Margaret Atwood Accused of Transphobia on Twitter
The 'Handmaid's Tale' author posted support for 'Toronto Star' writer Rosie DiManno, who condemned the use of gender-inclusive language in an op-ed
This morning, Atwood shared a link to an article titled "Why can't we say 'woman' anymore?" which, among dozens of TERF dog whistles, also contains the following passage:
"[J.K.] Rowling was branded a TERF — activists do like their neologisms — meaning trans exclusionary radical feminist. As if she was hostile to the trans movement, which she assuredly is not."
The article, written by Rosie DiManno for the Toronto Star, implies that the Harry Potter author and known transphobe's gender-critical views "got her bludgeoned by the mob" of trans rights activists. The article also claims that in the "outer orbit of linguistics," the word "woman" is "being blotted out" because of medical texts that use language inclusive of all genders. Further, the article reduces pregnant people who aren't cis women to a "tiny" number of people "born with female genitals."
The supposed "erasure" of women is among the most common tropes of TERF rhetoric — however, Atwood has still come to DiManno's defence, telling her followers: "Read her piece. She's not a Terf."
Many disagree with Atwood, as well as DiManno, and, as we all know by now, Rowling, on their stance that womanhood is being erased by gender-inclusive language. Several of Atwood's followers have pointed to the fact that no one is banning the use of the term "woman," meanwhile, the use of gender-inclusive language does not specifically target women or "people who menstruate," as there is a spectrum of genders represented by such terms.
See Atwood's tweets, as well as Twitter's reaction, below.
Maybe you should read Rosie's piece? https://t.co/jpkKGMMLdG— Margaret E. Atwood (@MargaretAtwood) October 19, 2021
Read her piece. She's not a Terf. https://t.co/KLMmf0FwAq— Margaret E. Atwood (@MargaretAtwood) October 19, 2021
This is obviously a straw man to provoke manufactured outrage. Of course you can still say woman. You just shouldn't use the word to describe people who aren't women, e.g. trans men.— Jemmancipation (@jemmapf) October 19, 2021
Oh no you're right I just tried to say it and a bunch of non-binary people stormed into my apartment and made me throw out my dresses. Ugh I just wish I had as much power as trans people do— Hilary Agro 🍄🎃 (@hilaryagro) October 19, 2021
I'll never understand why changes like these are resisted when they make room for people that have been oppressed or are living under oppression. WHY?! It's no skin off your ass.— tanya tagaq (@tagaq) October 19, 2021
No one is banning the word "woman." Many organizations are — rightly — opting for precise language when talking about things that have to do with biological traits rather than gender identity. It's not an attack on womanhood to NOT equate gender with specific biology.— Katie Mack (@AstroKatie) October 19, 2021
I'm disappointed you shared this because it's factually untrue. We can still say "woman" & we can also say "people" when it makes sense to use more inclusive language. I'm nonbinary. I also menstruate and gave birth to 3 kids. Saying "people with periods" includes women AND me.— Mx. Amanda Jetté Knox (@MavenOfMayhem) October 19, 2021
Oh look you're angry language is finally starting to include people like me.— Ouaquaga on Chenango (@JnxOuaquaga) October 19, 2021
Disappointed in you.
But not shocked.
I hear JKR is looking for friends. You can sit at her table.
For example, I say "folks with periods" or "people who menstruate" because not all women menstruate and not everyone who menstruates is a woman.— Abbie Karlish (@KabbieArlish) October 19, 2021
No one is taking away any words from you or anyone else.
Whenever a trans man or nonbinary person has asked me to use more inclusive language, they have been very kind about it. And none of my trans or nonbinary acquaintances have ever demanded I stop saying "woman" in every case. We should reject straw men in social justice arguments https://t.co/Oh3C2JJYUZ— Mangy Jay (@magi_jay) October 19, 2021
Inclusive language does not exclude women. Not every women gets periods, can carry a child or even had a uterus. Not all issues related to these subjects are applicable to all women and suggesting they are only make those who do not experience them see worse. https://t.co/82zly9wESI— skylar ☭ (@emptyteeth) October 19, 2021
I really don't understand why these people find inclusive language so threatening, to the point that they have to deliberately misrepresent things to feel like a victim. Doesn't that feel... I dunno... kind of like the internet misogynist playbook? https://t.co/Cr4byKcl0d— GrossShaggy (@postshaggy) October 19, 2021
Sorry birthing person this is a transworld now. Wax her balls. https://t.co/vh7hcgJSJl— HVAC/R (hard) (@6MgCitrusZyn) October 19, 2021
It's fascinating to me how irate some "feminists" (aka TERFs) are by language instead of, you know, actual violence against women, cis & trans, and gender fluid people. JKR was not actually "bludgeoned by the mob" for her transphobic views. She faced swift & abundant critique. https://t.co/tsQITuNpCB— Steph Herold (@StephHerold) October 19, 2021
I am supposed to believe these vile jokes are a good faith start to the article?? No. I will not engage with this. pic.twitter.com/gIVM2xql2W— Rachael (@tomethatscinema) October 19, 2021
Constantly erased in this discussion despite that we're a big part of it. The reference it makes to the Jk Rowling tweet is a shining example. The fallout of her saying that had /most/ people replying with "Trans women are women" which, obviously they are but, that's not what--— SollyBooOOOoooOooOOo (@SollyBoy18) October 19, 2021
Simultaneously acknowledge the existence of people who share some of their experiences who aren't women. And in all my years of being trans, I've never seen a trans person say that woman is a bad word. Because it's not. Terfs are the people who strawman us that way.— SollyBooOOOoooOooOOo (@SollyBoy18) October 19, 2021
DEVELOPING: Margaret Atwood throws her hat in the ring to become Canada's J.K. Rowling— CBC Pitchbot (@CBCPitchbot) October 19, 2021
Margaret Atwood everyone, right on cue.— Robyn E. Schwarz (she/her) (@robynsch) October 19, 2021
For folks who aren't yet familiar, Black and Indigenous feminists have been calling out her whiteness for a long, long time. Her takes on #canlit have always been problematic. Peak white feminism. Her supporting terfs? Unsurprising. https://t.co/gQ9dukc9hS
The number of prominent women revealing themselves as terfs is yet another symptom of girlboss feminism that aspires to gain "equality" for women by simply inhabiting the logics of cis heteropatriachy https://t.co/dvGJQreEe5— Amy Gaeta (@GaetaAmy) October 19, 2021