Nigerian author and feminist advocate, Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie, highlighted how Jesus Christ’s treatment of women is an important symbol for gender equality. She made this known while speaking in an interactive forum on Monday.
According to the award-winning writer, the stories in the bible were rooted in particular culture of the Jewish society which at the time was patriarchal and as such, Jesus Christ’s relations with women was something new to them.
She said this was symbolic and proves everyone is equal in the sight of God. She also mentioned the fact that when Christ rose from the dead, the first set of people he came in contact with were women.
A member of the audience, went on to challenge Adichie’s position that men and women were created differently, as he disputed the calls for equality saying:
“If God created a man with 9 ribs and a penis and then he created a woman with 7 ribs and a vagina, it’s not balanced from the beginning. So the argument that a man and a woman should be equal is never going to be balanced. If God wanted us to all be equal, he would have created us as hermaphrodites’ he said.
But Adichie while responding said:
When you say equal, I think it’s important for you to understand that when people say men and women are equal, people are not saying men and women are the same, because, obviously, we are not.
If we were the same, then we wouldn’t even have the problem we have. Because the reason that women have been opressed and suppressed and subjugated is because they’re different from men. And when I say ‘different’, I mean biologically different. Obviously, you talked about vaginas and penises.
When we say men and women are equal, we say that men and women, have… should have – because they still don’t – equal opportunities in all spheres of life. That you should not, because somebody is a woman, say that she cannot do something, or that she cannot be something. That’s what we mean by equality.
Now, we’re talking about equality of the sexes.
There have been movements for other kinds of equality. So, in parts of the West, there’s a movement for racial equality.
Nobody tells black people, nobody says to them, ‘Does this mean you want to be white?’ or ‘Do you think you’re the same as white people?’
You’re Black and you’re White but the point is that you have equal access. That’s what this conversation is about.
Adiche, a strong voice and advocate in the conversation of feminism and gender equality, gets constant criticisms for her opinions on the role and position of women in society.