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The handmaidens tale - could it really happen?

(68 Posts)
ReallyFFS0 Sun 04-Mar-18 15:14:52

Decided to write this after an interesting conversation with a mate.
Do you think that this could actually happen? I'm referring to the TV series as I have not read the books.
Do you think anybody (man or woman) would allow this to happen?
Would politicians?
I can see some frightening parallels, but I'm not sure it would happen, at the same time.

As I think even the most misogynystic and vile men have mothers and daughters they care about and wouldn't want this to happen to and the vast majority of people male or female would stand against it.

Thoughts?
I'm posting it here in feminism, debated with posting it in chat but since it is oppression towards women being discussed I decided this was the most appropriate place.

CircleSquareCircleSquare Sun 04-Mar-18 15:21:15

MA said “When it first came out it was viewed as being far-fetched. However, when I wrote it I was making sure I wasn’t putting anything into it that humans had not already done somewhere at some time.”

TERFclick Sun 04-Mar-18 15:23:28

Would men want access to money belonging to the women in their family, if the law dictated it was their money to control?

Missymoo100 Sun 04-Mar-18 15:24:02

I think there are some parallels between this and surrogacy-
Women's bodies being used to produce children as a commodity. I don't agree with it for payment, it's exploitive. I also don't agree with rendering biological parents out of the equation.
I think the risk is that children become property of the state and not family. People breed to hand them over with no further involvement.

brownelephant Sun 04-Mar-18 15:24:21

it did already happen. sort of. in Iran and Afganistan.

TERFclick Sun 04-Mar-18 15:25:30

If you look at Brendan Cox, you have a leader who appears to be upstanding, behind it all he is porn soaked and entitled.

ReallyFFS0 Sun 04-Mar-18 15:26:36

Yes, some would, Terfclick.
I really hope that my husband would be decent enough to NOT take that control, but who can really know? On a slightly seperate note I'm always wary of guessing others intentions and what they "would" do due to personal experience. So I have to give you my best answer, when it comes to the men in my life I don't know.
But surely no man would want his daughter to be a handmaid? And if both men and women, in large enough numbers, fought against this it just couldn't happen?

circle
I'm going to do a bit of googling. I don't really know much about how much of THT has actually happened, in RL, over the years. But it wouldn't surprise me and that makes me very sad to admit.

HairyBallTheorem Sun 04-Mar-18 15:26:44

It has already happened in a number of Middle Eastern countries.

Google image search for "Middle East 1970s women

HairyBallTheorem Sun 04-Mar-18 15:27:05

Cross-post with brownelephant

sirlee66 Sun 04-Mar-18 15:29:33

Ugh no! I wrote a really good reply but then the app shut and it's gone! I'll try to remember what I wrote but it won't be as good!!

No. I don't think it would ever happen in the UK. Mainly because of human rights laws etc etc but also because the top 5 most powerful people in the UK are women... (The Queen, Prime Minister Theresa May, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick)

Ugh first post was better but this will have to do!

Echobelly Sun 04-Mar-18 15:33:52

If you bear in mind the instability of current POTUS and that his VP is a man who had recently reiterated his commitment to eradicating abortion, and who won't dine alone with a woman other than his wife or go to an event with alcohol without his wife because of the risk of 'temptation'. Yes, I think the republic of Gilead would suit Pence just fine, as well as suiting all those people who prefer having an arsenal of weaponry to children being safe.

donthaveascooby Sun 04-Mar-18 15:39:40

ReallyFFSO the men with power would ensure their daughters would become the wives not the handmaids ?

ReallyFFS0 Sun 04-Mar-18 15:44:21

Frightening stuff, really. This is interesting though.

donthaveascooby I'm not sure most men would have that power though, but a good point, surely those without that power would fight at least for the sake of their wives, daughters and so on?
I hope decency would prevail but I'm beginning to question that.

The similarities between it and for eg the holocaust are quite frightening and not obvious until pointed out - I've just read a few interesting articles... jeez. Scary.

CircleSquareCircleSquare Sun 04-Mar-18 15:49:18

This might help OP
www.stylist.co.uk/books/handmaids-tale-channel-4-tv-show-spoilers-books-real-life-true-events-margaret-atwood-elisabeth-moss/130001

I tell myself it couldn’t happen here and now but then I see the slow push to erosion of our rights and how no one is batting an eyelid, infact we are being practically criminalised for speaking out.

It’s the drip, drip, drip until women become seen as even dirtier, more useless, as baby machines, as bodies to fuck. Many people think of us this way but it is hidden under a thin layer of politeness - remove that layer and we are fucked.

The drip, drip, drip that worries me more than anything because we can see it happening and no one cares until it is too late.
For a huge change to take us to a situation like the TV show the drip, drip, drip needs to continue but also a war or huge societal upheaval will be what it takes it to slow and painful to sudden and nasty.

george49 Sun 04-Mar-18 15:58:57

It has happened - Australia

GrimDamnFanjo Sun 04-Mar-18 16:03:51

I think the whole point is that it has happened already albeit not all at once and not under one regime.

holycheeseplant Sun 04-Mar-18 16:04:42

After watching Stacy Dooley's documentary on russia last night, I suspect it's not far off in areas there. A business man has set up a community which is bare bones of the hand maids tale; his wife whole heartedly agreeing that he should hit her. Still literate though; she wrote a book about the benefits of domestic violence.

insufficientlyfeminine Sun 04-Mar-18 16:05:17

Echobelly I was going to say Pence as well. The guy is a complete fundamentalist, I suspect he only attached himself to Trump in order for his nuttiest ideas to look reasonable by comparison. I generally think most self-proclaimed religious politicians here in the US are exploiting voters who are happy to assume that Christian = good. But Pence scares the shit out of me, he's a true believer.

As far as people standing up against a Handmaiden's Tale future...People don't want to believe bad things will happen to them, and that the people it does happen to deserved it in some way.

ThreeFish Sun 04-Mar-18 16:08:55

What's that about Australia George?

HairyBallTheorem Sun 04-Mar-18 16:11:31

Yes, that Stacey Dooley documentary was so depressing and upsetting.

UpstartCrow Sun 04-Mar-18 16:13:46

It sounds far fetched but everything Margaret Atwood described is happening to a woman somewhere. She used actual examples, they are bad enough that she did not have to invent anything.

As for how would men react, I don't see many men fighting for women's rights now. And they are being eroded, now.

TheButterflyOfTheStorms Sun 04-Mar-18 16:15:01

Men already let their daughters be sold into prostitution, married to adult men as children and aborted or killed for their sex.

It's not a leap.

OutsideContextProblem Sun 04-Mar-18 16:18:59

For women living under the influence of Isis or Boko Haram it already has. And there are regions of the Caucasus where the majority of marriages are prompted by abduction - largely against the woman’s will. Forced impregnation is used as a means of taking permanent ownership of a woman, and there are regions of the US where this sometimes still happens as well.
en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bride_kidnapping

Thisusernamethingistricky Sun 04-Mar-18 16:22:24

Mike Pence would make a cracking Commander.

TrappedInSpace Sun 04-Mar-18 16:28:07

Op have you read Animal Farm and 1984? If not I'd advise you to.

I believe some books can act as inoculations against complacency.

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