Feminism 101

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The Handmaid’s Tale // Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood portrays the way women in the future will be used purely for their body, by men who simply don’t love them. The funny thing about this novel is that Offred, (or should I say ‘My name isn’t Offred, I have another name, which nobody uses now because it’s forbidden’) the main character, is well aware of this and puts her body on the line to change the way women are used and to get as much as she can from the man she is having sex with. But why is this novel a must for feminists? Simple. It shows the backwards world in which many countries are still in, thinking that women are here for one reason only: to have children. In the novel we see how poor, less fortunate women are given to rich families and forced to have sex with the head male in the family so that the wife can have a child and not have to worry about catching infections or even dying during childbirth. Offred uses this to her advantage, to manipulate the man into giving her cigarettes and the most treasured luxury of all… face cream. During the novel Offred has flashbacks to her previous life before becoming a handmaid, a life with her child and husband. This moving tale of how women are still to this day forced into marriage, forced into prostitution, forced into unspeakable things, puts into focus how women are still not equal across the world. A must read for those passionate feminists worldwide.

Words by Brigid Harrison-Draper

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