What does it take to get to the top — without losing your center? Our “Making It Work”series profiles successful, dynamic women who are standouts in their fields, peeling back the “hows” of their work and their life, taking away lessons we can all apply to our own.
“Feminist: A person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.”
This line is most famous for being in the middle of Beyonce’s “Flawless,” but before we were associating those words with Queen Bey, they were spoken by Nigerian author and activist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie during an April 2013 TEDx talk.
The 36-year-old novelist was born and raised in Nigeria, where she lives with her husband, after spending many years in the United States completing an undergraduate and two Master’s degrees. Ngozi is best known for her books — Half of a Yellow Sun (which was adapted into a film that will be released this summer) and the critically praised Americanah, which was named one of the New York Times Book Review’s best books of 2013.
And now of course, people have been praising Adichie for bringing feminist activism into mainstream pop culture. (She is also quite vocal on other social issues, including being an outspoken opponent of Nigeria’s anti-gay legislation.)
Adichie spoke with The Huffington Post about why it’s hard for some young women to embrace the term “feminism,” advice her mother gave her and one issue American women should pay attention to in 2014.
How do you define success and do you consider yourself successful by that measure?
Do I consider myself successful? I don’t really think in those terms. But if I said yes, I would need to counter it by saying it’s not the end. I think it’s very easy to…