From one of our American friends…
By Tales & Typos
I read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood when it was first published in 1985. I thought it was brilliant then, and now it’s resurrection as a television series is even more eerie – eerily realistic.
When I began watching the Hulu television series, I was riveted from the very beginning. It had my attention from the very first scene. After watching a few episodes, I got uncomfortable with what I was watching, not because it was bad, but because it was so realistic and frightening.
In The Handmaid’s Tale, Gilead is the name of the totalitarian society that used to be part of the United States. It treats women as property of the state while dealing with climate change and environmental disasters, all causing the birth rate to drop. Desperately trying to repopulate their world, the few remaining fertile women are forced into sexual servitude. The main character is determined to survive the horrifying world she lives in and makes many discoveries along the way.
The Handmaids are prisoners of the State. They are denied the right to liberty and freedom. In “training” to adjust to their new lives, the Handmaids are threatened with violence and physically abused if they don’t submit to the ways of Gilead.
Women in Gilead are forbidden from reading and writing – the punishment for a first offense is having one’s hand cut off which enables the authorities to more easily maintain control over them. The Bible is banned. All citizens must follow Gilead’s own official version of Christianity. The ban of abortion in Gilead is a retroactive, meaning all who have performed abortions prior to the rise of Gilead are put to death or even sent to the Colonies.
What does Gilead remind you of? It reminds me of the state of Texas. Strict laws and rules unfavourable for women and minorities. Here are some similarities: Men controlling women, banning of abortion, banning of books, banning of voting rights, banning of freedom and liberty.
Although this is a fictional society, it has eerie similarities to our own society. It may be more extreme than our society, but the similarities are absolutely apparent.
So what do we do? We keep fighting for our freedom, rights, and democracy. Good vs Evil. Positive vs Negative. I’d like to think good supersedes evil. Voting is our superpower. We have to vote out evil because it is poisoning our country to death.
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