The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
Publisher: Nan A. Talese
Disclaimer: This is NOT a book review. This is a commentary on books, current events, and how all that gets filtered through my brain.
Over a year and a half ago, I reviewed Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale. It has since been adapted to a wildly popular television series on Hulu. I signed up for the one-month free Hulu trial and have watched some old movies and TV shows, but I tend to avoid “Handmaid.” I’ve quit watching all television series because I just don’t have the time to be chained to a streaming service. Plus, I suspect in the era of Trump, the message has been adapted to “white, religious men are all bad.”
No thanks. I have a hard enough time keeping my head above water as a white, religious male, and my anxiety attacks under control.
But I just found out that Atwood has gotten around to writing a sequel called The Testaments, set fifteen years after the original novel. I’m surprised she didn’t do this earlier.
SF author/editor Robert Silverberg – 2005
If I hadn’t read a blog post at Superversive SF called The Cardinal Mistake With SJWs and Robert Silverberg, I probably wouldn’t be writing this.
First off, I’ll state for the record, that because I’m even mentioning Jon Del Arroz‘s (yes, he deliberately makes himself a lightning rod for controversy) name and daring to write something with a social and political perspective not shared (necessarily) by Democrats, leftists, and progressives (those words are not synonyms), that at least one person will be vocally upset with me here on my blog.
I suspect that a lot of other people who regularly read my fiction will simply not respond because A: they like me and what I write, and B: they think that I’m a nice enough guy not to be flamed for expressing unpopular opinions.
Anyway, I did read Del Arroz’s article which starts out:
Found at Electric Lit online magazine (click on the image to see a larger version)
The chart posted above was acquired from the article If You’re Not Sure How a Male Author Would Describe You, Use Our Handy Chart over at the Electric Lit online magazine. As I understand it, the chart was created as a gag, and I found it pretty funny. In fact, I toyed with the idea of writing a story using the chart just as a joke.
Then it took on a life of its own on twitter, as reported at the same magazine, in an essay titled ‘Describe Yourself Like a Male Author Would’ Is the Most Savage Twitter Thread in Ages.
Apparently a male author claimed he could write authentic female characters, and was immediately challenged by Gwen C. Katz (@gwenckatz). A combination of hilarity, hostility, and moral angst ensued. I should say that after writing most of this missive, I noticed these articles were written last April, but they’ve showed up in my gmail inbox from Medium in the last couple of days. Wonder what the message is?
I decided to write about this because I’ve gotten a hold of a review copy of the To Be Men: Stories Celebrating Masculinity anthology edited by Sirius Métier and published by Superversive Press. It was published digitally about two weeks ago (as I write this) and seems to be doing pretty well, both relative to its Amazon reviews (five so far, and all five star ratings) and in terms of sales.