Chimamanda Adichie: I have nothing to to apologize for over transgender women comments

Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie  (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images)

Story highlights

  • Acclaimed author faced heavy criticism for her comments on transgender women
  • Adichie later clarified her comments on Facebook but did not apologize

(CNN)Acclaimed Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is standing by her comments on transgender women which caused widespread outcry last week.

Adichie was accused of implying transgender women are not "real women," after a interview with Channel 4 last week, where she suggested the experiences of transgender women differ from women who are born female. Her comments drew immense criticism, resulting in Adichie posting a "clarification" of her earlier remarks on Facebook.
She addressed the controversy again at a public appearance in Washington D.C on Monday.
"From the very beginning, I think it's been quite clear that there's no way I could possibly say that trans women are not women," she said.
"It's the sort of thing to me that's obvious, so I start from that obvious premise. Of course they are women but in talking about feminism and gender and all of that, it's important for us to acknowledge the differences in experience of gender. That's really what my point is."
"I didn't apologize because I don't think I have anything to apologize for," she continued. "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 this is kind of language orthodoxy that you're supposed to participate in, and when you don't there's kind of backlash that gets very personal and very hostile and very closed to debate."