September 15, 2019

"At the first Women’s March, protesters carried signs with slogans like, 'Make Margaret Atwood fiction again!' and 'The Handmaid’s Tale’s not an instruction manual!'"

Writes Michelle Goldberg in "Margaret Atwood’s Dystopia, and Ours" (NYT).
You could argue that all this is melodrama; living under Trump may be degrading, but American women are incomparably freer than those in, for example, Saudi Arabia, a society that seems far closer to Gilead than our own. Then again, in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” America hadn’t crumbled all at once. Recalling her old existence, the book’s heroine wondered at how normal life went on even as horrors filled the newspapers. “Nothing changes instantaneously: In a gradually heating bathtub, you’d be boiled to death before you knew it,” she says.
And in a world of gradually heating bathtubs that boil you to death before you notice, you'd never be able to take a bath. But who sets up bathtubs to heat gradually to the boiling point?! Oh, that Margaret Atwood, she's quite the comic writer! Except that wasn't a joke. She really did take that old trope of a frog in a pot of water on the stove — a stove, which is designed to bring pots of water to a boil — and turn it into a bathtub, so it could be a boiling woman and not just a frog.

And, you know, that thing about the frog is false. The frog jumps out when it gets too hot. He doesn't just sit there in the water getting used to it while he cooks to death. So you really don't have to pre-jump based on hyped up fears. In that analogy. Assuming it's a good analogy. It's certainly a trite analogy. But so helpful in drumming up hysteria. Nothing happening yet, but we'd better act now, because otherwise if something does happen, we won't notice. So we notice the nothing now because later we won't notice the something because it will seem like nothing. So learn to think that nothing is something because future you thinks something is nothing. How crazy would life be if we used that theory?!

Anyway, Margaret Atwood has a new novel, a sequel to "The Handmaid's Tale," called "The Testaments." Goldberg (with a spoiler alert) reveals the plot. I don't care about the plot or the book other than the way it's important to some people as they go able coping with the reality of Trump's presidency.
“Writing dystopias and utopias is a way of asking the reader the question, ‘Where do you want to live?’” Atwood said when I talked to her last year. “And where you end up living is going to depend partly on what you do now.” “The Testaments,” it turns out [SPOILER ALERT] isn’t a dystopian work at all. It’s utopian. By the time it’s over, Gilead is a relic, and scholars in a more enlightened time are studying the women who subverted it. Praise be! Our descendants should be so lucky.
I went to Amazon to get a link for "The Testaments," and I was amused by the collection of things Amazon suggested for me to "inspired" by my search. Which one of these things is not like the other?



What the hell, Amazon??!!

105 comments:

rehajm said...

The women whinging and the googly eyes so so go together...

rehajm said...

She really did take that old trope of a frog in a pot of water on the stove — a stove, which is designed to bring pots of water to a boil — and turn it into a bathtub, so it could be a boiling woman and not just a frog

It looks like fun to create torture analogies for things you don't like. Imma try: Privileged white women whinging about their lot in life is like a 3/8" bit in a hammer drill applied vigorously to the prefrontal cortex.

Yep, I was right.

tim maguire said...

It says something really depressing about the human psyche that you can’t reduce the complaining people do by improving their lives. They just complain about pettier things. And, perhaps suspecting that they sound petty, they get more extreme in the language they use to whinge about their petty problems.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Hairdo fits under a pussy hat.

Rory said...

"And, perhaps suspecting that they sound petty, they get more extreme in the language they use to whinge about their petty problems."

People with real problems are too tired to whinge.

wendybar said...

If the shoe fits!!

Howard said...

My wife keeps suggesting the Handmaid's Tale because I like the actress Elizabeth Moss. It's not gonna happen. I think you've come a long way, baby. It must be frustrating that you are only about up to +/-67% of manpower, but considering where the sexes stood in the 19th Century, that's a remarkable achievement. This goes into my "coed softball theory of life" where the teams with the best girls dominate. We need more of that.

Using THmT for politics is the reciprocal of crying Socialism, even the frog slow boil is invoked often.

whitney said...

