On July 28 internationally acclaimed Nigerian author and renowned feminist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie presented the second University of Cape Town (UCT) Vice-Chancellor’s Open Lecture titled The Idolatry of Theory: A Defense of Storytelling.
But the university’s Students’ Representative Council (SRC) held a parallel lecture to boycott Ngozi Adichie, whom they accused of transphobia, with guest speaker Dr Anastacia Tomson who spoke on “the dangers of sectional feminism in the context of trans women”.
They boycotted Ngozi Adichie’s lecture because of an interview with BBC in 2017, where she said “trans women are trans women” in response to a question about whether she considers trans women as real women. She apologised after getting a backlash. She was criticised by members of the LGBTQIA+ community for the comment, saying she is transphobic and her feminism is “lacking intersectionality”.
The SRC said, in a statement, that: “As an institution which actively promotes intersectional feminism through its curriculum, it is important for us to recognise that Ngozi Adichie enhanced the divide in the feminist community with her anti-trans remarks, instead of using her platform and influence to highlight how trans women also have a right to simply be recognised as who they are without having to defend their womanhood.”
“The argument that transwomen are different from cis women assumes that trans women did not experience any form of discrimination prior to transitioning,” the SRC tweeted.