Speaking in an interview last week, feminist writer Margaret Atwood, the author of over-the-top novel “The Handmaid’s Tale,” in which a Christian theocracy runs roughshod over civil liberties, said that when she envisioned her dystopian world, she imagined someone like Vice President Mike Pence to head the “totalitarian regime.”

Atwood told The Irish Times that she asked herself “if the United States were going to have a totalitarian regime, what kind would it be? It wouldn’t be communist. It would be something quite a lot like the Tea Party,” adding that it wouldn’t be someone like President Trump as the totalitarian leader. Instead, “I imagined something a lot more like Mike Pence, which is what you’re gonna get if they get rid of Trump. He’s much more like the puritanical model. Trump is a character like The Wizard of Oz. He’s a showman, an outcome of the fact that a certain portion of society felt neglected. Mr Showman comes along and says, I’m your guy, and they think, hey we’ve got a guy. But he’s not their guy.”

Living in Canada, Atwood condescended to the United States, opining, “We’re having an influx of refugees into Canada because people are scared in the United States. I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything quite like this.” She added that she set her novel in the U.S., not Canada, because, “Not (that) there aren’t some conservatives in Canada but the percentage is not large enough to create a mindset like that. We were not founded by 17th-century puritans.”

Yet Atwood has no problem issuing her own guidelines for behavior between the sexes; she suggested recently that there should be written guidelines for sexual etiquette. She pontificated:

I was simply saying [what] a lot of people were already saying, which was: what are the rules? A lot of people are very confused about them. Why would it be harmful to people to have some guidelines for how they should behave, written by people of their own generation? It will at least be something that people can go to and say, “Hey maybe I shouldn’t say, as soon as I’ve met somebody, how about a blowjob?” Maybe that’s not polite. Maybe that will get me shown the door. It’s been shocking to me to hear some of the stuff that goes on. It’s quite different to how you used to be expected to behave. I think what everybody would like is just to be shown some respect and not treated like a blow-up plastic doll. I think that’s really the bottom line.

But a man who has strict rules for treating women properly, adhering to standards by refusing to have dinner alone with a woman who is not his wife?

He’s a totalitarian.