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Literary giant Margaret Atwood artfully shuts down transphobes in the simplest of terms

Lily Wakefield November 6, 2020
Margaret Atwood trans rights

Margaret Atwood attends the 2019 NYWIFT Muse Awards at the New York Hilton Midtown on December 10, 2019 in New York City. (Lars Niki/Getty Images for New York Women in Film & Television)

Margaret Atwood has shut down transphobes everywhere with stunning logic, clearly laying out why everyone should recognise the validity of trans identities.

In the wake of JK Rowling’s explosive comments on trans people, trans rights have become an often-discussed topic in the UK’s literary circles – and Margaret Atwood has expressed her support for trans people time and time again.

Last month, the author put her name to a letter from “members of the writing and publishing community of the United States and Canada” announcing that they stood “firmly in support of trans and non-binary people and their rights”.

Her latest comments in support of the trans community were published by The Times, which has become notorious for platforming anti-trans columnists, from those who want to stop trans women competing in sport, to those who think trans people “hate” JK Rowling “because she’s a woman”.

In an interview about her new poetry collection dedicated to her late husband, Atwood said: “The most bothersome thing about me is that I’m a strict agnostic.

“By which I mean there’s a difference between belief and fact. And you should not confuse the two.

“You can believe all you like that trans people aren’t people, but it happens not to be a fact. It is not true that there are only two boxes. So the two questions to ask about anything are: Is it true? And is it fair?

“So if it’s not true that there are only two gender boxes and gender is fixed and immutable, then is it fair to treat trans people as if they’re not who they say they are?”

After the interview, the Handmaid’s Tale author sent journalist Bryan Appleyard a video dismantling JK Rowling’s trans views, and an article from The Scientific American on “why the new science of sex and gender matters for everyone”.

Less than 24 hours after publishing the interview with Atwood, The Times has deleted the story from its website.


More: JK Rowling, margaret atwood, The Handmaid's Tale, trans rights, transphobia

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