Found on Ladies Against Feminism and originally published on Canada Post and Mercator Net by Barbara Kay – ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ More Sci-Fi Than Believable Dystopia
Editor’s note – That’s some pretty deep denial the author has going on there. Just about anyone formerly Quiverfull can well imagine this very thing happen, and yes, the approval of Vice President Mike Pence. This reads more like the frantic denial of Hilly Holbrook in her attempts to convince her circle of friends that the book ‘The Help’ is not about Jackson, Mississippi because of the poor light it casts her in.
Atwood chose evangelical Christians as her villains, because their family structures are patriarchal. But patriarchy doesn’t necessarily imply misogyny. In fact, I found Atwood’s demonizing scenario rather hilarious. Pious Christians are the last people on earth to dream up a system in which the state has control over everyone’s sexual and reproductive lives, and women are forced into sex with random married men. Does anyone really believe the prudish Mike Pence would sign off on that executive order?
According to Atwood’s 1985 projection, some relevant gendered horror should be upon us. Well, in an era of falling fertility rates, I can see how the spectre of mass eugenics is a compelling topic for a futurist. Yet 32 years on, there are no signs of a Handmaids program in democratic countries, even where immigration is not perceived as an attractive solution to low birth rates. In Japan, for example, the birth rate has fallen so low, there are whole towns bereft of obstetricians, but there is as yet no glimmer of a forced breeding program. Singapore, an authoritarian society, had a fertility rate in 1960 of 5.45; today it is 1.1. A genuine crisis, but no handmaids there either. Singapore’s most aggressive moves were to require pre-op counselling (sic) for women seeking (still legal) abortions, and to urge women via billboards to “Have more children if you can.”
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