I cringed when I hear sexist comments such as how women are irrational beings governed by their emotions rather than logic. How can anyone think that 1+1+1+1 ≠ 4? If you put 4 women in a room together, would you call them a clone of one another? No, each woman is different. Women are not a division of a whole number! So, the answer is not 4. The Handmaid’s Tale, written by Margaret Atwood, is about all kinds of women.
The book is a dystopian drama but doesn’t expect a lot of action. The flashback showing the downfall of society can get painfully distracting sometimes. I had to go back and read the same passage several times. For the most part, the book is poetically descriptive to the point it made me feel sick to the stomach. It loves to point out how the sex organs both male and female are used for reproducing purposes only. There were a few times I wanted to vomit because the author refers eggs to as ovaries and butter as beauty cream. Both eggs and butter are consumable and when associated with sex, it makes it less desirable. Consuming too many eggs and butter will make you sick. In this case, the Commander has access to a lot of women but based on the way the author described the sex part, he doesn’t seem to enjoy it much, especially when the wife is positioned on the bed where she can see the husband penetrating the handmaid. It’s awkward.
Sex is a production. Anything that deviates from that is considered evil. Sluts should be imprisoned especially the ones who wear false eyelashes. So, get rid of those seductive magazines such as Mademoiselle and Vogue! They are forbidden in this absurd society called the Republic of Gilead. Let me reiterate. Sex is a production. Baby making is a production. The Commander is a tool, a wife is a tool, and the handmaid, Offred (protagonist) is a tool for society. Everything about it strips the rights of humanity—the freedom to choose, to express oneself, the free will to desire, and so forth.
Now that I finished the book, I’m glad I have the choice to slip onto a nice black dress, reach out for the red lipstick, and spritz a little perfume if I want to feel sexy. Ironically, I’ve never walked out of the house like that in my entire life. It’s not because I am religious. I am just reserved. For other women though, I am left wondering how much should they express themselves sexually without losing their dignity. Slut is such a derogatory word. More importantly, the book made me wonder why society emphasizes so much control over a woman’s reproductive system and ties it to her value. Is she supposed to be nothing more than a pious, baby-popping machine? That’s just inhumane. There is a difference between being a good mother to a child and being a slave to a system. Let’s not mix politics with sex.
There is a TV Show version on Hulu, but I have not watched the entire thing since I got all the important details from the book. It’s a heavy read and a political one that’s hard to digest for many reasons.