It’s been three years since the release of Beyoncé‘s self-titled 2013 album, which included the track “****Flawless” with its sample of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED Talk We Should All Be Feminists. In that three years, the critically acclaimed writer has refrained from speaking out about her inclusion on the album — until now.
In an interview with Dutch publication de Volkskrant, Adichie shot down any speculation that Beyonce had used her TED Talk without permission. “Of course Beyoncé asked permission to use my texts, and I did give her permission,” she said. “I think she’s lovely and I am convinced that she has nothing but the best intentions.”
Even though Adichie was OK with Queen Bey using her statements on feminism in her song to promote awareness, the fame that came along with it was a different story. The Nigerian novelist felt that Beyoncé’s “type of feminism is not mine.”
“I was shocked about how many requests for an interview I received when that song was released. Literally every major newspaper in the world wanted to speak with me about Beyoncé. I felt such a resentment,” she laughed. “I thought: Are books really that unimportant to you? Another thing I hated was that I read everywhere: Now people finally know her, thanks to Beyoncé, or: She must be very grateful. I found that disappointing. I thought: I am a writer and I have been for some time and I refuse to perform in this charade that is now apparently expected of me: ‘Thanks to Beyoncé, my life will never be the same again.’ That’s why it didn’t speak about it much.”
Adichie has praised Beyoncé for promoting the well-being and independence of women and of herself, but according to Adichie, the pop star might put too much weight on the necessity of men. “I think men are lovely, but I don’t think that women should relate everything they do to men: Did he hurt me, do I forgive him, did he put a ring on my finger? We women are so conditioned to relate everything to men. Put a group of women together and the conversation will eventually be about men. Put a group of men together and they will not talk about women at all, they will just talk about their own stuff.”