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Sunday, August 09, 2020

Margaret Atwood tweets in support of transgender community

Margaret Atwood is the latest author to join those supporting trans rights. Prior to her, Stephen King had done the same.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Published: July 9, 2020 11:06:50 am
Margaret Atwood went to engage with users regarding this topic. (Express Photo by Rohit Jain Paras)

After Stephen King, Margaret Atwood has come out in support of the trans community, in a series of tweets. At the outset, The Testaments author shared a link and wrote, “Biology doesn’t deal in sealed Either/Or compartments. We’re all part of a flowing Bell curve. Respect that! Rejoice in Nature’s infinite variety!”

ALSO READ | JK Rowling deletes tweet praising Stephen King after he says ‘Trans women are women’

The author went on to defend her opinion and trans rights in the subsequent tweets. When one user asked, “How did the people in Gilead know which people to make into Handmaidens?”, the author responded, “In the novel, they had to be: divorced (Gilead doesn’t allow divorce) +fertile. Or “immoral.”(Though these might be Jezebels.) Women married only once would be Wives (high status) or Econowives. Some could choose celibacy+ be Aunts or Marthas.”

Another wrote, “Nature has infinite variety – however when it comes to sex – it all falls into female or male. A flowing bell curve sounds lovely – just like rainbows – but not much help to women who don’t have wealth to protect them if their sex-based rights have been taken away.” To this, The Blind Assassin author replied, “(Um, there are gay penguins. There are hermaphrodites.) What the piece is talking about however is that sex and gender don’t always go together and are not experienced by all people in the same way. That appears to be undeniable.”

The controversy started after JK Rowling made comments which were deemed transphophic, while sharing an article titled ‘Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.’ She had written, “People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” This soon snowballed into a raging controversy with the author writing an essay to defend her position and several members in the literary world choosing to disengage with her.

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