Margaret Atwood Joins the Bullies

Margaret Atwood has completely lost it. She has joined the crowds that are hounding JK Rowling and is aggressively arguing that women don’t exist as a biological category.

I’ve always been perplexed with the people who considered her a feminist. Yet the whole premise of her most famous novel falls apart if women aren’t a separate biological category.

You’d think a famous writer who isn’t young and has achieved everything it’s possible to achieve would avoid joining the crowd that sends streams of death and rape threats to another female author. But Atwood has decided that she absolutely needs to participate.

What a disappointment.

40 thoughts on “Margaret Atwood Joins the Bullies”

  1. Margaret Atwood’s fame, honours, and personal fortune $$ has largely been built on writing fiction safe for ‘progressives’ to enjoy. She’s been a faithful worshiper in the church of the woke for many decades so no surprise that she’s OK with tweeting jibber-jabber like “what people feel in their heads is also biological.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’d think a famous writer who isn’t young and has achieved everything it’s possible to achieve would avoid joining the crowd that sends streams of death and rape threats
    Atwood doesn’t have a theme ride at Universal based on her books. 😛

    I think they both signed this same letter which came out today: A Letter on Justice and Open Debate


      1. You should love the contents of this letter. It should be like manna from heaven for you. “Woke” twitter is talking about this letter; not mega author on mega author twitter spats.


          1. OK, I glanced at it and it’s blaming Trump for the cancel culture. So it’s totally stupid. Thanks for letting me know.

            Even talented writers like Rushdie can be complete idiots.


            1. It’s a committee letter. I’ve never read a great committee letter/petition in my life. And it’s really directed at people on the left:

              This is literally fact and this pisses people off:
              …censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty. We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters. But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought. More troubling still, institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments instead of considered reforms. Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes. Whatever the arguments around each particular incident, the result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal. We are already paying the price in greater risk aversion among writers, artists, and journalists who fear for their livelihoods if they depart from the consensus, or even lack sufficient zeal in agreement… We need to preserve the possibility of good-faith disagreement without dire professional consequences. If we won’t defend the very thing on which our work depends, we shouldn’t expect the public or the state to defend it for us.

              The tweets! The enraged leftist tweets!


              1. Watching woke twitter have a collective meltdown over this has certainly been entertaining.

                At least it makes the current cultural landscape clear. This was about the most bland milquetoast statement in favor of freedom of expression that you can imagine. The fact that all the self-styled “progressives” are reacting to it as though it were a call for setting up Trump sponsored extermination camps for all non white males in the country kind of gives the lie to the “Of course progressives don’t hate free speech” claim that gets trotted out with ever increasing shrillness lately.


              2. Are fired, are ousted, are barred. So much passive voice. Who is doing all the ousting and the barring? The only person who is named directly is Trump. Trump is guilty of many things but really not of this.


            2. Forget the sentence about Trump in the letter in Harper’s. The main point of the letter is to condemn cancel culture and to defend free speech and inquiry. This is a positive development in the fight against PC authoritarianism. Of course, the letter probably won’t have any real impact on the current norms in SJW discourse, but at least some prominent people are speaking out about this issue.


              1. Good for him. I stopped reading immediately after Trump was mentioned as the instigator of the woke cancel culture. If they cancel speak out plainly against this insanity without pretending that it’s a right-wing thing, I’m not interested in what they have to say.

                Republicans / conservatives have gigantic problems on their side. Gigantic ones. They are intellectually, morally and philosophically bankrupt. But this is not one of their problems. They are not organizing or inspiring the cancel culture because they don’t have the power to do it. Period. Anybody who wants to pretend this is a both-sides issue is an idiot.


              2. “Forget the sentence about Trump in the letter in Harper’s.”

                Not sure why this sentence should be forgotten. In fact it needs to be underlined as it provides the context of the remainder of the statement.

                To review: “…Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy. But resistance must not be allowed to harden into its own brand of dogma or coercion—which right-wing demagogues are already exploiting.”

