You know, a lot of us are disappointed in some of Margaret Atwood’s stance on things like consequences for anti-Trans actions by other writers, and while some of this is simply age and outdated notions of feminism, some of it is really about the rest of us as well — how we hold celebrities, especially our public intellectuals, up to strange standards of perfection. I wrote a particularly brief aphorism a few days ago that encapsulates it: “Fame is a zoo.” Anyway, does Atwood care how people will view her in the future? No, she says. She’ll be dead. Touché. And she has a point. She’s making peace with her views and her lot, and our disappointment doesn’t really mean much to her and her stance on things. Take what you will from this. I will always love her for her work and her generosity towards the community (and me personally), but I will remain opposed to, as well as disappointed and in disagreement with, her recent politics.
In an interview last month, Atwood shrugged off the controversy.
“I don’t care. I’m well on record of saying trans rights are human rights,” she said. “When I was (tweeting about) trans rights … and the science on it, I was getting trolled by people who disagreed with that. And that’s how it goes.”
Atwood said she’s proven resilient in the culture wars because she’s more interested in the truth than pandering to the dogma du jour.
Some people are inclined to think of time as a linear march toward progress, Atwood said. But in her view, there is nothing inevitable about how history unfolds, so there’s no point in trying to be on the “right” side of it today when you could find yourself on the “wrong” one tomorrow.
This is particularly true of posthumous artistic reputations, she said, which tend to rise and fall with the ever-churning cultural tides.