Barbara Kay: The problem with Handmaid’s Tale is that it’s not a believable dystopia. It’s sci-fi

The current Hulu remake of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, is getting rave reviews. But I passed on it.

Handmaids projects a Christian theocracy — the Republic of Gilead — that has replaced American democracy, and consigned women to their most reductive biological roles as forced breeders in a mysteriously infertile society. I’m interested in artistic dystopias — the word always associated with Handmaids — but science fiction, the genre to which this story more correctly belongs, isn’t for me.

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  • vimy

    Most of here know it started out as a commentary on Islam if I am not Mistaken.

    • andycanuck

      I had read a commenter somewhere saying she wrote it after visiting post-Shah Iran. Too bad about changing it to the unbelievable fiction of it being a Christian America instead of setting it in a sci-fi-style Islamic state. Dune anyone? (At least over spice = oil if nothing else.)

      • El Martyachi

        Dune was totally awesome though.

  • mauser 98

    women not allowed to work, control money, read
    fundamentalist government https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9d8b6f770d11a2a7d8ca9830ce5c3cf0f938d135ba044f5807df8df0f7aef502.jpg

  • SDMatt

    A normal person looks at this theme and thinks “that’s obviously Islam.”

    A totally fucking West-loathing moron like Atwood naturally blames the foundations of Western civilization. Honestly, the Left do not live reality-based lives, they are mentally unbalanced.

  • FactsWillOut

    I’m OK with it being sci-fi.
    I have a problem with “1984” being an accurate prophecy, though.

  • bargogx1

    The whole thing is an excercise in deflection, and we all know what they’re trying to deflect from. Even though it’s blatantly obvious to anyone with a functioning, unbrainwashed brain that it’s the very thing currently most likely to lead to the type of scenario depicted.

  • UCSPanther

    OK, so say I was a horny, raging patriarchal post-apocalyptic warlord looking for women to take as concubines to continue my bloodline. I would be after attractive feminine women to take as mates. The ugly SJW broads and trannies need not worry about my raids…

    • canminuteman

      “that has replaced American democracy, and consigned women to their most reductive biological roles as forced breeders in a mysteriously infertile society.”

      “In a mysteriously infertile society” wouldn’t that be a good idea? isn’t trying to not become extinct a good thing? I remember arguing this with my teacher when they made us read this dross in high school.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Speculative fiction always plays the line between criticism and worship. For instance, Brave New World isn’t entirely a negative view, according to Huxley himself. He saw his own book as partially a how-to instruction manual. Similarly, Frank Herbert took a lot of shit for publishing “The White Plague” since it was essentially a condemnation of women and he more or less admitted that’s how he felt.