Tales From the Bitface (Posts about nazis)https://devilgate.org/enContents © 2020 <a href=”mailto:martin@devilgate.org”>Martin McCallion</a> Thu, 11 Jun 2020 11:57:46 GMTNikola (getnikola.com)http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rssThe Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (Books 2019, 15)https://devilgate.org/blog/2019/10/06/the-handmaids-tale-by-margaret-atwood-books-2019-15/Martin McCallion<p>It’s to my shame that I hadn’t read this classic of modern literature before now. And it turns out, now that I have, that it’s really good. Surprise, surprise. I don’t really care for dystopias, <a href=”https://devilgate.org/blog/2015/09/08/station-eleven-by-emily-st-john-mandel-books-2015-8/”>as I’ve said before</a>. Interesting that the book I linked to there had just won the Clarke, and the one we’re discussing was the inaugural winner of that award.</p> <p>For the first few chapters I was distracted by wondering how this situation, this state, could have come to be. Strangely what I found difficult to cope with was not the restrictions, the rolling back of rights — they are horrific, but I could and can easily imagine an America (or, hell, maybe even a Britain) that could enact those laws.</p> <p>No, what I found hardest to believe in was the dress codes. The way not just the Handmaids, but the marthas (domestic servants), econowives (lower-class, probably infertile women, assigned to lower-class men) and even Wives (the wives of the ruling-class men) all dress in the standard costume of their class.</p> <p>Somehow I feel — or at least felt — that it would be harder to get everyone to dress the same way than to obey laws that restrict more important freedoms.</p> <p>As the chapters went on, those concerns evaporated. The telling of the backstory through Offred’s reminiscences outlines a convincing route from 80s America to Gilead. Though a lot more could be told: it is only an outline. Still, it’s enough.</p> <p>These days, with actual nazis poisoning our political discourse, and attempts to roll back reproductive rights <a href=”https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/06/french-protests-against-ivf-treatment-for-gay-and-single-women”>even in France</a>, it sometimes feels — as Atwood no doubt intended — that Gilead is not so much a fable as a warning.</p> Booksbooks 2019feminismGileadMargaret Atwoodnazishttps://devilgate.org/blog/2019/10/06/the-handmaids-tale-by-margaret-atwood-books-2019-15/Sun, 06 Oct 2019 22:27:20 GMT