Did You Know? Chimamanda Made Hillary Clinton Change Her Twitter Bio

Chimamanda's chat with Hillary at the PEN event/New York Times
Chimamanda and Hillary Clinton/New York Times

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian writer, is also known for being a strong feminist who has advocated for movements aimed at elevating women’s status in society.

However, few people believe that the winner of the 2007 Orange Prize for Literature will have a significant impact on the life of American politician and former First Lady Hillary Clinton.

Chimamanda and the 2016 American presidential candidate had a public chat at the PEN World Voices event in New York in April 2018. During the event, the “Half Of A Yellow Sun’’ author confessed that she was upset when she noticed that Clinton’s Twitter bio started with a description of “wife.”

Chimamanda told Hillary Clinton:

“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.”

At that time, the Twitter bio of the former American Secretary of State read: “Wife, mom, grandma, women+kids advocate, FLOTUS, Senator, SecState, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, 2016 presidential candidate.”


Reacting to Chimamanda’s observation, Hillary Clinton said she was “going to change it.” And she did by changing it to “2016 Democratic Nominee, SecState, Senator, hair icon. Mom, Wife, Grandma x2, lawyer, advocate, fan of walks in the woods & standing up for our democracy.’’

Watch the interview here:

Chimamanda would come under heavy criticism from people who questioned her regard for women who have chosen to be addressed as wives and taken up domestic responsibilities. She was also criticized for her judgment on Hillary, who is a proud wife and has achieved a lot.

Reacting to the criticism at the time, the Nigerian writer said:

“The truth is that we were supposed to be having a ‘conversation’, the context of our conversation was personal and warm. I had made the decision to speak from the heart, and it would be dishonest to pretend that I had not reacted personally to so many issues around Ms. Clinton, whose life has become a kind of crucible of all the questions that affect women.”

She further said:

“We all react personally to public figures. And I was upset that the Twitter bio of a woman who is the most accomplished person to run for President of the United States, would begin with ‘wife.’ Considering her personal history, it just didn’t seem to fit. I felt that ‘wife’ was used as an attempt to placate all the men and women who will not vote for a woman unless they are able to see her first in domestic terms.”

The multi-award-winning writer has been vocal with her views on feminism. Chimamanda’s TEDxEuston “We Should All Be Feminists” speech was sampled on Beyonce’s self-titled album.

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