                Is there any evidence whatsoever that Trump is “a real threat to democracy?” Seriously? Or is this just another partisan delusion/lie of the liberal wing of the ‘progressive’ Red Guards highlighting the limits they would favour imposing on free speech? Free speech for “right-wing demagogues” doesn’t seem at issue here as much as denying “right-wingers” a platform. And, who exactly are the evil “right-wing demagogues” (Tucker Carlson? Seriously?) who they accuse of “exploiting” the unsportsmanlike excesses of the revolutionary wing of the woke/woker/wokest Red Guards – the ones who are cancelling poor defenceless, otherwise left-thinking, NYT editors?

                “We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters,” they say. Sure, I just bet – now pull the other one, please.


              3. This all started long before Trump ran for anything. This isn’t about Trump at all. The real problem is that there is some sort of an inner defect in leftism that makes it always, without exception, lead to totalitarianism.

                Right-wing movements have produced very strong totalitarianisms, too, obviously. But it doesn’t happen 100% of time. With leftists, though, whenever three of them get together, one is destroyed for thought crimes. Always. Everywhere. There’s an interesting phenomenon that deserves to be studied here. There’s something in leftism that either attracts or creates highly anxious people who can’t abide any unpredictability to the point where all expressions of humanity should be reduced to the prescribed bare minimum. That’s why you are only supposed to speak in the cliches they allow. This is what’s interesting to discuss but nobody dares.


              4. “inner defect… With leftists, though, whenever three of them get together, one is destroyed for thought crimes. Always. Everywhere.”

                In the church of the woke, there is no God, no Orthodox tradition, no pope. It’s a free-for-all – like Protestants who fight over fragments of the interpretation of dogma.


              5. Speaking of the Harper’s letter, can anyone explain the thinking of the people who signed it and then within hours of its publication jumped onto twitter to publicly disavow it and announce that they want their names removed?

                Other than making themselves look comically pathetic, what can the possibly think they’re accomplishing?


              6. Maybe they are sacrificing themselves to offer a practical demonstration of how the cancel culture works.

                No, of course not but they achieve precisely that goal.


              7. “Other than making themselves look comically pathetic…”

                They would have been fine if they’d stuck to the first paragraph denouncing Trump as a “threat” to democracy along with his “right-wing” running dogs of demagoguery. It was adding all those extra words in the subsequent text calling into question the cancelling of liberal ‘progressives’ that got them volunteered for the tallest dunce caps in their very own struggle session.


              8. It’s also appearing on the same list with several people who are already being cancelled because, as everybody knows, signing an open letter with somebody means you endorse 100% of what this person said in any context at any stage of life. And what anybody who likes this person ever said. And what anybody who likes what anybody who likes…. And so on.


              9. Leftists believe in equality. Creating a society where everyone is equal necessarily requires beating anyone who steps out of line.


  3. This is the craziest thing in publishing I’ve ever seen since academics usually want to publish papers:

    // Authors of study on race and police killings ask for its retraction, citing “continued misuse” in the media

    The authors of a controversial paper on race and police shootings say they are retracting the article, which became a flashpoint in the debate over killings by police, and now amid protests following the murder of George Floyd.

    The 2019 article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), titled “Officer characteristics and racial disparities in fatal officer-involved shootings,” found “no evidence of anti-Black or anti-Hispanic disparities across shootings, and White officers are not more likely to shoot minority civilians than non-White officers.” It has been cited 14 times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science, earning it a “hot paper” designation.


    1. “We were careless when describing the inferences that could be made from our data. ”

      lol – “Smash the four olds and establish the four news!!”


    2. Well, they are afraid of being cancelled, aren’t they? To the woke they are complicit unless they denounce themselves. Only thing is, ultimately it won’t save them. Wrongthink/Crimethought is lethal and sooner or later they too will be unpersoned.


      1. The woke mobs don’t recognize that they are “illiberal” or opposed to free speech. The party apparatchik at my school says he’s completely in favor of the freedom of speech. It’s the Nazis he doesn’t like. Of course, any speech he dislikes automatically becomes Nazi speech. But there’s no way he’ll take this letter as being about him.


