'The Handmaid's Tale' bubbles up again from the swamp of hysterical feminism

I read Margaret Atwood’s The handmaid’s Tale long ago and was amazed that such trash could be taken so seriously. As Heather Wilhelm describes this loopy effort to scare the bejabbers out of American women:

In Atwood’s dystopian world, a sinister cabal of fundamentalist Christians (it’s always those dastardly Christians, it seems) seizes power, transforming what remains of the United States into the cruel Republic of Gilead. In this terrifying new world, certain fertile women — the “handmaids” in question — are forced into sex slavery, dissenters are sent off to clean up toxic waste, and a sly, yet miserable, cadre of privileged upper-class women manages to quietly enable the whole thing.

That understates the goofiness of the story and the unwarranted gravity accorded this tale by wild-eyed agenda feminists. You’ve got to read it to believe it.

And more people will be doing just that as Hulu is about to roll out to much advance praise a new miniseries based on the book. 

If this is a warning about what America is about to become then it fizzles. Keep in mind that this was written in 1985. It’s so obvious–isn’t it?–that Atwater was prescient. Abortion has been outlawed. Dissenters have been enslaved to clean up toxic waste dumps. Sterile women must watch while their husbands inseminate fertile sex slaves. Or not.

The response, of course, is that those days are about to become reality as Donald Trump’s shadow now falls across the land. As  if the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court proves it. Oh my God, it’s going to happen!

I won’t live long enough to see America rot  into Atwater’s Gilead. Neither will anyone else. But the tale will, as it always has, provide some degree of comfort to Americans who need their paranoia confirmed. 


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  • I've never read the book but I started watching the show this week. It is terrifying but a good reminder of what we have to fight for now that Trump is in office.

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    We already have a version...it's called Islam...young girls are butchered to ensure they will have no pleasure during sex, men can dispose of a wife by saying "talaq" 3 times leaving the woman in limbo, and they have imams preaching why Muslims can take sex slaves and sex slaves are a reality in Africa, Syria...but it's ALWAYS the Christians who are the problem....got it

  • It saddens me that someone with your education, experiences and historical acumen misses the point of Atwood's book.

    Of course it's not going to go down literally like the book, it's allegory ya know like much Scripture.

  • In reply to Michael Messinger:

    Allegory? I think not. What are the "hidden meanings" in Handmaid's Tale that you would expect from an allegory? Animal Farm is an allegory because the pigs taking over a farm represents something other than real pigs taking over a farm. The Handmaid's Tale doesn't "represent" anything other than what it is describing. It is a blunt force story, hitting the reader over the noggin with a crudely composed fantasy, leaving nothing to be interpreted. As literature, meh.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    So, it's not allegory because it's about women, not pigs?

  • In reply to jnorto:

    What the hell does that mean?

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    That's what I am asking you.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Your question makes no sense. What does it not being an allegory have to do with "it's being about women?" It's also about men--the patriarchy that has enslaved women. My point is that it doesn't fit the definition of allegory.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    I don't know. Merriam-Webster defines allegory as "the expression by means of symbolic fictional figures and actions of truths or generalizations about human existence."

  • I actually wrote my dissertation a long time ago on dystopian literature. Atwood's tale is one of the weakest of the major dystopian novels. The position of women in the US is completely the opposite of that in HMT. Our bigger problems seem to be the destruction of the nuclear family, men dropping out of higher education, and basically no one getting married at all. Atwood didn't get much right at all.

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