Leading author Margaret Atwood has been branded ‘transphobic’ by trans activists for sharing an article which warned that gender-neutral language is leading to the “erasure of women”.
On her Twitter page, the author retweeted the article “Why can’t we say ‘woman’ anymore?” by columnist Rosie DiManno without making any comment of her own.
The well-known author has previously claimed that there are more than two genders, but this did not make her immune from backlash.
Following criticism online, Atwood implored activists to read DiManno’s piece, adding: “She is not a Terf”.
DiManno warned in her article in the Toronto Star that the word “woman” is “in danger of becoming a dirty word” and being “expunged from conversation”.
The journalist said that people have become “tongue-tied, lest they be attacked as transphobic or otherwise insensitive”.
Last year, Atwood was among 150 authors to sign an open letter championing free speech and rejecting a culture of censorship.
In ‘A Letter on Justice and Open Debate’, the signatories stated that a “new set of moral values” is being embraced which weakens “our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity”.
They said: “The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted.”
Other well-known authors to sign the letter included JK Rowling and Salman Rushdie.