What is it about Margaret Atwood’s execrable novel The Handmaid’s Tale that makes liberals believe that kind of future is not only possible, but right around the corner (that is, unless we elect liberals to office)?
For the uninitiated — and if you are, you best get familiar with the plot because we’re going to be living it soon — the story is about a dystopian future where women are chattel, good only for breeding. A bare-bones synopsis:
Beginning with a staged attack that kills the President and most of Congress, a Christian fundamentalist movement calling itself the “Sons of Jacob” launches a revolution and suspends the United States Constitution under the pretext of restoring order. They are quickly able to take away women’s rights, largely attributed to financial records being stored electronically and labelled by gender. The new regime, the Republic of Gilead, moves quickly to consolidate its power and reorganize society along a new militarized, hierarchical regime of Old Testament-inspired social and religious fanaticism among its newly created social classes. In this society, human rights are severely limited and women’s rights are even more curtailed; for example, women are forbidden to read.
The story is told in the first person by a woman called Offred (literally Of-Fred). The character is one of a class of women kept for reproductive purposes and known as “handmaids” by the ruling class in an era of declining births due to sterility from pollution and sexually transmitted diseases.
You might think that no normal, semi-literate, halfway-intelligent person could ever in a million years think that anything like this could ever, ever, ever, ever happen in America.
Perhaps. But you’re not a liberal.
Hillary Clinton cited a phrase from The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood’s dystopian feminist novel, during a Tuesday evening speech at Planned Parenthood’s 100th anniversary celebration.
“To paraphrase Margaret Atwood, ‘We can never let them grind us down,'” Clinton said.
“We come tonight to celebrate the last 100 years, the progress that so many generations have fought so hard for,” she said. “What a time it is to be holding this centennial. Just ask those who’ve been watching ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ a book I read and was captivated by years ago.”
“Now, I am not suggesting this dystopian future is around the corner, but this show has prompted important conversations about women’s rights and autonomy,” the 2016 Democratic nominee said. “In The Handmaid’s Tale, women’s rights are gradually, slowly stripped away. As one character says, ‘We didn’t look up from our phones until it was too late.'”
Ah! The old “boiling woman” scenario where change is so gradual, you don’t notice you don’t have the right to vote and you’re forced to spread your legs for the elites.
Could happen anywhere.
“It is not too late for us,” Clinton added. “But we have to encourage the millions of women and men who support Planned Parenthood to keep fighting.”
Clinton was honored by Planned Parenthood with the Champion of the Century Award at the event.
Atwood’s 1985 novel, in which the United States has fallen into a totalitarian theocracy, has recently been converted into a television series aired on Hulu starring Elizabeth Moss as Offred, the protagonist. The juxtaposition of the series airing and President Trump completing his first 100 days in office has not gone unnoticed. Critics have compared Trump’s views on women’s rights and healthcare to the topics covered in the dystopian novel.
In a recent interview, Atwood said that after the 2016 election “the cast woke up in the morning and thought, we’re no longer making fiction — we’re making a documentary.”
Get that? She’s “not suggesting a dystopian future” — until she does when she adds: “It’s not too late for us.”
This person nearly became president of the United States and has absolutely no clue what the country is all about. Screw Trump and his objectifying females. To hell with Pat Robertson and his 19th century view of women.
Multiply those two misogynists by a thousand and there’s still absolutely no way you end up with the kind of society envisioned by Atwood.
Seeing supposed national leaders like Hillary Clinton believing that The Handmaid’s Tale is possible in America is far more terrifying than anything Donald Trump has done so far. Why is it so frightening? Because if they really believe such a future is possible, they will suppress Christian churches and jail people who express any views in opposition to Planned Parenthood — in short justify their own crackdown in order to “save” women’s rights.
Is that loony? It’s less crazy than believing that Christians are going to take over the country and put women in chains.