The Handmaid’s Tale, written by Margaret Atwood in the Reagan era, has recently enjoyed a surge in popularity due to the visually stunning Hulu series based on the book. Atwood’s book has reaped the rewards of the TV show’s success – making an uncontrolled ascent to the top of the Amazon rankings – as a whole new wave of women and feminists co-opt its ideas and heed the cautionary tales inherent in its narrative. The renewed interest lies not just in the gorgeous costuming, great cast and grim portrayal of a bleak future, but because the story has real resonance in our modern world.
Many parallels can be drawn between the women living in the dystopian world in The Handmaid’s Tale and American women living in the Trump era. Today’s anti-abortion laws and health care reforms echo themes of bodily autonomy. The victim-blaming in Gilead (the fictional version of the world where the book takes place) mirrors the way rape culture is perpetuated in modern society. The Commander’s wife, Serena Joy, shows the way women’s complicity upholds the patriarchy. For these reasons and many others, the show has become something of a symbol for today’s feminists. But do the implications go far enough or are they rooted in a narrow version of celebrity white feminism that Taylor Swift peddles to sell albums?Continue reading “The Handmaid’s Tale Exposes the Perils of Non-Inclusive Feminism and Racism in America.”