The Handmaid’s Tale is coming to tv and I can’t wait. I wasn’t always a fan, I think because, as a Canadian, we were forced to read Margaret Atwood in school. To me, she reeked of textbooks and assignments.
It wasn’t until much later that I rediscovered Atwood and fell in love. There is so much about The Handmaid’s Tale to love. The names Offred and Ofglen. It takes you a bit to figure that out.A claustrophobic sensation permeates the book like the wings at the side of her face so you only get glimpses of the society but it’s enough to know it’s very wrong.
There’s a great piece in The New Republic about the novel and the upcoming adaptation. I urge you to make the time to read it.
The casting is not what I imagined; Joseph Fiennes and Yvonne Strahovski would not have been my pick as The Commander and his wife Serena Joy (the most perfect name!). But I love Elizabeth Moss as the heroine. This isn’t about being Hollywood pretty. It’s about your ability to breed. A working womb is all that matters and her child validates her, as children do for so many women.
The novel raises such interesting questions and given the state of women’s rights around the world and the fact that President Trump (I still throw up a bit in my mouth when I type that title) wants to revert to a time when women should be seen and not heard and valued only for their comeliness (unless you’re his daughter and then being smart gives him reflected glory) indicates the novel is more timely than ever.
Women today are fighting a global war for rights, recognition, against religion and misogyny (which is it’s own kind of religion, rooted deep in the patriarchy) not to mention the right to education and equality. It’s all around us- in the pussy-grabbing president and the enablers at Fox News who knew what was going on but didn’t give a f*** until advertisers bailed and a bright light was shone on their horrific culture. It’s in Vice-President Pence’s claim that he never has dinner alone with a woman not his wife.
I know I will hear from people who think I hate men. I love men. My father, my brothers, my husband. I have been blessed by their wisdom, their support, their intelligence, their desire that I reach my potential, their work ethic. I adore the men in my life even when I want to scream in frustration because sometimes the genders speak different languages.
I don’t want a patriarchal society but neither do I want a matriarchal one. I want one where everyone is valued for what they contribute, and given the change to do just that.
That is why I am writing my own dystopian novel, inspired by Margaret Atwood and all those who have since followed. With strong women- and men. A chance to examine the gender wars in a fresh light and wonder if maybe, one day, we can rise above the difference in our chromosomes and work together.