‘Cancel Culture’ Is How the Powerful Play Victim

A letter published in ‘Harper’s’ mistakes critiques of the powerful for the silencing of free speech

J.K. Rowling. Photo: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

An arrested journalist is never referred to as “canceled” nor is a woman who has been frozen out of an industry after complaining about sexual harassment.

I could go on. The point is that a good number of the people attached to the letter — which presents itself as an objective defense of free speech — are those eager to excuse their own bad behavior and bigotries. (There are also signatories I respect; since its publication, New York Times columnist Jennifer Finney Boylan, who is trans, has apologized and tweeted that she didn’t know who else had signed the letter.)

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Feminist author & columnist. Native NYer, pasta enthusiast.

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