So this morning, I got on Twitter and voilà! my entire timeline was going apeshit over Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, my woman crush. What could the woman with the most perfect Afro, diction, and storytelling skill have done/said?
Based on popular opinion and understanding as expressed by the tweets that I’d read, she had said that she was a little upset that Hillary Clinton had begun her bio with ‘wife’. This is despite the fact that she is a big shot and is in fact a woman with many accomplishments.
I mean, this is Hillary Clinton (!!!) and among other magnificent things she’s a seasoned lawyer, senator, former Secretary of State, a founder of one foundation or the other, a former presidential candidate, a former FLOTUS, and how can we forget, a pantsuit aficionado <good one Hil>.
From the tweets I read and what all the headlines made it seem like, it was as if CNA was saying to HRC that all of these and still the wife tag… had to show up first?
The first thing that came to my mind is that CNA <sorry girl you got a long name and we, no time nor finger strength> is not just any kind of feminist, but a sensible, knowledgeable, and highly relevant one, and you don’t have to agree, it’s simply my opinion. Thus, I was very eager to know the details on this one. Where could this be found? I’m guessing, the actual video of the interview, or the article. So first things first, here’s a link to a rather helpful article.
On JEZEBEL and another one on, BUSTLE.
From the reports, CNA asks HRC if her bio beginning with wife is her choice, or a residue of of the campaign for the 2016 presidential elections. She doesn’t say,
‘Well damn Hilary, why on earth isn’t wife first in your bio? I don’t like that, it makes me a little upset’ OR ‘I’m a little upset that ‘wife’ comes before every other accomplishment you have in your bio’.
And that simply is fact, because if you take a look at the articles and the video, you’d see that. She however says she is upset by this, especially because former POTUS, Bill doesn't have to do the same.
This statement is highly important, if one intends to fully understand this conversation. The United States is a hodgepodge of peoples and being a presidential candidate means that one inevitably has to be aligned with the interests of all, or make it seem as if you have. I cannot even say most because in America, one cannot accurately identify the spirit or interest of the ‘most’, what these nebulous people stand for, nor who they truly are!
The relevance of Hilary putting wife first in her bio, at least for campaign purposes was in order to show that she was capable of representing the interests of Conservative America or less specifically, those who felt as though before anything, women should play the traditional roles of mother, maid, and chef. This is valid in my opinion because in American politics, social media plays an immense role. Whether through tweets, or pictures, or bios; the media pays attention.
CNA realized that as a man, Bill Clinton didn’t have to bend his back similarly, so she made reference to the disparity in their bios. He didn’t have to put all of his achievements on the back burner <or his humanity and elementary morals in Trump’s case> because he aspired to lead. America would take whatever they could get. This was why CNA was a little upset; because for Hilary, there wasn’t such an opportunity.
To be widely acknowledged and accepted, she still had to identify herself in relation to her husband.
Consider that perhaps this is of particular concern to CNA because in our part of the world, a lot of accomplished women are still given little or no regard (or people struggle or pretend to) unless and until they are married, and identify themselves in relation to a husband with the Mrs. tag.
To conclude, CNA is not policing HRC because she’s chose to put wife first in her bio. She did so, to highlight that even powerful women, have to still bend their back to be accepted by society.
Words by Chioma Echebiri - Read more from her, on her blog here.