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Canadian author Margaret Atwood is facing a social media backlash after voicing concerns about the #MeToo movement and calling for due process in the case of a former university professor accused of sexual misconduct.

Writing in the Globe and Mail, Atwood described the #MeToo movement, which emerged in the wake of sexual assault allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, as a “massive wake up call” that is a symptom of broken legal systems.

However, she wondered where North American society would go from here. “If the legal system is bypassed because it is seen as ineffectual, what will take its place? Who will be the new power brokers?” Atwood asked.

She raised the possibility that the answer could leave women divided. “In times of extremes, extremists win. Their ideology becomes a religion, anyone who doesn’t puppet their views is seen as an apostate, a heretic or a traitor, and moderates in the middle are annihilated.”

Continue reading:  Margaret Atwood faces feminist backlash on social media over #MeToo

12 thoughts on “Margaret Atwood faces feminist backlash on social media over #MeToo

  1. I’m with Atwood on this one. I’m starting to get a tad worried that this movement, or the way it’s being played out, at least, may, in the long run, be counter-productive. That would be horrible because sexual harassment and assault are real, awful things. It gets tricky though when someone is immediately assumed guilty because an allegation was made. We do need due process, and, at the same time, the allegations woman make need to be taken seriously and they need to be able to make them without retribution from the person they’re accusing. Complicated.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I agree completely. The situation is getting out of control, and the #MeToo movement is hurting its own cause through unrealistic expectations and internal division. Criminal acts must be proved in a court of law. There simply isn’t any better way to administer justice.

      For example, let’s assume that 90% of sexual misconduct allegations are legitimate concerning 10,000 individual cases. Assigning guilt in all of them would result in 1,000 innocent defendants being convicted and sent to prison. That isn’t justice, it’s retribution.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree with both of you. I found Atwood’s piece reasonable. I have seen recently to be accused is to be condemned and even if by chance it is demonstrated you are not guilty, there is simply no possibility of recovering the tattered image. Those who participated in bringing you down will not even apologize

    Liked by 2 people

    • Behind closed doors, and in situations where people are afraid to speak, a lot of sex-related interactions do occur; and, even those begun innocuously can turn into unwanted or harmful interactions. Most often the victims are female, but not always. Misunderstandings are common and this can trigger hard feelings, acts of retribution, and much worse things.

      I think most women would say they have been subjected to disrespectful language and sexual or physical abuse. I think a lot more men than we might assume would say they have been victimized in other ways (I know I have).

      This problem does not always constitute criminal behavior (by a long shot) which Atwood was correctly trying to convey to the #MeToo movement.

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  3. Good discussion. It is a double-edged sword in that the #MeToo movement is signaling that this type of misbehavior is unacceptable and must stop. Yet, are all of these people guilty? The public accusation is damning – and that makes a laughing stock of due process. I know the legal system is flawed, but tossing it away as irrelevant is not the answer.

    Liked by 2 people

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