When anti-choice Republican Justin Humphrey referred to pregnant women as “hosts,” I found myself wondering, not for the first time, whether everything had got “a bit Handmaid’s Tale.”
I’m not alone in having had this thought. Since Donald Trump won the US election, sales of Margaret Attwood’s dystopian novel have spiked and we’ve seen a plethora of articles telling us how “eerily relevant [it] is to our current political landscape.” In an interview during Cuba’s international book fair, Attwood herself has said she believes the recent “bubbling up” of regressive attitudes towards women is linked to The Handmaid’s Tale’s current success:
“It’s back to 17th-century puritan values of New England at that time in which women were pretty low on the hierarchy … you can think you are being a liberal democracy but then — bang — you’re Hitler’s Germany.”
Scary stuff. Still, at least most present-day readers can reassure themselves that they’ve not arrived in the Republic of Gilead just yet.
Image: Gilead flag, By Voldemort at English Wikipedia