids you bring to this world are a gift from God and you owe it to him to raise those kids rightly. I know it will be had to let go, but it is not impossible only painful. If you need more information and clarity, drop your email address and I’ll reach you.

    • sharon

      April 7, 2017 at 9:15 am

      My dear, your parents won’t live with you and your future husband. The question you should ask yourself is “are you comfortable with him and do you love him and does he love you back?” As important as religion is, it shouldn’t stop you from falling in love with your future husband. You and this guy should discuss how you’re going to bring up your kids and what church you’ll be comfortable with bringing them up in. Good luck with your decision. God bless. Shalom

    • I need answers please

      April 7, 2017 at 3:50 pm

      Thank you vèry much for this reply. He loves me as much as i do but he wants the kids to be raised in his belief and so expects me to join him after marriage of which i don’t mind

    • AceOfSpades

      April 7, 2017 at 9:17 am

      The boy ‘needs’ likeability by your parents. He should reject it! If they like him fine….if not, fine!

    • Marigold

      April 7, 2017 at 9:30 am

      My dear, I don’t know who you are but I’m glad I saw your comment. I was in the exact same position 3 years ago, I am Christian and I met a Cross Bearer (Grail Message). We simply fell in love, he was a standup guy, brilliant, responsible and completely adored me. He later proposed marriage and gave me the opportunity to understand his faith i.e I read the 1st volume of ‘In the light of truth’ and attended their worship, which is unheard of by a non cross bearer. After delving into his faith, I found out that it contradicted the very core of my Christian faith which is Christ’s death and resurrection as salvation for all mankind. Judging from the terminologies you used in your comment, you don’t seem like you know much about his faith. If you do understand your Christian faith deeply, you wouldn’t venture into marriage with him. However, if you don’t understand your faith, this is an opportunity for to grab every means to understand it. If you marry him and you both have kids, in what faith will they be raised in? Think about it, deeply. Kids are a gift from God and you will be held responsible for passing and teaching your faith to them. I broke off the engagement. It was difficult but not impossible. He is married now. I know you will have a bunch of questions, if you do want to chat more, drop your email and I will reach you.

    • Ada

      April 7, 2017 at 10:21 am

      Go with your heart. My brother did the same. My parents were not with his marrying his wife but he called their bluff and married her. They’ve even disowned him but guess what? He’s so happy and his wife just had a baby girl. So far everything is going on well with them.

      I would do the same in a heartbeat because parents can be selfish and myopic sometimes.

    • dd

      April 7, 2017 at 10:46 am


    • Kamsiyonna

      April 7, 2017 at 11:10 am

      This is my exact situation, however unlike you I really wish he was a christian. Met him during Phd, and we became friends. Im not crazy in love with him, however we have a very good connection and rapport. Hes a scientist/engineer and we both live in Europe. He is a really hardworking and a great guy and has asked me to marry him on three different occasions. I keep saying im thinking about it and praying. Its such a huge decision for me and he understands my cold feet and all, hwoeevr I cant keep him waiting forever. Somehow ive been hoping i might just meet an Igbo guy but that has just not happened. He is a Edo albeit without strong ties to tradition. All his siblings also live here in Europe.

      I’ll be 31 next year and hes 34. Im just confused. At times I feel i should just take the plunge and hope for the best. Hes lived here in Europe much longer than myself while I hate it here. I just wish God would come and just fix this. I called it quits in December as I felt it was totally unfair stringing him along in my confusion, but somehow he came back last month and keeps telling me we can do this. I know my folks wont be in support of the non-igbo thingy, dont even know how to wage that war yet.

    • Tikka Masala

      April 7, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      Geez girl, sounds like you need to free yourself from this bondage of Igbo/not-Igbo business. It’s myopic and will keep you from living a fulfilled life because you have placed such ridiculous limitations on your self based on your self-imposed beliefs.

    • chu-chu

      April 7, 2017 at 11:20 am

      I know the feeling! I actually dated somebody who was a grail messenger, think they call themselves ‘truth seekers’ or something. I can almost say he was the love of my life, of the 4 guys I have dated, he was the only guy I was really in love with. Sadly, I had to break it off, could not deal with the religious differences, my parents are stanch Catholics. My take, discuss your differences, what happens when you have kids? whose religion would they grow in? Can you deal with the ” backlash’ that may follow? I couldn’t, so I got out. Just think it through!

    • newbie

      April 7, 2017 at 12:43 pm

      To be perfectly honest, you are not ready to marry- whether this young man, or someone else. When you are ready, you will come to the table with what YOU can live with and what YOU cannot. Your parents will not live your marriage for you, you will have to do that yourself. Have you investigated his religion for yourself and determined whether or not you are willing to switch sides? It appears to me you have not. When you do, you will know what to do. What your parents think will come in as secondary. All that talk about you have not found someone else and nor has he becomes irrelevant . Good luck as you work out your decision for yourself.

    • AMY

      April 11, 2017 at 10:00 am

      this by newbie is the best post here. Religion is so key that it seems the foundation upon which you want to build your marriage is already shaky.

  2. marlee

    April 7, 2017 at 8:55 am

    You are marrying him not his religion. so you keep yours he keep his problem solved. everybody happy.

    • O'Kel

      April 7, 2017 at 9:10 am

      No Marlee. Problem not solved. Everybody not happy. And she will be marrying him along with everything else he comes with.
      You see, one of the keys to having a successful marriage is to have compatibility in some vital areas with your partner, and that includes religion or faith. Faith is the backdrop to how we live and informs a major part of the decisions we make in life, so you see, if both are not compatible in that area, problems are bound to arise from that.
      Dear I need answers…, do not be in a hurry to make a decision about this. Pray and sincerely desire God’s leading. Think objectively about the situation, know that those butterflies in your tummy shouldn’t decide your forever. Be happy in your here and now as a single lady, and trust me you will arrive at the best decision for your life.
      NB: Your parents mean well, that doesn’t mean they should decide for you. At the end of the day, it’s your life gal.

    • Idomagirl

      April 8, 2017 at 10:05 am

      Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.
      Religion is such a powerful force in people’s lives – it affects and influences literally everything they do.
      If it’s just the two of you, it’s easier.
      But when raising kids start – it gets really complicated and messy.
      She needs to think long and hard about this.
      If she’s willing to give up her faith for his – she can proceed.
      Even then, is that a decision she will regret later?
      She needs to do thorough research about it before plunging in, even after converting will the tenets of her new faith contradict with all she’s internalized as a Christian?
      Changing your faith involves a whole lot, you don’t know how central it is to your life until you are in the process of giving it up.
      It’s not something to be made lightly.

  3. tina

    April 7, 2017 at 9:08 am

    As an adult I believe you have the right to choose the person you want to spend your life with. If you put your foot down, there might be hell at first but your parents will come around if they see how serious you are. In my case, did not even bother telling things about my spouse they don’t wan to hear. It’s my life, good or bad, let me bear my cross.

  4. Ifeyinwa Atuanya

    April 7, 2017 at 9:24 am

    you are an adult, yes, in addition to loving a man to marry him

    when your parents were bringing you up, if you feel that they brought you up to make you become the successful person that you are today, i think it is wise to listen to your parents and consider what they have told you about marrying your love

    I am not saying your love is a bad person, remember, they; your parents have been married, so they have the marriage experience

  5. Chelle

    April 7, 2017 at 9:30 am

    My Dear I NEED ANSWERS PLEASE. God loves you, his will for you will not make you confuse. it all boils down to how important is your religion to you. if you really love God you will put him first and that will guide all your decisions. You will find love. two cant work together accept they agree. Religion is a MAJOR part of marriage. i know its hard with all the pressure and all that, but God’s mind is full of you, he has the best of plans for you.

  6. Chartreuse

    April 7, 2017 at 9:34 am

    I should read more about Planned Parenthood.

    • FasholasLover

      April 7, 2017 at 6:44 pm

      Like play. like play, this post was derailed!

    • Idomagirl

      April 8, 2017 at 10:07 am

      Love it!

  7. Ebony

    April 7, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Hello I need answers please. Religion is a MAJOR thing to consider in marriage. The Bible tells is not to team up with those who do not love the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are a born again Christian, you don’t even need your parents to tell you not to marry him; you yourself will stay away from the guy. Do not let his niceness fool you. Being nice does not equate to bring a Christian or several choices and decisions that you will make as a couple.
    Please do not be led by your emotions, let the word of God guide you.
    Please read Ephesians 5:25-29 to know the type of man God expects you to marry.

  8. Reason

    April 7, 2017 at 10:21 am

    My husband and I are from completely different religions – me (Christian), him (non-Christian). My parents did not have an issue with the religious difference, but a number of relatives did. My dear, take Sharon’s advice. The decision is yours. You have to ask yourself the critical question and live with the decision that makes you happy (not one which makes your parents or anyone else happy).

  9. Biols

    April 7, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Hello i need answers please.
    its not about what you feel or been an adult it is doing the will of God for your life. Is it the will of God for you to marry a non-believer? is it the will of God that through you he will be saved? Remember marriage is a blessing from God since he designed it take it to him and ask him what is his purpose for you both. His will not yours or your parents will matters.
    How will you know the mind of God? through the holy spirit please pray about it fast and seek his face he will lead you.

  10. What do I know

    April 7, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Search your heart and be certain that you’re absolutely comfortable with his religion. Would you be comfortable with your kids toeing that line? What if after marriage he insists you convert?
    Some men after marriage begin to sing a different tune and you as the wife are expected to comply.
    Be sure you have discussed all possible angles and are on the same page and if you’re still happy, then follow your heart.

  11. Diamond

    April 7, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Have you considered switching to his Faith? Research about his church, and ask questions. See if you both as a family can worship together. It is of essence for you both, considering the children that will come. To avoid issues like what will be the kids faith. If you don’t have problem with his Faith, and you love to be married to him, then I say GO FOR IT! GET MARRIED!!

    But if you think you can’t become a grail messenger, then your discussion should be on you, if he is okay with you maintaining you faith. And what happens to the kids. If you both come to a common ground. I say again GO FOR IT! GET MARRIED!!

    Don’t worry about dad n mom if you are making your right choice, they will get over it and accept the reality. They live their own life.

  12. Zidon

    April 7, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    U pipo just hijacked Dis post………wanted to hear what d crazy feminists wld have to say about their ” Messiah s” latest utterance

    • Diamond

      April 7, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      Lols.. na BN cause am. Them for just put ‘I need answers please’ comment (question) in aunty bella.

    • denzel

      April 8, 2017 at 7:38 am

      yeah because there’s something funny about women wanting equality. In nigeria where a woman needs a witness to charge a man for rape. Or is it the sexual harassment? being expected to endure adultery and abuse? being paid less? working equal hours with your spouse and still expected to do all the housework? You people want to ignore or dress up the problem by obsessing over how women (justifiably) react. If you’re a misogynist, be like Chief or John and say it with your chest. And yes I’m reacting this way because it is this serious.

  13. Tikka Masala

    April 7, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Wow, not a single comment about what a fantastic video this is?! LOL!

    • Behold

      April 10, 2017 at 1:09 am

      Women and marriage discussion are 5&6 they go together, not even the grand feminist Adichie can stop women from putting any feminist talk before marriage discussion.

  14. Jayjay

    April 7, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    I agree with what Chelle and Boils have said. Marriage is a gift from God and not of man. It totally relies on your love for God, remember every good and perfect gift comes from God. His thoughts for you are thoughts of good and not of evil. He loves you more than you ever know so seek his face and put emotions or feelings aside. Emotions are always subject to change, they are never constant, but you serve a God of constant character. Right now it might look like the best thing, but whatever gift God gives makes rich and adds no sorrow. So if he has given you the gift of a husband it will come with peace on all sides. At the end of the day, your soul is priceless.

  15. tiny

    April 7, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    what your parents will see sitting down, u will not see even when u climb a tree, your parents may be old fashioned, bur guess what, they are after your best interest, religion is too strong a point to have dissenting view with your partner.

  16. Cath.

    April 7, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    If you are truly a christian, you wont be asking questions on this issue because the bible is very clear on such matters.

  17. Dayo

    April 8, 2017 at 8:52 am

    We should all be feminists – Adichie

  18. ijs

    April 8, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    You are this tribalistic and you have a PhD? I’m sorry but asides bagging the certificate, schooling hasn’t done much for you

    • RED

      April 9, 2017 at 10:58 am

      You are a jdudt simply WONDERFUL, whoever you are , u r jst WONDERFUL…. Took d words rite outta my mouth….

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