Often in literary criticism, writers are told that a character isn’t likable, as if a character’s likability is directly proportional to the quality of a novel’s writingRoxane Ga


I was going through a news archive, of one of my favourite writer, a feminist, a fellow countryman and a woman by gender. I came across one of her recent speech and I thought I should share with my ever interactive friends.

The award winning author and renowned feminist thinker Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie gave a speech  at the 2015 Girls Write Now Awards ceremony about the pitfalls and stupidity of pursuing likability.

Well if you don’t know, I live in a world where women are taught from a young age to be inoffensive, loving and working to avoid “stains” but Adichie thinks that wrong and had her heart bare laid bare to the world.

She thinks this attitude and pressure from society on the female gender would ultimately stunt the girl’s growth as a human being, preventing her from leading fully self-actualized life.

She had this to say to the world:

“I think that what our society teaches young girls is not fair, and I think it’s also something that’s quite difficult for even older women and self-professed feminists to shrug off, is that idea that likability is an essential part of you, of the space you occupy in the world, that you’re supposed to twist yourself into shapes to make yourself likable, that you’re supposed to hold back sometimes, pull back, don’t quite say, don’t be too pushy, because you have to be likable.
And I say that’s bullshit.
So what I want to say to young girls is forget about likability. If you start thinking about being likable you are not going to tell your story honestly, because you are going to be so concerned with not offending, and that’s going to ruin your story. so forget about likeability. And also the world is such a wonderful, diverse, and multi-faceted place that there’s somebody who’s going to like you; you don’t need to twist yourself into shapes.”

It’s funny how I can’t completely say for sure if she has my support on this one..
Share your thought with us fam.

What do you think??


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  1. I think likability is one of those characteristics that is assigned rather than developed. Everyone is likeable to someone or other: the weak are liked by the user, the submissive by the abuser, the strong by the needy the rich by the greedy… Because you are liked is not a sign of any great accomplishment – I would differ with Chimamanda in that society pushes likability on everyone regardless of externalities.

    This is a trend we have pushed on ourselves. Without the ability to give and receive “Like”s where would Facebook and WordPress be? Society does this? Who is this “Society” of which she speaks? Isn’t it all of us?

    I guess like is like love only less. Maybe “Society” should be more concerned with sharing the LOVE ‘cus Love-ability is what we are all born with… LIKE it or not!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Personally, I think we all strive to be likeable but no matter how hard we try, we can’t be liked by everybody. So, I say fuck it. Go be yourself and someone would definitely love you for you.


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