No. The one that doesn't fit is clearly the book about Uber.

Heartless Aztec said...

I don't find anything out of place. It's all of a piece. And that's unsettling to me...

Tcdq1293 said...

WTF does it mean "living under Trump"?

Howard said...

Bill Burr nails this topic in his new NetFlix special Paper Tiger
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c078AVNTjM4

James Sarver said...

Gilead was over in the original Handmaid's Tale. The whole thing was a future history, looking back at the Gilead Periods from the perspective of post-Gilead scholarship. This is made clear in the appendix and historical notes. Wrong side of history theory made manifest.

At least The Republic of Texas is restored.

Ann Althouse said...

I read the book "The Handmaid's Tale" when it came out years ago and when I was teaching and doing scholarship on the subject of rape. I didn't like the book then, and the movie (with Faye Dunaway) was even worse. It didn't seem to be the way real people with the problems presented would do anything. It seemed more like a sexual fantasy involving submission and bondage and 3-ways.

Ann Althouse said...

And I mean a sexual fantasy that wasn't sexually exciting to read.

Ann Althouse said...

Amazon really is pretty smart, because I kind of do want those glasses.

rehajm said...

Amazon really is pretty smart, because I kind of do want those glasses.

Indeed. The algorithms know you better than you know you.

Kevin said...

"Margaret Atwood’s Dystopia, and Ours”

So the NYT finally admits its dystopia is as real as Atwood’s?

Kevin said...

People want to be important.

They want to believe they live in important times and are doing important things for which they will be remembered by important people of the future.

This isn’t true, and it causes all sorts of problems.

iqvoice said...

Michelle Goldberg, that poor delicate flower who suffered years-long insomnia after Trump was elected. Clearly she needs the googly-eyes-glasses. #clownworld.

James Sarver said...

Handmaid's Tale didn't seem to be how real people would do anything because it was Atwood's projection of left wing totalitarian tendencies onto imagined Evil Neo-Puritans. Not much connection to reality.

rhhardin said...

Working on a sequel. A superhero aquafrog rescues the situation.

rhhardin said...

Kissing a frog who has never been a prince gives you a prince with froggy tendencies that keep trying to come out. Could be done as broad comedy, after the rescue.

Still, the women would be grateful.

whitney said...

I read handmaid's tale years ago and yeah it is software porn. And so was Atlas Shrugged. I read that the first time when I was 13 and it was very titillating. Both of these books are talked about a lot and no one likes to mention that part of them which for me was a big part

Fernandistein said...

When the bathtub got too hot one would jump out, slip on the wet floor and hit one's head on the toilet.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Bonus question: Which book that you'd expect to be included in the search results for "The Testaments", isn't?

Fernandistein said...

it is software porn.

You mean softpore corn? I read it too, around the time it came out and only remember the line "on our hands and knees". I'd read most of her stuff, but it all seemed slightly "off"...kinda like Ayn Rand's tales (which I don't recall having any sex stuff at all...?) Hard to "suspend disbelief".

wendybar said...

I looked the glasses up on Amazon, and the cheapest I could get them for was $7.99. Why did the $5.98 pair come up for you?? What is Amazon up to??

Matt Sablan said...

All I remember is reading the Handmaid's Tale and wondering if it was meant to be a parody of a dystopia with how bad it was. But, hey, she made good, so, whatever.

Matt Sablan said...

"Indeed. The algorithms know you better than you know you."

-- I am disappointed in the me Facebook thinks I am.

"kinda like Ayn Rand's tales (which I don't recall having any sex stuff at all...?) "

-- Well except the one scene where Roark rapes a woman, but since by the end she decides she likes it, we're not supposed to think too hard about him forcing himself on a woman who said no.

Rusty said...

I would pay money for Althouse to make a vid of herself in those glasses reading the latest supreme court opinions.

Howard said...

Dominique Francon liked it rough, was the same true for Dagny Taggert?

stlcdr said...

I had never really paid attention to this Handmaids thing until recently (past few days). It seems the author is trying to be more prophetic - important - than she actually is.

I like ‘dystopian future’ stories in general. They never, ever will turn out to be true, but a lot are based on one or two elements of current history to make them seem more based on a reality and less detached.

Of course women will not be forced into servitude - because they have guns (maybe someone should change that?)

William said...

Shakespeare's Measure For Measure is a play about coercive sex. A man of authority uses his authority to pressure a woman, a novitiate nun, into having sex. A man of even higher authority uses his higher authority to rescue the woman. Then, having rescued the woman, he decides that he himself wants to marry her and obliges her to do so. It's called a problem play.....Shakespeare is definitely pro-patriarchy. Some of it is uncomfortable to watch dramatized, but here's the thing: only by the injustices of the patriarchy was humanity able to keep on keeping on. Women stood a fair chance of dying in childbirth after a prolonged and painful labor. Left to their own devices, many would have opted for the convent's walls. In order to keep the human race going, it was necessary for men to be oppressive and chauvinistic and for women to be masochistic and submissive......Fortunately men got interested in the mystery and complexity of childbirth and removed some of the pain and mortal risk associated with the procedure. It's no longer necessary to be oppressive and chauvinistic to keep the human race going. We should all be grateful to the men who made this possible.

stlcdr said...

‘The Truth Machine’. I read it twice. the title says it all - a machine which allows you to determine if someone is lying. The first time while quite young, I found it interesting and thought provoking. The second time, after being a bit wiser to the world, made me frustrated - that’s not how people will do things! They won’t start telling the truth and lead towards a utopian future!

Ann Althouse said...

"I would pay money for Althouse to make a vid of herself in those glasses reading the latest supreme court opinions."

Good idea for Halloween in law school. But I don't do that anymore.

stlcdr said...

Oh, and what are women marching for, again?

Matt Sablan said...

The problem with the Handmaid's Tale is that it doesn't make sense. You can't really expect some sort of Evil Puritan Future from America where the religious are often at the forefront of things like abolitionism. Sure, you have a some sects that supported the South and others that were pro-Prohibition. But, by and large, the Christian religion has been a neutral to good force for America. We even see today that Christians that get too out of hand get slapped down, hard, by the justice system -- and in fact, society as a whole tends to be more in favor of limiting religious speech than letting it slide.

Meanwhile, groups that would make an ACTUAL interesting dystopia, such as hard left anarchists wearing masks and beating people, are the sorts of people that the Handmaid's Tale will pretend are the good guys -- despite the fact they're the ones who the state is generally turning a blind eye to while telling Christians "bake that cake, bigot."

For a dystopia to make sense, you need it to be plausible. And there's just no America that goes Gilead in a few generations. No, not even with Trump in the White House and Kavanaugh on the Court.

Matt Sablan said...

"The second time, after being a bit wiser to the world, made me frustrated - that’s not how people will do things! They won’t start telling the truth and lead towards a utopian future!"

-- As soon as I heard the conceit, I thought: "Oh, it is a dystopia where Bad Thought is stomped out and it is used on The Resistance to find out about their plans and to crush them." But... this lead to a Utopia? I am honestly curious HOW this happens.

JaimeRoberto said...

From now on I'm going to picture the authors of these hysterical columns wearing the googly eyes. It will make the ramblings from Goldberg and Reich more entertaining.

Ralph L said...

Mom said you start lobsters in cold water so it will put them to sleep before it kills them.

I would find living under Trump suffocating, not degrading, unless you could get him on stilts.

narciso said...

First of all, they never acknowledge 'if this goes' second the details as spelled even in thr tv series was it was a military coup, not a political action.

Howard said...

If a man wore those glasses, every woman he meets will say "my eyes are up here"

Ray - SoCal said...

Anti Christian Porn

Finally read a wiki article.

Somehow a fundamental Christian movement takes the us through a coup, after pollution makes the majority of women infertile?

What of in vitro fertilization?

Interesting how the left projects.

This is a lot more interesting / terrifying, and it’s real life!

Getting an education in the Big Apple: George Packer’s honesty, a parent’s dilemma
https://www.thenewneo.com/2019/09/14/getting-an-education-in-the-big-apple-george-packers-honesty-a-parents-dilemma/

Matt Sablan said...

Here's the other problem: If they acknowledge that it is just evil people using religion as a mask for their evil political totalitarianism... you'd think the readers would realize it is NOT an anti-religious message. But, we're supposed to believe both things. That religion is Evil, and that people will use a religion for Evil Purposes, despite what the religion says.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Lol. The googly eyes are perfect. These women are nuts. No brains, zero self-insight.

Unknown said...

I heard Atwood give a speech recently. She believes an environmental catastrophe is upon us and believes in the centralized allocation of resources. She and Robert Reich would like each other.

tcrosse said...

Atwood's view of America from Ontario is as valid as Saul Steinberg's view from Ninth Avenue.

cubanbob said...

""At the first Women’s March, protesters carried signs with slogans like, 'Make Margaret Atwood fiction again!' and 'The Handmaid’s Tale’s not an instruction manual!'""

No one takes these people and their deluded idiocy seriously. Why waste any attention on them?

steve uhr said...

The other day one of your comments linked to Groucho Marx glasses. If you clicked on it that may explain it.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

I've been known to express my belief on this site that women envy men more than men envy women. No doubt, women have more reason to worry about bad dates and stalking than men do, they are judged more on their appearance (by other women?) so there is more "fixing up" to do even to go to a diner for breakfast, some things are still easy for men, hard for women, etc. But: western countries are somehow likely to go Handmaid's Tale on women? That is just batshit crazy. Apparently Atwood was inspired by the Communist dictator of Romania, Ceaușescu, who literally banned all birth control as well as abortions, and then put a lot of babies in orphanages where, even if they were fed, they were given no emotional nurturing or education. A nightmare for the kids more than for women. Communists always gave speeches about freeing women (they always wanted to engender--sorry--hatred of capitalism among as many groups as possible), but in practice they always acted like they could turn freedom for women on and off, along with the use of birth control, etc. In the West today there is so to speak peer pressure to have few kids or none, look after one's career, etc., and genuine fear of suffering economically from having a big family. (Wouldn't it be terrible to go back to the standard of living of one's parents or grandparents?). This is not Handmaid's Tale, and no one to speak of in the West (barring some cults) has wanted anything like Handmaid's Tale since at least the Middle Ages. As a former English major, Atwood should know it wasn't true then, either. See Chaucer.

Sebastian said...

"She really did take that old trope of a frog in a pot of water on the stove — a stove, which is designed to bring pots of water to a boil — and turn it into a bathtub, so it could be a boiling woman and not just a frog."

Did she really? I always assumed Atwood was awful, but I guess I didn't realize quite how bad.

Mary Beth (the commenter) said...

Fortunately men got interested in the mystery and complexity of childbirth and removed some of the pain and mortal risk associated with the procedure

After first killing more women - when women first started going to hospitals to give birth but before doctors knew about germs. The Doctor's Plague

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Ray - SoCal: Getting an education in the Big Apple: George Packer’s honesty, a parent’s dilemma
https://www.thenewneo.com/2019/09/14/getting-an-education-in-the-big-apple-george-packers-honesty-a-parents-dilemma/
. [Click.]

Packer's Atlantic article is interesting, but far more so for its fantastical "avoiding the elephants" maneuvering, than for its description of the disturbing consequences he describes. (Of which anybody not completely immured in progressive-stan has long since been aware.)

The "meritocracy", the crazy progressive fundamentalism and the destruction of standards are a result of other, deeper, long-standing liberal delusions, not the root cause of the mess he sees. He's still a good liberal practicing crimestop - he'll go only so far in thinking about this, but beyond that...there be dragons. This gives the whole article an unreal, slightly batty tone.

Roughcoat said...

Amazon really is pretty smart, because I kind of do want those glasses.

I had the same thought. Get them for my wife, who would think they've very funny.

Douglas said...

I love science fiction, read tons of it. I bought The Handmaid's Tale when it was first published because, well, it was science fiction and I love science fiction. Alas, it was so turgid and hard to read that I never finished it. Not planning on buying the sequel.

Laslo Spatula said...

For women, this is a rape fantasy: an Intellectual Rape Fantasy.

Which can easily segue into the latest Kavanaugh NYT story: Political Rape Fantasy.

It would be easier to take feminists as equal if they would meet part-way by first being adults.

I am Laslo.

Ray - SoCal said...

I did not realize it was this crazy, and I thought I was pretty up on public schools. Or perhaps because I’m in California.

Discussion groups on identity for kindergarten? Same sex bathrooms for that age done with no parental consent? Social pressure not to test kids as a blow against the evils of meritocracy?

>Blogger Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...
>Of which anybody not completely immured in progressive-stan has long since been aware.)

jaydub said...

"You could argue that all this is melodrama; living under Trump may be degrading..."

This statement would be hyperbole if the author wasn't dead serious about the degradation caused by Trump, i.e, a type of degradation whose existence seems to be easy to declare, but whose defining characteristics remain elusive. It reminds me of a former feminist friend with an adult gay son. Immediately after the '16 election she adopted the practice of wearing a large safety pin on the front of her clothing which she described as a means to publicly identify to homosexuals that she was a "safe" person should they need immediate assistance from persecution by the new regime. I found that so bizarre that I had to stop myself from laughing, but eventually I came to realize that it was just the first manifestation I had encountered of TDS. She quit wearing the safety pin some months later, and I made the mistake of asking how many people had sought safe harbor with her. That is why she is a former friend with TDS instead of a friend with TDS.

GingerBeer said...

So, going by the cover of "The Testament" all those women who show up on the steps of the Supreme Court and Senate hearings will now be dressed in the colors of the Seattle Seahawks? So much for the "12th Man."

rehajm said...

Good idea for Halloween in law school. But I don't do that anymore

Anymore?

Mary Beth (the commenter) said...

I read "The Handmaid's Tale" when it came out and remember nothing about it except that I hated it. I had just graduated from college, so I had spent the previous few years reading a lot of very good literature, but I don't think the disparity was the problem because I still read, and enjoyed, trashy novels. (I don't much anymore because I listen to audio books more often than I read and it's easier to read them than I think it would be to listen to them. I have less time and less patience.)

I think the problem was that I didn't see it as a believable possibility. I feel sorry for the people who think we are half way there to it now. What kind of people do they surround themselves with that they find it likely?

Oso Negro said...

I guess someone at Amazon has a sense of humor. Or perhaps it is a sly editorial comment on 50 years of feminism. It does take crazy eyes to think the average Western woman today is better off than she was in, say, 1965.

JAORE said...

"It seemed more like a sexual fantasy involving submission and bondage and 3-ways....a sexual fantasy that wasn't sexually exciting..."

Sounds more like the #nohumorallowed, #metoo, #nofreedomsforyou left.

chuck said...

I bought The Handmaid's Tale when it was first published because, well, it was science fiction

Heinlein handled the trope better. He even wrote the Utopian followup.

Gahrie said...

Women in the Western world today are the most privileged people to ever walk this Earth. Yet they simultaneously bewail their fates while ignoring the women in other parts of the world who truly are oppressed.

Gahrie said...

Dave Weber does the whole "Texans in the future oppressing women" thing better than Atwood in his Honor Harrington series. Elizabeth Moon does it also in her Esmay Suiza books.

Unknown said...

“And, you know, that thing about the frog is false. The frog jumps out when it gets too hot. He doesn't just sit there in the water getting used to it while he cooks to death. So you really don't have to pre-jump based on hyped up fears. In that analogy. Assuming it's a good analogy. It's certainly a trite analogy. But so helpful in drumming up hysteria. Nothing happening yet, but we'd better act now, because otherwise if something does happen, we won't notice. So we notice the nothing now because later we won't notice the something because it will seem like nothing. So learn to think that nothing is something because future you thinks something is nothing. How crazy would life be if we used that theory?!”

And yet, that is exactly what is happening with the climate change zealots. And millions of con men are promoting it.

Cassandra said...

The WSJ had a good article about Atwood last week.

The best thing in it was the revelation that she got the idea for the book from Communist countries behind the Iron Curtain.

*thud*

So naturally, she writes a book about it happening in the U.S.:

When “The Handmaid’s Tale” arrived more than three decades ago, President Ronald Reagan was serving his second term, the Berlin Wall still stood, and mobile phones were the size of a brick. Ms. Atwood started the novel when she was 45 and living in West Berlin. On visits to countries behind the Iron Curtain, she was struck by the telling silences and the feeling of being watched. Those experiences made their way into “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

In another interview, she seems to think the foundational genesis of the American public lies - not in *slavery* (yikes! no one tell the NYTimes!) - but in Puritanism:

Nations never build apparently radical forms of government on foundations that aren’t there already; thus China replaced a state bureaucracy with a similar state bureaucracy under a different name, the USSR replaced the dreaded imperial secret police with an even more dreaded secret police, and so forth. The deep foundation of the United States—so went my thinking—was not the comparatively recent 18th-century Enlightenment structures of the Republic, with their talk of equality and their separation of Church and State, but the heavy-handed theocracy of 17th-century Puritan New England—with its marked bias against women—which would need only the opportunity of a period of social chaos to reassert itself.

Never read the book or watched the series (and have no desire to). She sounds like a loon.

Seeing Red said...

It seemed more like a sexual fantasy involving submission and bondage and 3-ways....a sexual fantasy that wasn't sexually exciting..."

Sounds more like the #nohumorallowed, #metoo, #nofreedomsforyou left.

I never read the book or watched an episode because I thought how stupid are you to believe that crap?

I love being an ignorant fat rube...but

I did read the reviews for this season and it seemed quite a few viewers weren’t happy because the show went more sexual fantasy this season.

Sorry, 50 Shades got there first.

rcocean said...

The Google eyes are there, because a certain number of people who read SF are weirdos and self-conscious "Rebels" who want to "shock" everyone with their outrageous glasses. As for Atwood, I always found her unreadable, but then I'm not a chick.

rcocean said...

I just read Althouse's comment that she wants those glasses. LOL. There goes my theory about SF fans!

Nichevo said...

we're not supposed to think too hard about him forcing himself on a woman who said no.


I don't recall that Dominique Francon ever said no to Howard Roark. She fought, yes, but never opened her mouth. So unlike a woman.

Larry J said...

There’s good money to be made in the fearmongering racket.

Ken B said...

I think those goggles are the one thing *most* like the hysteria.

Jupiter said...

"I feel sorry for the people who think we are half way there to it now. What kind of people do they surround themselves with that they find it likely?"

People who encourage them to feel victimized by unnamed strangers they have never met. Democrats.

Jokah Macpherson said...

So the ending is basically Houllebecq's Atomised?

narciso said...

Yes i referenced 'if this goes on' heinleins estate ahould have sued her'

Shouting Thomas said...

America is a lovely, prosperous and stable place with a job for everybody in the era of Trump.

The politicos are screeching a lot, but they always do.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I read the book "The Handmaid's Tale" when it came out years ago and when I was teaching and doing scholarship on the subject of rape. I didn't like the book then, and the movie (with Faye Dunaway) was even worse. It didn't seem to be the way real people with the problems presented would do anything. It seemed more like a sexual fantasy involving submission and bondage and 3-ways.

I completely agree. Read the book when I was in high school and found it both revolting and absurd. I haven't watched the miniseries but it's obviously appealing to women who can't admit they want to be dominated and impregnated by strong and powerful men. Not that there's anything wrong with that! Just don't be so silly and unconvincingly pretend you're not titillated.

Zach said...

“The Testaments,” it turns out [SPOILER ALERT] isn’t a dystopian work at all. It’s utopian. By the time it’s over, Gilead is a relic, and scholars in a more enlightened time are studying the women who subverted it. Praise be! Our descendants should be so lucky.

And there, I would argue, is the real central fantasy underlying the appeal of these books. All those breathless generations, admiring your heroism. They're the perfect audience. You can bask in their admiration, despite the fact that you will never meet them.

Zach said...

It seemed more like a sexual fantasy involving submission and bondage and 3-ways.

Rape fantasy on steroids. Imagine living in a society that is completely organized around controlling your irresistable, uniquely fertile body. Those poor men just can't help themselves!

n.n said...

The Handmaid's Tale is told by female and male chauvinists who deny women and men's faculty and capacity for moral character. A political myth spread to rationalize the Wicked Solution and other progressive policies in pursuit of wealth, pleasure, leisure, narcissistic indulgence, and taxable commodities and democratic leverage. The Pro-Choice ethical code is, unfortunately, not limited to selective-child, but has progressed as the established "religion".

n.n said...

The choices in order are: abstention, prevention, adoption, compassion. And the fifth choice, Pro-Choice, planned parenthood, selective-child, the Wicked Solution. The allegations that human rights cannot be reconciled with individual rights is a straw clown argument that has progressed to legendary proportions detached from any semblance of reality, and a trail of tears that covers the globe over decades of social progress and liberal belief systems.

narciso said...

She also copied heinlein from revolt in 2100, she cant anything original.

NEO-FIDO said...

It is errant nonsense.

The 'one fertile woman' would be easily able to play one powerful man against another and let them hobo fight.

Other men, hoping to be somehow involved, would cater to her whims, if only to feel in some small way involved. There will be massive amounts of male violence in competition for her favors...as has been the historical precedent.

Add 'the benefit of blond hair and big tits' to 'existential doom' and there is a woman more hated by other women than a Prom Queen because other women will be invisible.

And one could fit everything Atwood knows about Christianity into a spoon. A coke spoon.

NEO-FIDO said...

One could fit everything Atwood knows about Christianity and Christians into a spoon. A coke spoon.

Further, historically, when women were in short supply, ala Jamestown, you had male violence in competition and very wealthy women. Powerful men may wind up with the privilege of having her, but that is because of a bidding war and selection, not forced classism

Add the hatred normal women have of a girl with 'big tits and blond hair' and add the existential dread to a single fertile woman, and the most danger these fertile girls face is from other women

ALP said...

Like many here I read The Handmaid's Tale many years ago. People comparing Gilead to the current day US always omit (forget?) that Gilead came about via armed takeover. I believe they gunned down Congress while it was in session and took over - and the entire country was brought down because a huge percentage of the military was in on it, just waiting to act. If IRRC of course.

So a significant percentage of our current military would have to be keen on the idea of Gilead for this to happen. Since most of them would probably be deemed too low level to have their own women in Gilead - hard to see why they would sign on.

The most chilling part of the book, to me, was the fact that the banks simply erased the cash assets of women. Less to do with misogyny and more to do with the fact that banks COULD screw up that bad. Reminds me I have to put some cash in the safe....

loudogblog said...

I've noticed more googly eyes around lately. I wonder if this has to do with people mistyping Google and getting hits for Googly eyes and saying, "Hey, I'd like some of those!" A friend at work covered his desk phone with little googly eyes. He refers to it as his "eye phone."

Matt said...

Lol. Women. You're adorable the way you think you are serious people.

Bilwick said...

It's good to see Margaret Atwood and her fans taking a stand against tyranny. I'm sure they're all consistent libertarians. I'm looking forward to the story when the gals obtain guns to resist the Patriarchy, which sends its jackbooted goons door-to-door to confiscate the guns and wipe out the resistance.

Big Mike said...

After first killing more women - when women first started going to hospitals to give birth but before doctors knew about germs. The Doctor's Plague.

@Mary Beth, but being men, they eventually learned.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Ray: I did not realize it was this crazy, and I thought I was pretty up on public schools. Or perhaps because I’m in California.

Discussion groups on identity for kindergarten? Same sex bathrooms for that age done with no parental consent? Social pressure not to test kids as a blow against the evils of meritocracy?


When I said "[o]f which anybody not completely immured in progressive-stan has long since been aware", I was referring not to the above crazy sequelae, but to the need to escape "bad schools", which is the first-order consequence of liberal (a term which encompasses "respectable" conservative) policies. That's what Packer's angst is really all about. Good liberals can't think honestly and realistically about *why* things are now the way they are.

Packer remembers when things weren't like this for people of his class. You just went to neighborhood schools, and they were good schools, with high standards. But somehow, that all just disappeared. The "meritocracy", red in tooth and claw and batshit crazy, just appeared out of the blue, an act of God, just one of those things.

He recognizes the perniciousness of this development, but he won't go anywhere near thinking about *why* this happened. It happened as a direct result of liberal delusions and liberal pieties about things like high levels of Third World immigration and the wonders of "diversity". When you are forbidden any skepticism about the goodness of such things, when you're committed to explaining everything that doesn't work out within the framework of received wisdom, there's only one direction you can go, and one place you're gonna end up. Packer *describes* that place well. He just can't explain how we got there from within the ideological framework he implicitly accepts.

People outside of his metropolitan liberal bubble tend to be a lot more honest with themselves about why bad schools are bad, and think a lot more clearly about why it's become so much more expensive, in time and resources, to keep your kids out of them.

Sam L. said...

Liberal and progressive women seem to desire the feelings they get by reading dystopian novels. They got the jones for it.

Big Mike said...

I hypothesize that lefty women think we’re halfway to “The Handmade’s Tale” because if anything like that does happen, it will come from the LEFT, not from conservatives. Women on the left are more likely to be sterile, e.g., from legal but botched abortions.

narciso said...

but it's not a screw up, anymore than the unplatforming of conservatives or even iconoclasts like Jordan Petersen is a screw up,

narciso said...

now there was a resident anarchist up Alaska way, who wrote a novel about a revolution occasioned by debt crisis, and the government resorting to paramilitaries, hiring private contractors,

narciso said...

it came out at a propicious time:


https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/879515.Stuart_Archer_Cohen

narciso said...

meanwhile, a partisan of exactly these sorts of practices,


https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/nicholas-fondacaro/2019/09/15/sometimes-controversial-views-cbs-offers-weak-interview-ilhan

Phidippus said...

You got a problem with those glasses, Althouse? What is it, exactly?

They might even look good on you (but I wouldn't recommend the model's hairdo).

Last Halloween I bought a nice size fake tarantula and put it on the dashboard of my car as a decoration. My granddaughter thought it was hilarious, so I kept it there after the holiday was over.

By and by it bothered me that it only had two eyes, which is incorrect. So I went to the craft store and got a couple bags of googly eyes and glued eight of them in anatomically correct places (with a little poetic license of course), with two large ones over the originals. It's a much happier spider now and gets many compliments from gas station attendants and the odd policeman ("Those things creep me out!").

narciso said...

oliver stone, optioned it, but it's probably in development hell,

Leora said...

Matt Sablan - on Ayn Rand you've blocked the sex with Dagny and Galt on the pile of coal in a tunnel.

Leora said...

My husband has a picture on his office wall of a woman dressed in a Handmaid cloak and hat with a sign saying "I want to be taken seriously." He's not sure if the woman is in on the joke but it makes him smile every time he looks at it.

narciso said...

Not enough people have seen man in high castle and their resistance leader played by alexa davalos

Tina Trent said...

Handmaid's Tale was obviously based on Atwood's diseased fantasy that American women were subjected to Saudi-like oppression whenever a Republican was in office. Only worse than the Saudis. They were just literally enslaving and raping and torturing women: we were voting for Reagan.

Typical protesting too much. A few years after she wrote it, she "tried out" a burka with fellow (heh) namebrandfeminist Naomi Wolf's Hair and declared it "liberating."

So Handmaid's Tale is just a cross between Story of O and 50 Shades of Gray, with meanie Amerikka as the frat boy. Is there anything on earth worse than a Canadian Feminist?

Caligula said...

If you want to read a gender-nightmare dystopia, this is a far better book than Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale." Although (despite Amazon's description) it's more humanist than feminist:


https://www.amazon.com/Shore-Women-Classic-Feminist-Science/dp/1497640644