Nigerian born author and feminist, Chimamanda Adichie, has again ignited a global discourse following her take on chivalry and its understanding.
In an interview with Trevor Noah on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show Tonight, Adichie said: “I think gestures like holding the door shouldn’t be gendered. I think it’s lovely to hold the door but we should hold the door for everyone like I hold the door for everyone both men and women, so I think the idea of holding the door for a woman because she's a woman, I have a problem with it.
“I love people holding the door for me but I hope they are not doing it because of the idea of chivalry. Because chivalry is really about the idea that women are weak and need protection but we know that there are many women who are stronger than many men, so really what I think is the people we should protect are people who need to be protected whether men or women. Which is also why I have a problem with the idea of women and children when women are classified in the same group as children when there is a tragedy, you hear women and children should be first. I think actually people who are weak, unwell should be first,” she opined.
How Nigerians view Chimamanda's take on chivalry
However, these words of the ‘Americanah’ author have sparked mixed reactions amongst the male and female folks in Nigeria.
While a number of the male folks on Twitter disagree with Adichie’s take, the female folks are divided. Some totally disagree with Adichie’s opinions as others throw their weights behind her.
A female Nigerian broadcaster with the handle @TheFavouredWoman disagreed with Chimamanda saying her foray into politics and public commentary isn’t so good.
“Chimamanda Adichie is a really good writer but her foray into political commentary is showing her up. Brilliance in one field doesn't mean brilliance in everything. Even in feminist discourse, she's sometimes missed the mark but we onlook. But market must sell abi? Ok,” she wrote.
A female makeup artist, @iam_jayCheqs had this to say: “Most men are stronger than women, men protect women, gender roles are ok if it’s not harming anyone, it does not make you a lesser person. Opening doors is a really nice gesture. Please don’t create a war where there isn’t one. Don’t take good things away daughters of Chimamanda”
Rotimi Ibitoye, a lawyer has this to say: “Chimamanda is going through a Kanye phase. A stage in your life where you just want to rebel against the status quo. It's normal with creatives, but pls apply sense. Even animals have gender roles, it is innate. A female lion hunts for food and the male protects the pride.”
Supporting Chimamanda’s take, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji of Andela said: “Chimamanda said treat everyone - men or women equally and all of a sudden patriarchy cannot stand the thought. How surprising?”
For Onuoha Dave a biochemist, here’s his take: “All Chimamanda is saying is: Hold or open doors because you want to, because it makes you feel good. Not because you're opening it for a woman, and just because she's a woman, you need to open the door for her. Is that so difficult to understand?”
Other tweets on Chimamanda's take on feminism and chivalry