Saturday, February 11, 2012

Recommended Book: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

After finishing Margaret Atwood's A Handmaid's Tale, I feel more ready than ever for the feminist revolution. I also feel horrified.

The main character of this book, Offred, struggles with memories of freedom, love, and life, which she must suppress in order to survive in the society that's been forced upon her. In this society, she exists as a vessel for carrying a child. Whom would be immediately taken from her and used "for the good of the race". Offred is not free to read, write, choose her clothing, say what she thinks, eat what she wants, live as a human being.

An underground network called Mayday exists and is secretly gathering information to resist. By collaborating with them, Offred frequently dares to claim her own humanity in defiance of the authority constraining her.

Detailed in this book is the patriarchal wet-dream of probably most men within civilization: total domination and control. It should be obvious: the horror I mentioned is in the myriad similarities between the "fictional" culture described in the book, and the current arrangement of power.

I so appreciate Margaret Atwood for writing this book; let her words not be in vein. Men, time for you to lay down your weapons, or better: choose justice and join the fight.

I leave you with a quote from the book, said by the main character:

I believe in the resistance as I believe there can be no light without shadow; or rather, no shadow unless there is also light.

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