The Handmaid’s Tale is both wonderfully disturbing and surprisingly, in a way, accurate. It’s happened before – a woman’s main purpose in society is to bear a child – either a son to take over any estate when the father died or a daughter to marry into a well to do family. Is it possible that this could happen again?
The answer to that question can go either way. Facebook, Apple, and a number of other companies recently came out with a plan to have women freeze their eggs so that they could be more focuses on their careers and have families at a later date. A nice gesture but a really shitty way to go about it! I mean, REALLY!? First off who’s to decide when a woman should give birth aside from the woman herself? And what if she got accidentally pregnant? Would that be a ‘breach of contract’?
I don’t want to get started on the religious aspect of the novel because there’s a chance that I may ramble. But I will. I’ll try not to get too off course.
Janine, a young girl in the red centre with Offred, is gang raped at the age of fourteen and has an abortion. She is chastised by the aunts and the other handmaids (who don’t really have much of a choice except conform or die!) by saying that it was all her fault and that she brought it on herself. What’s upsetting is that this book was written in the eighties and this point of view on rape and abuse against women is still so unbelievably prevalent in two thousand and fucking fifteen! It’s sickening! (Ranting: I told you, but you should know me by now) I live in a country that is largely catholic by population with a generation s who would be completely against same sex marriages and abortions. Alright, we’re making some leeway with the same sex marriages. Unfortunately, if a woman is pregnant and the pregnancy is life threatening to mother or baby or the mother doesn’t want the baby, perhaps because it was the product of rape, she is not allowed to have an abortion here. She has to travel to the UK to save her life. There was a case last year where a pregnant woman was declared dead. She was on a life support machine. Her family wanted to switch off the machine but because she was pregnant, the doctors wouldn’t do it. She had to life on as a vessel for carrying a child.
I support same sex marriages. But I am also pro choice. Something women here don’t have in their own country. It’s amazing that the sanctity of marriage is more important than a woman having a say about what she can and can’t do to her own body. I used to fervently against abortion, I’m ashamed to say – once I wouldn’t speak to some close to me for a week because she said bin a hypothetical that she might. I still believe that if I were faced with that decision, that I would not unless it was absolutely necessary. I’ve cone around to the fact that circumstances are all different. I know that a child has as much of a right to life as a fully grown woman but if the woman us dead shouldn’t there be some sort of human decency? I don’t want to church bash but come the fuck on.
Is it possible that tht could happen? Loosely, yes. It’s happened before. It’s still a misconception that s woman needs to bear a child. I hope to god that there’s change- for the better – in the lifetimes of my future children and grandchildren
I hope to god that if I’m still living in this country when I start a family if I or any future daughter or daughter in law I might decide that abortion is an option for a nasty situation we will have the right to have it dine in our own country instead of heading over to the UK to do so
Next Up: A Book by an Author You’ve Never Read Before: Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson