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Black Feminist Refuses To Apologize For Comments On Trans Women

Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie poses with her novel "Americanah" ahead of the 2014 Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction in London June 4, 2014. Irish author Eimear McBride won the 2014 Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction on Wednesday for her first novel, "A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing", which took her 10 years to get published. REUTERS/Neil HallAuthor Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie poses with her novel "Americanah" ahead of the 2014 Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction in London June 4, 2014. Irish author Eimear McBride won the 2014 Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction on Wednesday for her first novel, "A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing", which took her 10 years to get published. REUTERS/Neil Hall

Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie refused to back down from her comments on the experiences of transgender women Monday night.

Adichie defended herself at an event by the bookstore Politics & Prose in Washington for comments she made last week about the differences between trans women and women, reports the Guardian.

Adichie said the outrage surrounding her comments stemmed from her refusal to use the terms “cis women” and trans women when discussing them.

“I didn’t apologize because I don’t think I have anything to apologize for,” she said. “What’s interesting to me is this is in many ways about language and I think it also illustrates the less pleasant aspects of the American left, that there sometimes is a kind of language orthodoxy that you’re supposed to participate in, and when you don’t there’s a kind of backlash that gets very personal and very hostile and very closed to debate.”

People were outraged after Adichie argued that the experiences of trans women and women are different during a March 10 interview. She said that trans women, born as men, may not share the same struggles as women.

“I think if you’ve lived in the world as a man with the privileges the world accords to men, and then switched gender, it’s difficult for me to accept that then we can equate your experience with the experience of a woman who has lived from the beginning in the world as a woman, and who has not been accorded those privileges that men are,” Adichie said at the time.

Adichie maintained that her position on trans women and women hasn’t changed during her talk at the bookstore.

“But really, my position remains: I think gender is about what we experience, gender is about how the world treats us, and I think a lot of the outrage and anger comes from the idea that in order to be inclusive, we sometimes have to deny difference,” Adichie went on.

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Amber Randall
the authorAmber Randall
Amber Randall is a reporting fellow with the Daily Caller News Foundation. She covers civil rights.

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