Iconic Author Margaret Atwood on Abortion, Twitter, and Predicting Everything We’re Doing Wrong

Not everybody’s going to like your work and if they do, you’re doing something wrong I’m Lauren Oyler and this is Broadly Meets Today I’m in New York City talking with Canadian author Margaret Atwood Margaret Atwood is an award-winning author of more than 40 books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays Her work has been published in 35 countries and across several genres Known in her early career for pushing conventional boundaries in both her politics and her prose style, Atwood is constantly examining contemporary culture and discussing women’s rights. Margaret Atwood continues to remain on the forefront of the literary world She’s always exploring new ways of storytelling, especially when it comes to the surreal or the speculative. Her newest and 15th novel, “The Heart Goes Last,” was published in the fall of 2015 We recently sat down with the author to talk about her extensive career and some of the themes she has returned to throughout her work INTERVIEWER: What’s your daily routine? ATWOOD: Get up in the morning drink some blood (laughs) INTERVIEWER: Go on ATWOOD: It’s like everybody’s work process: I get up, I have breakfast, I work INTERVIEWER: A lot of your books deal with a sort of near future and they’re very speculative People will often say things like, “Oh, this happened in ‘Oryx and Crake’ by Margaret Atwood, Oh, this is just like ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood, which was written in 1985 and now it’s really happening.” Did you anticipate ATWOOD: Doesn’t that creep you out? INTERVIEWER: It does, yeah. Did you anticipate that? ATWOOD: Well no, you don’t write those books because you hope those things will happen you write those books because you think they might happen but you would rather they didn’t. NARRATION: Atwood’s first novel, “The Edible Woman,” published in 1969, explored several controversial issues of the time, including gender, the constraints of domestic life, and reproductive rights. 16 years later, her book “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which was then made into a film starring Natasha Richardson and Faye Dunaway, examined questions about women’s rights and sexuality even further Although The Handmaid’s Tale was written over 30 years ago, it feels eerily relevant in the context of today’s debates about Planned Parenthood and abortion rights How do you see women’s rights right now? People have to decide what kind of world they want to live in Are we in favor of forced childbirth (?) Because that’s the world that we are going to get if we shut down reproductive rights Right to life is one way of putting it Forced childbirth is another way It just doesn’t seem like… That’s a good idea or going to happen It does seem to be that every totalitarian government on the planet has always taken a very great interest in women’s reproductive rights Do you think I need to be worried about it, as a member of the younger generation? No, cause you live in New York sure

100 Replies to “Iconic Author Margaret Atwood on Abortion, Twitter, and Predicting Everything We’re Doing Wrong”

  1. The interviewer thinks she is very very very smart young woman. However, what I have to say is, little girl, let the smart wonderful woman talk, and you just have to shut up, listen and learn! What is up with these smart-ass hosteses?

  2. This was a brilliant interview. Insightful discussion of serious and important topics while also bringing in light hearted and fun talking points! Well done to the interviewer, I can tell she does really great research!

  3. The interviewer's (forced) vocal fry is unbearable. Why is she trying to talk like that? I only listened for Atwood, otherwise I would have skipped the video immediately.

  4. the interviewer needs to work on her interviewing skills for sure, tho she is not that bad as some ppl r commenting, imo… yes she has a vocal fry (which does not necessarily bother me, personally… tho perhaps as an interviewer, it seems like for someone who wishes to professionally employ her voice, she has not really bothered to put much conscious thought nor attention on her own voice n how she is best able to use her voice in this context; how she feels her voice would sound best… etc… she has not really explored her own voice much, perhaps, as an interviewer… she seems to be in an unconscious default; casual voice, not a consciously chosen professional interviewer voice, imo…) n she kind of has overly casual inflections n ways of speaking; cadence, articulation, n intonation… that makes her sound young, green, immature, insecure, etc… she does not sound all that professional nor clear, as an interviewer. she seems like she is inexperienced as an interviewer. she also makes similar kinds of facial expressions, which about match what i am saying about her voice… her facial expressions r on par with, n match her voice. another thing she could work on, while i m on my constructive critique rant, is that she is not leaving enough space. an interview is not a casual conversation, per say. it is better to leave some room for the interviewee, rather that respond with lil noises, n okays, n alrights, n mmhmms, n uhhuhhs, etc… in every single moment or too many moments, without near enough pause, right as the interviewee is answering; has answered… there is not enough space; the interviewer is not utilizing the power of pause; n thus the pace seemed a bit energetically tense; just a bit tho, here n there… like the interviewer should not ever be speaking over the interviewee, imo… even if/when the interviewee interrupts the interviewer, the interviewer then needs to then be quiet n listen, n take pause until there is space for the next opportunity to pick back up, n/or for the question, cuz it feels uncomfortable when they r both talking at the same time, n also common sense, the interviewee, is who the interview is focused on, overall… n that is who needs to be heard, when it comes down to it… n the interviewer should not ever interrupt the interviewee, nor should the interviewer speak over the interviewee, at any time, for any reasons, imo… the interviewer should not be speaking at any time when the interviewee is speaking. if the interviewee is speaking, the interviewer must stop speaking, imo. right away. in honorable humility n out of respect for the featured guest. that's that. no brainer. etc etc… my 2 cents… ok interviewer lady? u have some work to do n some skills to develop if u really wanna be an interviewer professionally, imo. fyi. best wishes all. *

  5. This host isn't rude at all, I think she's inexperienced and a little nervous. She's not rolling her eyes (if she is it's not as a result of something Margaret said, but more so looking up to respond eyes rolled in the process) or judging, actually just trying to respond in a way that she hopes will be well received and was trying to connect with Margaret. I can say that I'm often misread when I'm uncomfortable, it's like the opposite of judgement of the other person, it's compensation for a lack of confidence in one's own position.

