Margaret atwood weighs in on #metoo debate
Margaret atwood weighs in on #metoo debate

The Canadian writer warns against a structural witch hunt

After French actress Catherine Deneuve (cf. Instead of #MeToo: For more indecency between women and men), best-selling Canadian author Margaret Atwood has also weighed in on the #MeToo debate. In a text widely circulated on social media today for the coarse Canadian daily The Globe and Mail, she discusses, among other things, the case of former creative writing professor Steven Galloway.

Galloway was dismissed by the University of British Columbia (UBC) on the grounds of mere incriminationallegations dismissed. Before the allegations were revealed to him, he had to sign a confidentiality agreement that prevented him from defending himself against these allegations in the media. Galloway could only do that in court, where after hearing several witnesses it was decided that he did not commit the alleged sexual assaults.

Feeding fourth-wave feminists "merely the very old narrative that women are incapable of judging fairly and dismissively"?

Atwood and other writers called on UBC after that ruling to explain to the public its actions in this and similar cases – which drew criticism from so-called Fourth Wave feminists. The best-selling author therefore wonders whether these fourth-wave feminists are as unbiased as one should be in a case like this – or whether (without consciously meaning to be) they are "merely feeding the very old narrative that women are incapable of judging fairly and dismissively".

In her view, the proceedings at UBC are structurally similar to the Salem Witch Trials, in which guilt was already established with the accusation due to the rules of evidence that were unsuitable for the rule of law (cf. "disregard for the rule of law"). According to her observations, this phenomenon can be found throughout the history of the world "Virtue Terror" occurs when things do not go as planned after the promise of a better world – in the French Revolution, in Stalin’s Soviet Union, in the Chinese Cultural Revolution, during the rule of the generals in Argentina, and after the fall of the Shah in Iran.

"extremists whose ideology becomes a religion"

Are the institutions of a state governed by the rule of law being destroyed by "culturally entrenched lynch mob habits" then decide according to their words "Extremists whose ideology becomes a religion, and who treat anyone who does not follow their views like a puppet their thread, as apostates, harets or traitors" consider. According to Atwood, writers are particularly suspicious of them because they write about people who are by nature "not morally clear" are what ideologues "eliminate" liked.

Women are also, according to her "human beings with the whole range between holy and damonic behavior, including criminal behavior." They are neither "angels who can do no wrong", nor "children who are not capable of making a moral decision". If they were, then their rights had to be reduced to those they had in the 19th century, according to Atwood. century. That is why she does not think about special rights for women: "I believe", according to the writer, "in order to ensure civil rights and human rights for women, there must be civil rights and human rights – period."

Postmodern literary and identity theory believers

The allegation, made as an accusation by Fourth Wave feminists, that she is a "bad feminist", Atwood, according to her own statements, books in the same folder as the former in an "left-wing magazine" printed accusation that she builds her fame on a "Pyramid from the Heads of Coped Men" on, and the one in a "right-wing magazine" illustrated with leather boots and a whip, that she is a "Dominatrix with a perverse pleasure in the subjugation of men".

If you know Atwood books like Cat’s Eye, The Robber Bride and The Blind Assassin, the conflict that has now come to light between her and the Fourth Wave feminists doesn’t really come as a surprise. Actually, given the way the Canadian pokes fun at postmodern literary and identity theory believers, for example, in these highly entertaining pieces, it’s only surprising that it took so long for the apparently more focused on shorter snippets of text to become a "activists" that noticed (cf. Why no election with free name input?).