Margaret Atwood: We need new etiquette rulebooks

From BBC - February 5, 2018

There should be a new etiquette guidebook in the light of recent sexual harassment scandal, Canadian author Margaret Atwood has said.

Atwood - who faced a Twitter storm after writing a column on the Me Too movement - suggested men needed advice on behaviour.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's The World at One, she said "personal behaviour" needed to be tackled.

The Handmaid's Tale author said "ordinary people" needed the advice.

She faced a backlash after questioning the impact of Me Too, which was sparked by the accusations made against Harvey Weinstein and others in Hollywood.

In her first broadcast interview since then, she repeated her view that such a movement is a "symptom of something being wrong", but "it's not an end goal".

'Let younger people decide'

"There are some things we are going to need to fix, I would say in three areas," said the Canadian writer. "One of them being courts of law. One of them being large institutions and corporations. And one of them being personal behaviour.

"There used to be a lot of etiquette books on how to behave. Those seem to have gone out of the window.

"We used to be bombarded with them in the 50s. So where is the Mr Manners? There should be a Mr Manners column - like 'what do you do when...?'.

"I think it can help men to understand what may possibly be expected of them in the behaviour department."

She added she was not talking about rapists, saying: "We are just talking about ordinary people who think they are on a date."

'Attracting controversy since 1972'


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