  6. Y'all are so hard on the host – I think she's good, she's intelligent and doesn't pander, she keeps it real

  7. It is disappointing to me how many people are criticizing the interviewer, especially for things as ridiculous and petty as vocal fry. Margaret Atwood's works deeply examine what it means to be a woman and one lesson, I thought, that always came through loud and clear was that women need to support and help each other as oppose to put each other down. We need to all be more human and empathize with each other. Instead what commentators on this video have done is say hurtful things designed to tear down the interviewer. While some may thought they were giving constructive criticism, and probably had good intentions, I can almost guarantee she has heard what you have said before by a boss, a coworker, or someone else. I, personally, greatly enjoyed this interview of Margaret Atwood and wish we all would listen to her messages and apply them in real life.

  8. Excellent interview, excellent interviewer. Not easy talking one-on-one with a big name like Margaret Atwood.

  9. Okay the harry potter wannabe is the rudest bitch ever and made me want to reach in the screen and punch her square in the face. im surprised margaret had patience for this dumbass.

  10. This interviewer was trash. Margaret showed why she is strong and a leader, even with the interviewer tried to trap her.

  11. I wish that Charlie Brooker and Margaret Atwood could get together to write a show, that would be the best.

  12. Here's a thought if you don't want to have any children stop spreading your legs or take contraceptives there you go

  13. I don't know about your work but I like YOU.
    I'm supporting anyone who will rise up and destroy that fake star wars director.
    I feel It's what I owe to every jedi.
    This forth line is to indicate to you that I'm familiar with 4 line jewish poetic form.

  14. she calls it "forced child birth" i call it "playing GOD". reason being many people are ok with abortion is bc they don't know who's life their taking. and never will. its selfish that people who support abortion let their physical desires cloud their judgement. thats when gay rights aka sexuality rights should come in. im a straight woman who is attracted to other woman sexually. i wouldn't hold a relationship with another woman. but to prevent from getting pregnant there's nothing wrong with pleasing each other. if your constantly defying GOD your bound to get pregnant somehow. and as for rape victims, heart breakingly nor should they have abortions. as a woman of GOD, the bible says itself that when rachel had a child it relieved her from her burdens. Genesis 30:23 King James Version (KJV) 23 And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach. AND MEN SHOULD STOP RAPING WOMAN POINT BLANK PERIOD; AND AS GOES FOR WOMEN WHO FORCED SEX ON A MAN OR IF YOUR A PERSON WHO FORCED TWO PEOPLE TO HAVE SEX. ANY FORM OF RAPE. see i wanted to do more research on Margaret for Master Class till she said that comment in the vid, I had to make a comment myself. do you know how crazy it sounds, a woman who wants kids but doesnt want to give birth, but still wants the pleasure of sex. like I said "playing GOD". (and side note – the pope is wrong not everyone is going to Heaven)

  15. I have just discovered Broadly interviews and have to say the selection of artists they interview are fantastic like Virginie Despentes and Margaret Atwood etc. but this channel really needs to consider a new interviewer. It has been really poorly researched and she seems very ignorant.

  16. You can't use hate speech, but you kill your baby:satanic illogic.

    This world needs Jesus and His Gospel desperately. READ YOUR BIBLE!

  17. Crazy Canadian Woman in my opinion. Her book assumes that her values are correct and that rights exist. if those two things are even questioned, then her novels fall apart.

  18. Wow!

    "Forced child birth" = the death of the human life within the womb.

    I would have thought that Ms. Atwood would be a more sophisticated thinker.

    Who, Ms. Atwood, is forcing the vast, vast majority of women to have sex?

  19. I don’t get the hate for the host. But in any case, In giving constructive criticism, be careful with your words. Words are powerful.

  20. my god broadly needs to hire new staff. These people do not know how to interview. Maybe look into getting people on board who arent all ivy league-cis/het women who happen to have a white-feminist perspective on life. i just binge watched hours of these and seriously except for amanda knox i cant handle any of these hosts they have

  21. I really dont see this rudeness on the part of the host everyone talks about…I dont think she is the problem, rather a video editting thing that makes her sound intrusive.

  22. I don’t see anything wrong with the host. She wasn’t rude. You guys know she wasn’t. That’s why you say she gave the impression of rudeness and disinterest instead of saying she is rude and disinterested. Her energy flowed well with Atwood’s. Not performative, truly attentive, well-spoken.

