Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Margaret Atwood - Demonized

I found a fascinating explanation of how the renowned writer came to be on the outs with the Canadian Feminist crowd. It explains the very narrow opportunities for Canadian writers, and the precarious position of those who are unlikely to achieve any success in their field.

In Canada, most of the writers are supported, at least in part, by the government, through grants. They learn to go along with the majority, and not rock the boat.

For her defiance of that custom, Margaret Atwood was singled out for the Full Salem Treatment. Notwithstanding her lengthy Feminist credentials, and her reputation, she was selected to be exposed as a "witch" and destroyed.

There have been several famous Witch Hunts (the pack attacking and destroying presumed sexual aggressors.
  • The Duke Lacrosse players "rape" case - BTW, you know you've been vindicated when even Wikipedia admits that the charges were false.
  • The "Mattress Girl" charges - apparently, fighting expulsion and winning is not enough to keep you from public harrassment.
  • The many Harvey Weinstein accusations - some of the are quite serious, and involve women under 21 (who, presumably, might have not developed the mature judgement that might have kept the safe). The ones that were very young, have some cause for redress. Similarly, the ones that he employed and harrassed. However, any grown woman who takes a meeting in a man's hotel room, and doesn't give up her chance at a role by leaving, loses a lot of credibility with me. There's a word for that transaction.
  • The Donald Trump accusers - read Wikipedia's summary, and judge for yourself. For myself, I do think he was a graceless maker-of-passes, but there really is no evidence of actual assault. Like many people, I believe that, if he weren't so famous and rich, they never would have made the claims. And, if he wasn't so famous and rich, they'd not have been hanging around, flirting.
Some of these guys were, apparently, innocent. Others, less so. Time may cool off some of the rancor, and allow the accused to regain some of their reputation.

That leaves the accusers and the horde that cries out for justice. What happens when the reason for the outcry disappears? Do they just return to the status quo?

What happened in Salem after the Witch Trials stopped? According to this article in the Salem Journal, a few apologized, but most did not.

Surprisingly, the wrongly accused that survived received compensation that the dead and their families did not. Only later did the families of those put to death received any money.

[WARNING] MOST of the treatments on the Salem Witch Trials feel obligated to bring in reference to the McCarthy hearings, and assume that the Reds accused were, in fact, innocent victims. Having read Whittaker Chambers' Witness, the Radosh's Red Star Over Hollywood, and other treatments of that time period, I view that supposed assumption with some distrust.

Apparently not. While most, if not all, of the outraged women have allowed their rage to subside, there are a core - still angry, loud, and eager to shred the lives of, not only the accused, but also those who speak of the prudence of waiting for evidence of a crime, and a trial. And, that's the situation that Atwood finds herself in - she is being viciously attacked by those who still rage, and they cannot bring themselves to stop.

To get a sense of the kind of writing that stirs up the HATRED that Atwood has been subjected to, read this mischievous rendering of a well-known story.

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