Back in July, Jamie Lee Curtis announced to the world, via People Magazine, that her youngest child, with long-time husband Christopher Guest, is transgender. Last week Ruby Guest took to the pages of the magazine herself, in an interview that included her famous mom, to discuss her journey.
Up until now, Ruby Guest has lived a private life, separate from her parents’ celebrity. In the People interview she says, “I’ve tried to stay out of the spotlight for many years, or at least done my best to. I’m happy to be more visible if it helps others.”
While Jamie Lee seems happy to support her daughter both publicly and privately, she wants to make it clear that she’s not “force-feeding something to people.” That’s code for “Please don’t @ me, Activia yogurt-eaters.” Pro-tip, they probably will anyway.
It’s refreshing to hear Jamie Lee speak with so much love for her daughter, and to talk about how her role in all of this is one of a student, learning from Ruby. Sometimes, it’s hard to know what to do as a parent, but supporting your kids with an open heart and a flexible worldview is almost always a solid decision. We could use more of that across the board. The idea that your experience of life is the only valid one is harmful not only to everyone else around you but to yourself. When you invalidate other people’s existence or their experiences you close yourself off from … well, everything. The world is full of so many shapes and colors, flavors, and textures. There are symphonies of ideas and endless opportunities to learn and grow within our reach. All we need to do is be open to them. All we need to do is say “I see you.” I appreciate how Jamie Lee didn’t take this news as a rebuke of her parenting or as a threat to her own womanhood.
Would you believe some people do that? It’s shocking how insensitive and stupid some people are. By some people, I’m talking about Margaret Atwood. At least this week I am.
You might know Margaret Atwood as the author of 1985’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which was adapted into an ongoing streaming series on Hulu. How they turned a 395-page book into four seasons of television I don’t understand. That doesn’t matter. Atwood has, for a long time, been considered a literary powerhouse, whose work has been winning awards since the 1960s. Many have seen her as a strong feminist voice in what has historically been the male-dominated field of modern, North American literature. But she’s flushing all of that down the crapper by promoting some very TERF-y op-eds on Twitter.
The above was posted in response to the movement toward using more inclusive language when discussing pregnancy and abortion care. Women are not the only people who get pregnant or might need abortions. By focusing solely on the women who need healthcare in these areas you’re ignoring all of the trans and non-binary folks who are also in need. When you ignore groups of people, it makes it more difficult for them to search out the care they need, let alone FIND it. No one has been told that the word “women” can’t be used. All anyone is asking for is that trans and non-binary people be included when we talk about reproductive health and rights. Just a small tweak to the existing language can go a long way.
This one is also a winner. Because, as we all know, asking politely is a sure-fire way to influence those people who refuse to acknowledge your existence and human rights.
OPINION | Trans rights? Yes. Toxic, in-your-face activism? No | CBC News https://t.co/PBdkRizvEz— Margaret E. Atwood (@MargaretAtwood) October 23, 2021
At this point, I’m sure even her fictional characters are angry and disappointed in her.
Margaret Atwood's latest version of Handmaids Tale sure sounds different to her previous work pic.twitter.com/SA6M62kT5j— Lux 🏳️🌈 (@Lux_fae) October 23, 2021
This isn’t the first time Atwood has revealed herself to be a fair-weather ally. In 2016 she came under fire for signing an open letter condemning a Canadian university for firing a male novelist after allegations of sexual assault. In 2018 she wrote about the backlash she faced for signing that in a piece for The Globe and Mail titled “Am I a bad feminist?”
Yes, Margaret. Yes you are. You are the embodiment of sh*tty white feminism. When next you rear your head on social media, I hope you steer yourself toward Jamie Lee Curtis’ feed. She could give you some lessons on how to be a better, more compassionate ally. No one’s saying Jamie Lee is perfect, and no one is asking for perfection. We’re just asking that you try! Be open, learn things, and allow the learning to make you more inclusive. Or just go away. You don’t need to share all of your garbage takes on Twitter. In fact, we’d prefer it if you didn’t.