Chimamanda Adichie Received A Mansplanation About Racism
5 min read
by Team Thinx | November 15, 2016
I don't know about you folks, but my eyes have rolled so far in the back of my head I can see my own brain about to combust (quick note to mainsplainers--this is a joke! No need to comment and explain brains to me!).
Adichie, a critically acclaimed author and vocal feminist took part in a panel on BBC Newsnight to discuss President-Elect Donald Trump. Adichie sat alongside BBC reporter Emily Maitlis and editor-in-chief of the conservative magazine American Spectator, R. Emmett Tyrrell. Throughout the 4 minute clip of this segment that I have now approximately watched 42 times, Tyrrell interrupts Adichie, shakes his head as she speaks, prompts her to "go ahead" when he allows her to talk, and , in my opinion, is sitting *way* too close to her? Which producer made that call?
"[Donald Trump] hasn't been racist," Tyrrell said after Adichie pointed out specific examples of racist remarks made throughout the election cycle.
"I am sorry but if you are a white man, you don't get to define what racism is. You really don't. You don't get to sit there and say that he hasn't been racist when objectively he has," Adichie responded. "It's not about your opinion, racism is an objective reality and Donald Trump has inhabited that reality."
Instead of listening to a black women's perspective on racism,Tyrrell takes this time to explain the Marxist theory of false consciousness to Adiche. "I can't even open my mouth here because I'm a white male," Tyrrell says after Adiche quickly rolls her eyes.
Poor Tyrrell! I can't imagine what it feels like to be silenced before I can accurately express my point of view. Must be tough!
Much like Liz Lemon and Judge Judy, Adiche's eyeroll prompted a deep joy inside me, a joy that rises every time a woman makes it clear that she is #over #it. Earlier this year, Broadly released an article called Evolution Explains Why Women Love Rolling Their Eyes So Much. They spoke to Dr. Tracy Vaillancourt, a University of Ottawa professor who conducted a 2013 study on the use of indirect aggression by women. "Women and girls—so used to fighting with subterfuge, apparently—have physiological reactions to the mere motion of the eye roll", she told Broadly, "whereas guys aren't as sensitive to it."
Perhaps I could be reading too deeply into Adichie's defense mechanism of choice, but I'd like to believe that her eyeroll was a special message to all of the women and girls watching. "Can you believe this guy?", her eyeroll said to me. "Why is he bringing up this Marxist theory while I'm trying to make a point about racism?" Excellent questions, eyeroll. I was wondering the same thing.
Watch Adiche display the patience and strength of a thousand suns below:
by Team Thinx