The Handmaid’s Tale

by Margaret Atwood

Handmaid

Its tempting to downplay, as feminist propaganda, Atwood’s parable about a future America where men use religion to subjugate women (aided and abetted by other women).  But then again … I can drive a few miles from where I live and watch Somali women, clad in “modesty” robes and Muslim hijabs, strolling past Victoria’s Secret at the mall.  And I can turn on the TV and watch some southern Congressman calling for bans on birth control …. 

Let’s face it:  If any political alliance is handed the means for imposing its will on the rest of us, it probably will.  Atwood’s superb novel depicts this societal nightmare from the female perspective, but the dangers of her “Gilead” are universal.

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