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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Author: It Can Happen Here

"It is a warning"

Margaret Atwood attends the 2018 Hammer Museum Gala In The Garden held on October 14, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Michael Tran / Stringer / Getty Images

Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale" is a potential sign of things to come if women don't prepare themselves, says the original author of the books upon which the series is based.

 

Speaking with CBS News, Margaret Atwood said that she garnered her inspiration for the feminist dystopian novel about women being forced to produce babies for infertile wealthy elites after visiting several totalitarian (largely Communist) regimes in Eastern Europe.

"So, there I am in West Berlin surrounded by the wall, and I'm visiting various totalitarian regimes in East Germany and Czechoslovakia and Poland. So, for instance, Ceaușescu in Romania made a law that women had to have four babies, and they had to have a pregnancy test every month. And if they weren't pregnant, why not?"

"It's not me who made this stuff up; the human race made it up, unfortunately," she added.

Except "The Handmaid's Tale" does not tell the story about an atheist totalitarian regime subjugating women for utilitarian purposes or even the story about an Islamic regime, it tells the story about zealous, cultish Christians enacting an oppressive regime that (quite literally) forces women to be barefoot and pregnant. So, even though Atwood could find countless examples of women being subjugated in non-Western countries, she chose only to attack Christianity, which, on the surface, appears to have been a political decision rather than an artistic one.

 

"It is a warning," Atwood said of her book. "I have never believed it can't happen here. I've never believed that. And more and more people are joining me in that lack of belief."

CBS News then pointed out that "women all over the world" took to the streets in 2017 wearing Handmaid costumes to protest "restrictions of women's rights," failing to note that the only "right" those women were advocating was abortion. In fact, Handmaid costumes have almost become a staple of the pro-abortion movement and are regularly present at Planned Parenthood rallies. The idea that "The Handmaid's Tale" has morphed into some kind of tome spotlighting the subjugation of women is patently untrue. It is, as was always the case, a rallying cry for abortion-on-demand and little else.

 

The show's stars have also openly advocated for abortion and made ridiculous claims about how pro-life states are just like the fictional world of Gilead. Actress Ann Dowd, who plays Aunt Lydia, told The Daily Beast last year that the show mirrors what happens to women in this country.

"I can tell you that it's not the writers' intent to mirror what is going on, sadly, in the world and this country. But it is to wake people up, keep the dialogue going, talk. Don't let the small things go by," Dowd said. "You know, the line that I find so haunting from the first season is when Offred says, 'When we finally put our phones down it was too late.' Just pay attention! I'm sure there's a fair amount of hyperbole in terms of we could turn into Gilead. I don't see that happening. Having said that, the permission people seem to have now to step out of the shadows in terms of white supremacy, that shocked me, how organized it was and the degree of it."

"When you see, also, Roe v. Wade, that's not a simple question. The lack of awareness of how complicated the idea of abortion is. To all those pro-life individuals who are picketing and doing what they're doing, I want to ask them how many foster children live in their homes?" she continued. "How many children without family have you taken in and said, 'I will accept this responsibility'? I find all those things shocking, the degree of ignorance, of racism. With Handmaid's, what is shocking is in this era that we live in now with this president, things I didn't think were possible are in fact happening, in much larger numbers than one would have thought."

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