  4. Is disagreeing “bullying” now? Really? I looked at Atwood’s comments, she was not hounding Rowling at all, and the one brief mention I saw of Rowling in her comments seemed totally polite and respectful. This is all independent of whether Atwood’s views on this are bad/stupid; that doesn’t make it bullying. She isn’t saying Rowling is evil or needs to be cancelled, she isn’t proposing we all burn our Harry Potter books, she isn’t harassing her or encouraging others to do so. If this was the way everyone handled disagreement, cancel culture wouldn’t be a thing.


    1. When a person is being hounded by a crowd, saying “yeah, I agree with the crowd” is really not the same as saying this at any other time. The only normal thing to do when this is being done to a person is to speak up for them, no matter what your own opinion on the subject of the disagreement is.


    2. From what I’ve seen, Atwood is not being a bully toward J.K. Rowling; they just disagree about “sex.” It’s the TRAs (trans rights activists) who are bullying Rowling. And they’re often very vicious.


  5. You could always come visit here. It’s been upper 80s F and 75-100% humidity for weeks. And this means we’re having a mild summer… normally we’d be hitting the mid-90s every day right now, with the humidity unchanged. The daily afternoon thunderstorms temporarily cool things down so it’s not unbearable. We haven’t been forced to turn on the A/C yet this year 😉


  6. // Leftists believe in equality. Creating a society where everyone is equal necessarily requires beating anyone who steps out of line.

    Reminded me of this analysis of Aleksin’s novella (Have you read it? I loved Aleksin and even now have several his books at home):

    Воспитание “какувсехов”
    Дискриминация — зло. Любая. Позитивной она быть не может

    Иногда у меня появляются странные идеи – взять какую-нибудь позабытую книгу (для современных читателей она, наверное, мало отличается от древнего папирусного свитка, хотя и размещена в интернете), перечитать, помедитировать…

    Вот и вчера, поскольку погода была хуже некуда (если что, июль, с какого-то бодуна посчитавший себя сентябрем – это единственный сестрорецкий “ужас-ужас”), я так и поступил. Открыл повесть Анатолия Алексина “Безумная Евдокия”, которая вызывала острые споры где-то в середине 70-х, перечитал…

    И понял: а повесть-то – современная! Вот как будто по свежим следам. Ну, почти…

    О чем она? О мерзком явлении – о позитивной дискриминации. Без всякой Америки с BLMом. Явление – общее…


    1. Oh, I love Aleksin. He’s a genius children’s author. The one about the boy with old parents has a huge impact on my life. I’m now working out daily because of it.


  7. I thought the analysis of “Insane Evdokiya” was a bit stretched, but this comment managed to persuade me:

    // Там еще накладывается другое. Талантливая ученица может стать альтернативным для училки “центром силы” в классе, а после школы – в обществе, но уже для тоталитаристов всех мастей: кгбшников, партии и т.д.


    1. I read the post and it’s very good. All of the adults in the story are complete neurotics. And the poor child has to carry the burden of being surrounded by these freaks. I always felt bad for her.

      But Aleksin is the closest we got to an evangelical preacher in the USSR. His writing is deeply Christian. I don’t know anything about him but I wouldn’t be surprised if he were a crypto Christian. His lessons are always about complete self-sacrifice for others. This is why his stories are often painful to read.


    1. “the already-famous letter on ‘justice and open debate'”

      Several people who signed this “open debate” letter have now notified Harper’s that they want their names removed because of some of the other famous signatures alongside theirs.

      Apparently they consider the views expressed in the letter to be valid only if people they dislike (such as J.K. Rowling) aren’t allowed to agree!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it’s a terrible pass we’ve come to, isn’t it? — where you can’t say whether you agree that 2+2=4 until you know who said it and whether anyone of dubious character has yet agreed to it 😦 . It’s suddenly a long way back to the days when we were allowed to judge a proposition based on the actual content of the proposition.


  8. I saw this on the news and it’s horrible. Cancel culture is bullying of the worst kind. Keep speaking out about it, Clarissa! We need more people willing to stand up to this appalling evil!


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