The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood completely terrified me. It is an exploration of a possible reality that is so well written that I couldn’t read too much of it at once because it was too upsetting. I’ve been watching a lot of Parks and Recreation to balance out my emotions. The possibility of Atwood’s story is what makes it so disturbing. The future she creates is one in which all of the misogynistic, sexist, racist, prejudice, and generally ignorant comments and actions that I’ve experienced and witnessed throughout my life are not only legal, but law, and encouraged.
I am a complete sucker for click bait especially when it concerns some badass human standing up for themselves against the prejudiced masses. Unfortunately, this means that I am regularly exposed to the prejudiced masses. People that believe women can’t work, or people that think your religion or race should determine your standing in society. So when I went straight from reading The Handmaid’s Tale to browsing around online, every comment or headline that displayed this type of ignorance held so much more weight than usual. I can’t brush off misogyny as just one stupid person spouting off when I just read the exact same phrases in a story in which that stupid person had the power to put their ignorance into action.
The Handmaid’s Tale is not one misogynistic comment, it is a condensed conglomeration of ignorance that exists in real life. There are people in power that are ignoring the very obvious problems that they are perpetuating in minority communities. People who have no clue how my body works are making laws that take away my right to make decisions about what to do with it. Our society teaches us at a very young age that girls are fragile and boys shouldn’t cry. If you or someone you know isn’t angry about this sort of thing then I suggest to you, The Handmaid’s Tale. Get angry. Everything that appears in The Handmaid’s Tale has appeared or is appearing in day to day life, all Atwood did was put them all together in one story. She did such a beautiful job that it frightened me.
Common Place Book Entries
“The young ones are often the most dangerous…They haven’t yet learned about existence through time.” -The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
“We thought we had such problems. How were we to know we were happy?” -The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
“My self is a thing I must now compose, as one composes a speech. What I must present is a made thing, not something born.” -The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood