Author and advocate for gender equality, Chimamanda Adichie during an interview session with former US First Lady Hillary Clinton, confronted the latter over her Twitter bio which identifies the former first lady first as a “wife”.
During the interview at PEN World Voices Festival lecture at the Cooper Union in Manhattan on Sunday night, Chimamanda asked
In your Twitter account, the first word that describes you is ‘Wife.’ And then I think it’s ‘Mom,’ and then it’s ‘Grandmother’. And when I saw that, I have to confess that I felt just a little bit upset. And then I went and I looked at your husband’s Twitter account, and the first word was not ‘husband.’
Bill Clinton’s Twitter bio reads thus; “Founder, Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States.” There was no mention of his marital status, neither did he add that he’s a father.
Adichie said she wanted to know if it was Clinton’s choice to first identify in relation to her husband, and if so, why.
Hillary Clinton replied saying;
When you put it like that, I’m going to change it.
Explaining further Hillary said;
It shouldn’t be either/or. It should be that if you are someone who is defining yourself by what you do and what you accomplish, and that is satisfying, then more power to you. That is how you should be thinking about your life, and living it. If you are someone who primarily defines your life in relationship to others, then more power to you, and live that life the way Barbara Bush lived that life, and how proud she was to do it.
But I think most of us as women in today’s world end up in the middle. Wanting to have relationships, wanting to invest in them, nurture them, but also pursuing our own interests.