Apr. 20th, 2006

rfmcdonald: (Default)
I found Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel The Handmaid's Tale to be an enjoyable dystopian novel. Though the mechanics leading to the creation of the Republic of Gilead didn't strike me as particularly plausible, the picture of Gileadian society--a fusion of of Romanian-style pro-natalism, Iranian-style fundamentalism, and distinctly American-style forms of nationalism, told by a Canadian--was compelling.

However. It should be noted that The Handmaid's Tale was not intended by Atwood as a how-to guide, not in the least. There's been some posts of late regarding the rather creepy tone of certain father-daughter events organized by Christian fundamentalists in the United States (1, 2). These events try to engage fathers in the lives of their daughters, which is good. These events do so by communicating the message that girls and young women need to be completely obedient to their fathers as God wishes, so as to maintain their sexual purity.

The net effect of the rhetoric used is, as noted in the posts, rather skin-crawling. But then, I happen to think that women make nice people in their own right. Others' mileage may disagree, though I think that these others are profoundly wrong.
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