Renowned feminist who featured in a Beyoncé video has said trans women aren’t women

A leading feminist writer who appeared on Channel 4 news has become the latest to deny that trans women are women.

Chimamanda Adichie, who is renowned for her feminist rhetoric and an appearance in Beyoncé videos, appeared on the news programme to discuss the validity of trans women, and proceeded to deny their right to womanhood.

The Nigerian writer said that when asked if “trans women are women”, her “feeling is trans-women are trans-women.”

Adichie said that she believes being a women comes down to the experiences someone faces, not genitalia.

“I think the whole problem of gender in the world is about our experiences. It’s not about how we wear our hair or whether we have a vagina or penis,” she said.

The 39-year-old went on to address female and male privilege, and said trans women could not be women because they had experienced male privilege.

“It’s about the way the world treats us and I think if you’ve lived in the world as a man with the privileges of the world accords to men and then sort of changed or switched gender, it’s difficult for me to accept that then we can equate to 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.

“I think there has to be, and I’m saying this also with, sort of, a certainty that transgender people should be allowed to be. But I don’t think it’s a good thing to conflate everything into one.

“I don’t think it’s a good thing to talk about women’s issues being exactly the same as trans women because I don’t think that’s true,” she added.

The controversial interview has sparked backlash on Twitter, where users including @Idee_fixe_ and @RaquelWillis_ are schooling cis women such as Adichie on the danger of cisgender hegemony.

“Chimamanda being asked about trans women is like Lena Dunham being asked about Black women. It doesn’t work. We can speak for ourselves,” Willis wrote in a thread addressing the interview.

“The average woman is cis. That does not make her womanhood more valid. All it says is that trans women are on the margins.

“When you ostracise and devalue trans women and their womanhood, you are operating as a tool of the patriarchy,” Willis added.

Host of the BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, Dame Jenni Murray, also recently suggested that trans women are not “real women”, and used the same defence of male privilege.

Another feminist speaker, Germaine Greer, also faced criticism ahead of appearing at an International Women’s Day event in Brighton for her trans-exclusionary rhetoric.