Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Handmaids Around Me!

Been watching The Handmaid's Tale slowly for the last 10 days. Savoring is a better word. Just finished the last episode of Season 3 yesterday. So sad to say goodbye to a friend, because that's what June Osborne has become to me.
For those of you who haven't seen it, it's about dystopia in a new ultra-religious country carved out of the US in the times of rising infertility and consequently, extremely low birthrates. Women in this world are relegated to being wives, maids or handmaids (whose sole purpose is to produce children for the husbands of the barren wives). None of the women are allowed to read or go out without chaperone or contribute to society in any way. They are left with no agency/influence of their own. The only women who seem to have any power are cruel bullish women, who train other women for their roles and punish them for any transgression.
Thinking about the suffocating stifling world of these fictional women, I just realized that this dystopia is not all that fictional. I personally know women here in my town, who were married off in their teens before they even finished schooling, have no financial freedom and so are at the mercy of men in their homes, are watched like hawks when they step out of the house, are expected to give birth to boys, and are nothing but glorified house maids (not even that because they are not paid for their daily toiling). To top it all, they are controlled by cruel bullish mother in laws! The same story with girls with college degrees. The only difference between their reality and the world where June is trapped is that they get to keep their babies.
Did Margaret Atwood visit our village before she wrote her novel?

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