Sunday, April 30, 2017

Thank you Margaret Atwood

Last Wednesday I watched the first 3 episodes of The Handmaid's Tale. I did read the book many years ago and I knew the premise of the book but didn't remember some details so I couldn't tell you if the show is sticking to the finer points of the book. Anyway.... it was as horrific as I remembered.

Truthfully, I didn't know if I'd be able to watch it. I signed up for Hulu for the sole purpose of watching it but I wasn't sure if I could go through with it. It felt too close to home and I didn't know if it would trigger bad memories. I watched, wondered if I were a glutton for punishment and it did bring back the memories.

I remembered the feeling of having my child taken from me.
I remembered crying and screaming for my baby.
I remembered the frustration and anger of having the religious authorities make decisions about MY life.

I thought about canceling Hulu and not watching the upcoming episodes. But of course I won't and I will watch. I don't exactly know why, I just need to. Maybe the post I came across this morning on Facebook is the reason. Someone asked a question about the show.

Conservatives; is this show a dystopian or utopian view of the future?

I was curious about the reactions so I scrolled down and found this one. I had to respond.


A lefty fantasy? Does not remotely apply to American Christians? If I remember correctly, Margaret Atwood said in an interview that although the book is a work of fiction, she only wrote about events that have actually happened somewhere.

I guess a lot of people think this story is just the author's wild imagination and don't realize just how close some of it was to reality right here. What's that saying? 

Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.

The religious extremists in this country would love to return to the era of single women surrendering children to the wealthy and infertile. Why else would they want to defund services like Planned Parenthood that provide contraceptives to women? Why else would they be so anti-choice? Why else would they put as many restrictions on abortion as they can get away with?

Why would they do those things when common sense tells everyone that birth control, education and access to reproductive health services are what prevent abortions. They don't want us to have these services AND they want abortion to be illegal. What's the result of that kind of policy and regulation? Lots of unplanned pregnancy. 

I do believe they would love to have all those unplanned pregnancies (they're not seen as women, they're walking wombs) funneled back into the maternity homes of the past so they can feed the adoption machine once again. It's gotten so much harder to get those unplanned pregnancies to cooperate with their little plan. They've had to come up with sneakier ways of coercing the walking wombs into handing over their babies and too many caring people are interfering. Adoption agencies are closing their doors because more and more women are keeping and raising their babies.

Some of us see this as a good thing. And it's not a left/right thing, it's a human thing.

Unfortunately, there are still too many people like this commenter who are unaware of our past and don't understand why The Handmaid's Tale is so familiar to us and amazingly relevant. Thank you Margaret Atwood, we need your book and this show right now. I guess I'll keep watching and commenting because those religious extremists have wormed their way into our politics and if we're not careful, some of what we see on that show could very well go from fiction to fact.




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