The Handmaid’s Tale is really not so far fetched. I read the book by Margaret Atwood and watched the Hulu series and it’s not so dystopian after all. Also, I’m like two episodes behind so there will be no spoilers in this post.
In case you’ve never heard of the not so dystopian 1985 best-selling novel, let me fill you in. The Handmaid’s Tale takes place after congress is completely gutted and democracy no longer exists because infertility is up and the women have to have babies. How else will the population survive? To ensure the women help the population all the US women are rounded up and tested for fertility and the fertile ones are volun-told that they have to be heroes and save the future of the United States.
“You would be doing your country a disservice if you didn’t have a baby,” basically becomes the narrative. Women are all fired from their jobs and sorted like laundry. The fertile ones are the handmaids that move in with married couples and give them a hand around the house and with that whole infertility issue. By give them a hand I mean once a month the handmaid lay sandwiched between a husband and wife and after prayer they have a three way except the wife doesn’t join in, the husband doesn’t kiss the handmaid, and the handmaid has zero say in the matter. So, it’s not at all like a three way. It sounds like a complete nightmare.
When and if the handmaid does get pregnant, the wife gets to keep the baby and raise it as her own because those are the rules and it’s time for the handmaid to move on to the next family. Women don’t make the rules they just follow them.
Then there’s the older wiser women who can’t conceive anymore but they help out by cooking and… Wait! I’ve never noticed a Martha do anything else besides cook and maybe a little cleaning. It’s like having two maids. The story follows Offred (of Fred meaning she belongs to Fred) and her refusal to obey the patriarchy society laid upon her. She kind of liked the United States before it became Gilead. She’s stuck in a life she can’t escape no matter how hard she tries and all she wants to do is find her husband, her best friend who is a fertile lesbian, and most of all her daughter who was snatched out of her arms while her and her husband were trying to flee the country. It went from women can’t have bank accounts to women only need to have children real quick.
Babies have way more rights than women in this dystopian. It kind of reminds me of how in some parts of the deep deep south women are denied abortions because fetuses are helpless and everyone cares about fetuses until they become babies and those same people don’t want to feed said babies they fought for because, “my tax money shouldn’t feed your kid. Get a job.”
Life’s tough get a helmet. Life gets bumpier for Offred when she finally does get pregnant and fails to escape. She realizes what every adult millenial realizes once they grow up. Her mother was right about her taking her rights for granted when it was The United States. Offred’s mom was like a professional protestor always fighting the man. She saw this coming and she knew there was no stopping it.
The media in The Handmaid’s Tale is non existent as women are not allowed to read. Reading would empower the women and create room for free thinking and that’s one of the worst things you can have when you don’t want democracy.
And then there’s the great escape. People are fleeing what used to be the United States for Canada. Canada is looking at Gilead like, “ya’ll wrong these women are people.” Gilead is all “we need more people so shut your pie hole.” (none of those lines are in the book or show but that’s the TLDR version.)
Women just want their rights. Meanwhile crazy extremely religious women are educating handmaid’s on how that their body is a temple and when rape happens it’s a gift and I’m all,
“this sounds cult like.”
I remember how the book ended. The show is in its second season. I hope real life learns from dystopian but when has real life ever said “they did that in a book or movie we shouldn’t attempt it?” I’ll wait as scientists currently try to recreate dinosaurs because that worked so well for the scientists in Jurassic Park. What are your thoughts on The Handmaid’s Tale? Does it all sound far fetched?