  23. I take a great interest in the reproductive rights of unborn women. I am also in favor of arming all unborn babies with AR-15s. What was it the murder supporting author said about the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood? I believe it was something like, "the wolf was dark inside." I think this author worships death inside. IMO.


  25. Margret Atwood *in the interview*: I don't want to be labelled an icon
    Broadly: interview with Iconic author Margret Atwood

  26. Politeness Rules
    Can someone please put that on a shirt?!?! Loved this interview. 👍🏼👍🏼⚡️⚡️

  27. Forced childbirth doesn't really mean anything. But human life is more important than human rights.

  28. Nowhere in the interview is ever told what abortion is about: the killing of an innocent and defenseless human being. Is this the world we want to live in?

  29. The interviewer is terrible. Rude, unprofessional, goat voice, cringy and seems so uneducated its laughable. Is that really the best you could have for Margaret freaking Atwood?

  30. The woman who interviewed her spoke over her and at times was beyond disrespectful. I don’t know much about Ms. Atwood, but she was a gracious woman. For someone (Ms.Atwood) her personifies woman’s rights…this host/interviewer was disrespectful, rude, condescending and down right uneducated in her questioning.

  31. Its interesting how you using main role to sympathize with abortions. I am asking why you using good things to promote bad? Actually June she is trying to protect her babies 🙂 she is brave and Always sacrifice not selfish thats why everybody like her and movie…. So hypocrite that you are using this movie to promote and support abortion. You are not scary from God?
    If you will show how she try abort baby it would be different story…. So lies in media and how you using this and really Funny how people get easy manipulated

  32. Are you not lying to yourself too?…. June should abort her baby if you support abortion. Abort her baby that Serena and Gilead dont get her in your logic….. It just shows how People are blind 😀 how you Can support abortion with movie where June try to protect her babies for price her life… Brainwashing

  33. i keep getting this adds with fucking Margaret Atwood theacing me how to write , yo Margaret Atwood can you please get the fuck off my dyck

  34. As much as I like her books but as far as I'm concerned she hasn't predicted anything. Vaguely sorting things together and than pretending that this was already said / written down before isn't predicting.

  35. You guys are being unnecessary about the interviewer, she’s not rolling her eyes, she’s just looking up. I didn’t think she was rude at all and she’s obviously experienced.

  36. So much vitriol against this young journalist…why? I'd be hugely intimidated if I had the chance to interview someone as influential as Atwood; she's an icon. This journalist looks nowhere over 25 and was given an incredible opportunity. Cut her some slack. Sheesh.

  37. It kinda annoys me how much this girl tries to steer the conversation towards woman only (the woman's rights questions are okay, as well as reproductive rights), but 'What is your favorite FEMALE artist' or whatever she asked was getting annoying.

  38. dude how the fuck is the handmaids tale really happening? Im not seeing bitches walking around in red getting aped for the wives. Loooool use a condom if you dont want to go through "forced childbirth"

  39. Can't stand the interviewer. Atwood is a genius and a visionary. Mad respect for this woman. The states feel like Gilead right now and it's sickening.

  40. I'm sure it wasn't her intention, but the interviewer did come across as disinterested and like she was just going through the motions.
    However, Margaret points are enlightening… makes you really think about ongoing issues today and she gives very good advice at the end there… I love the way her books are engaging and makes you put a different spin on things that you thought you had a concrete view of 👏

  41. This interviewer wanted Margaret Atwood to agree with her view point on porn and that it does more harm than good. Atwood schooled her with her answer "If men were not interested in women without very many clothes on there probably wouldn't be a human race." Give this woman a nobel peace prize! Men like the fantasy of a woman who can't say no and woman like the fantasy of a man who will turn out to be Prince Charming. All women will say NO at some point and Prince Charming is a fictional character! "Prince Charming with fetishes." She is a genius and looked sexier than the interviewer at that point!

  42. Forced childbirth? That's interesting. Is any putting a gun up to a womans head when she is getting an abortion? Is it possible she could have been responsible and prudent before she put herself in that situation? And trust men need not be assholes as well. If you think you are adult enough or responsible enough to have sex. and get pregnant, guess what, suck it up and take care of the kid. How about planned parenthood stick to its name and make sure a person is ready to have a kid. Instead of, he you have something in your belly and dont want it. Come here and we will kill it.

  43. ahh yes, gotta love a fresh glass of the blood of your enemies in the morning, really gets the creative juices pumping. I prefer O- myself

  44. If men weren't interested in women without clothes on then men would be like women and just have sex to make babies. There wouldn't be rape. This world would be much better if men's obsessions with sex were removed. Women deep down only want sex for children. If men only wanted sex for children then everything would go much smoother. It's seems like Margaret is implying that if it wasn't for men wanting sex then women would never have sex…. So is she saying all sexual acts are rape? Not true.

  45. The mind can be a dangerous place! The problem with "humans" is that they DO desire their fantasies come to life! So they do "think it's the real world and start acting that way"!! This is why sex crimes are at an all time high! It's a huge problem among us on so many levels! And now the younger generations are exposed to so much .. things are REALLY out of control!

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